After Pastor Steve’s message and our final song this past Sunday morning, I closed our service making reference to three passages from scripture which speak to our transformation to Christlikeness as we pass through the ‘seasons’ of this world.
The first of these is found in a psalm of David. Here David is writing of the blessedness (the joyful happiness) of the one honored to worship in the dwelling place of the Almighty! Then he focusses on the worshipper, those “whose strength is in the Lord.” As they journey steadily on to their goal of Zion, every place they pass through is transformed along with them! The arid places become springs of water as the pilgrim himself is transformed “from strength to strength.” (Psalm 84:7)
The next passage is from Paul’s epistle to The Romans. It is from the verse which shook Martin Luther into the full understanding that the church of his day had strayed from the simple faith message of the true gospel. Salvation did not depend upon human efforts but is offered to us by the righteousness of God: “… the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” – or, as some translations have it, “from first to last.” (Rom. 1:17) Paul then cites Habbakkuk 2:4 “The righteous will live by faith.” The truth of righteousness by faith had been there all along.
The final verse in this triplet is recorded in the second of Paul’s letter to the somewhat dysfunctional church in Corinth. He reminds these Corinthian believers of their great heritage in Moses, and speaks of the glory which shone from Moses’ face whenever he returned from the Presence of the Lord atop Mt. Sinai. But away from the Lord’s Presence this glowing glory soon faded. For this reason, Moses wore a veil to hide the fading from the people as he carried out His duties before them.
In great contrast to this, Paul reminds the Corinthians that the glory from the new covenant, the gospel of faith in Jesus Christ, requires no veil at all! It’s glory does not fade – rather, it grows constantly brighter!
Paul writes, “…we all,… are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory,” or, as the KJV has it, “from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18)
All of these images teach us that day by day we are being transformed. The changing seasons as we move along, are designed by a loving God for our benefit. Seasons are good for the planet, and they are good for us too! We must give ourselves to them, as Paul also exhorts us: “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2)