by Joe Alain

Welcome to the New You
Joe Alain
Various Scriptures

John Ortberg relates the fact that the English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, who gave us The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings said that all fairy tales are fundamentally tales of transformation. And therein lies the appeal of the great stories, they take us to magical worlds where anything is possible, where a frog can become a prince, where a common man can become a king, and where a captive can become a queen. Where the ordinary and the fearful conquer fierce foes in the darkest of forests and come out heroic on the other side. The longing for real transformation seems to be hard-wired in us. We're in constant pursuit to transform our world and thus, ourselves.

God has a lot to say to us about transformation. The whole story of the Bible is one fantastic true story of the transforming love and power of God, love and power that has redeemed us from sin's captivity and destruction, love and power that has brought us new resurrection life through the cross of Christ. God in Christ came to transform, blinded eyes see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the sinful are forgiven, the outcasts are gathered. In Christ we become "complete." Soren Kierkegaard provided a pretty good description of authentic spiritual transformation when he once said, "Now, with God's help, I shall become myself." With God's enabling grace and power we are changed so that we can become truly ourselves as God has originally created us. With God's help, you can become yourself!

What does this true spiritual transformation look like? How do we know when we are being transformed by God? And how does spiritual transformation occur in our lives? There is a real danger in settling for a pseudo or false transformation. Using boundary markers to indicate spirituality is dangerous because it can actually keep you from experiencing real spiritual formation. While the Pharisees and other religious rulers focused on the externals of the faith as indicat ...

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