“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18)
Today we are beginning a study looking at 2 Cor 3:18. The words I want to look at are “transformed,” “image” and “glory.” I pray you get something out of this as I have…
Strong’s Concordance 3339 metamorphoó
Original Word: μεταμορφόω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (met-am-or-fo’-o)
Short Definition: I change the form, transform
Definition: I transform, transfigure.
[3339 (metamorphóō) is the root of the English terms “metamorphosis” and “metamorphize.”]
Now this is pretty amazing – as we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed…the word is metamorphoo, where we get our english word metamorphosis, as you can see above. Let’s look at what the dictionary has to say about this word…
“the persistence of the larval tail during metamorphosis”
a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.“his metamorphosis from presidential candidate to talk-show host”
So as we can see here, there are two meanings, both of which apply. The process of transformation, as when a caterpillar grows from that to a butterfly. As Christians, we are in a process of change. It’s a journey from being one person (us) to being another,(in the same image as Christ) – from glory to glory.
The next meaning is the change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.
Doesn’t this happen when we become born again? The Bible calls it the new creation. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor 5:17) In Christ, we are completely new! New creatures! Think about that!
At the start, the caterpillar is a caterpillar, he is not a butterfly, doesn’t even look like it. By the end of the process of metamorphosis, he is a beautiful butterfly that does not even resemble what he was when he was a caterpillar. It is the same with us! At the start, we are our weak, sinful selves. By the end of the work of sanctification, of God’s process of metamorphosis in us, we become like Christ, the very image and glory of GOD!
Now, at salvation, we became completely different IN OUR SPIRITS. Our bodies need to catch up! The next complete change comes when we receive our resurrected bodies (1 Cor 15). But right NOW, between becoming a new creature in Christ and receiving our heavenly bodies, we walk on this earth subject to the battle of flesh and spirit. This is the process of sanctification, (which means “set-apart,”and holy) and this is where we walk through a process of transformation, in learning to walk with God in spirit and truth, resisting the flesh that resists the ways of God. Your newly created spirit, when you got born again (John 3:3), desires more than anything to follow the ways and will of God. Jesus Himself said to His disciples, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt 26:41) The flesh meaning your carnal, or worldly nature that strives against your spirit who wants to follow God. The struggle between the flesh and the spirit can be found in Romans 7:14-25.
By the end of this process, we should become butterflies- in other words, become like Christ. In this process, Paul describes it as starting as children, babes in Christ, to becoming fully grown mature adults in Christ. Sadly, many of us stay as little children, needing milk, when we should be grown up feeding on the meat of the Word. And this is what this blog is really about, digging into the meat of the Word. Discovering what the Bible really says, the meaning of the words written, and seeking the knowledge it brings to impart to us the revelation to actually live God’s word out in reality, in our daily lives. I am not writing this as a fully mature adult in Christ by the way, rather, I am writing this as a fellow learner, seeking to grow up in Christ everyday.
Now, I think enough is written for one day, the next word, “image,” will be for the next article! So till next time…