Transformation is never an easy process. It requires great patience as well as great determination on our part to cooperate with God in the process.
We have explored many different facets of what this transformational process entails—the vertical dimension, the horizontal dimension, as well as the internal dimension. Christ’s glorious presence living inside of our heart gives us the courage to keep turning toward God for the face-to-face intimacy that our soul desires. As we stay in His presence He accomplishes His ultimate purpose: transforming us to be like Jesus.
Paul states this purpose this way: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom. 8:29) NIV.
Here is the glorious truth of this entire book. We are called to be like Jesus on this side of eternity! The purpose of being transformed isn’t just for a better relationship with God or more active kingdom service toward others or even a better peace with us. All of these are wonderful benefits of the ultimate purpose of the kingdom. We are called to be sons and daughters conformed to the image of Christ Jesus.
This is very weighty stuff. Christ’s glory abiding inside of us is a transformational glory. The more we embrace His presence, the more we become like Jesus. The call of heaven in this hour is for family expansion. Jesus is the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
I believe Romans 8:29 is talking about more than the positional transformation of salvation. Yes, we are sons and daughters because we have been born again. This truth can never be taken lightly. It is monumental. Yet, the application of this truth is what we are exploring in this entire book. Being born again is just the first step in the process of transformation; this verse is discussing the end goal of transformation.
What is that goal? Ultimately, Jesus is looking for representation on the face of our planet. He is seeking brothers and sisters who will manifest His character as well as demonstrate His power. The hour for a weak, wishy-washy church has passed. The argument of cheap grace, where we justify our carnality lightly, is no longer valid. The world is looking for something authentic, something genuine, something worthy of the name of Christ. They want to know if our experience in Jesus is legitimate. Otherwise, there is very little difference between our belief system and any other system embraced on this earth.