(Before anything else, I would like to acknowledge the influences of Timothy Keller, Andrew Farley, Joseph Prince, Paul Ellis, and our wonderful pastors over at Good News Community Church for their own contributions to the formation of this article. True, there were other people who had their own contributions… consider this an IOU when we all see each other in eternity)
Eternity To Here
“By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.“ – 1 John 4:17
Previously, we have established that Jesus Christ has given us more than just a cheap ‘get to Heaven, get of out Hell’ card. The entirety of our existence was drenched in darkness, death, and sin, and by Christ, all that we were was crucified with Him. By Christ’s resurrection, so we have also been raised into light and life.
Paul says this means that we are fully equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). That already sounds awesome on its own, but that isn’t the end-all of God’s love; Ephesians 1:3 (NLT) says God ‘has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.‘
What we have is a result of Who we have, and we have Jesus Christ, no more, no less, now and forever. Consequently, Jesus Christ has us, no more, no less, now and forever. This is salvation: Christ Himself is our Salvation. We have a new life as new creations, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, and we are one with Christ, in perfect and everlasting union.
This entails so much! For one thing, this union we have with Christ liberated us from sin and death, and as a result, we are free from fear, from a mindset of futility and oblivion. Through Him we are fully renewed creations, free to understand how that which is unseen is eternal, and that which is seen is temporal. Christ’s identity and His finished work has left us free to walk in faith, and not by sight, with less effort and more intensity. (2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:7)
Here To Eternity
‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ – Romans 12:2
Now, a prominent perspective of the ‘transformations‘ we were taught to see involve a change in our actions and our temporal state. But I’m learning that there is so much more to being transformed than how religion and secular humanism would imply. Apparently, we don’t have a cheap salvation, so we certainly don’t have cheap transformation either.
I’m not against anyone who stopped smoking, drinking, and/or pornography after saying what Western Christianity calls, ‘The Sinner’s Prayer‘. In fact, I’m happy for them. I love those stories of people getting their lives totally turned around as a result of quitting an addiction, or just really focusing on reclaiming their lives after a devastating loss or tragedy. These are certainly changes that we all should celebrate.
But, miraculous as we may call these ‘transformations‘, we would be shooting ourselves in the foot as brethren if we were to say that this is all that there is. No, I believe that first and foremost, the transformation we ought to proclaim is actually something for everyone who believes, just as Christ’s salvation is for all who believe.
Though absolutely supernatural miracles are still possible transformations for us to behold, it is a certainty that the transformation we all have is a progressive integration of our entire beings to who Christ is – that, to me, is the greatest miracle of all, which, consequently, is for all.
Christ is our Salvation. We are one with Christ. And as Christ is 100% righteous, holy, and blameless, so we are 100% righteous, holy, and blameless, right now and forever. Eternity is our reality.
We are being transformed. Christ finishes the work He begun in us. The more we allow our minds to appreciate Christ and His finished work, the more we are, indeed, transformed. Our reality continues to be integrated into eternity.
Transformation is the celebration of our Salvation.