#569 (31/3/22) SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION
This week, as we continue our 6-week study on the person of the Holy Spirit, we will be looking at what it means to worship in Spirit and truth.
Meeting with God transforms us. As our spirit meets the Holy Spirit we become more Christ-like. As Paul says,
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
This text speaks of our initial salvation and ongoing transformation (sanctification). Through the gospel (through Christ) we know God. The ‘veil’ between us has been removed by Jesus. The Spirit of God initiates this work of regeneration and continues the work of transformation within us. The words of 2 Corinthians 3 above are not principally about times of worship, but they should certainly inform our worship. 2 Corinthians is referring to events in Exodus 34 where we read,
‘When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.’ (Exodus 34:29. See 34:33-35 also)
Moses was temporarily transformed as he went into God’s presence. Paul is making the point that under the Old Covenant (though temporary) Moses was transformed as he met God; how much more should we, in the New Covenant, who have the Spirit working in us, expect to be transformed and grow in ‘glory’! Let’s be full of expectation as we worship.
i. In the awareness that God is present with us – the ‘veil’ between us and God has been removed by Jesus.
ii. Using our minds to focus on and ‘contemplate The Lord’s glory' in the Bible, in creation and, supremely, in Christ.
iii. Believing for transformation by the Spirit - It’s as we ‘contemplate’ or ‘behold’ (ESV) the Lord’s glory’ that we are ‘transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory’.
Charles Spurgeon put it well when he said,
'All the hope of our ministry lies in the spirit of God operating on the spirit of men.'
Only the Spirit can spiritually transform us or anyone else. How expectant are we of meeting God and being transformed when we gather, or personally spend time, in worship? Perhaps we could all do with approaching worship with greater faith of meeting with God in the Spirit. May we all like John be able to say,
'On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,…’ (Revelation 1:10)