Romans 8:29 tells us that we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we are changed as behold the glory of the Lord. This sermon unpacks these two scriptures and provides direction on what “beholding” means and how we can better work with God in being transformed
We Become What We Behold
–we are being conformed to image of Christ. He is always working that in us.
–God made us in His image. But we fell as a human race, and that image changed. It’s defaced, but not erased. Yet we remain image-carriers that are being transformed.
We reflect what we behold. The “dark side” of this:
“When we worship false gods, we become like them. Our worship of money makes us greedy and stingy. Our worship of power makes us harsh and demanding. Our worship of approval makes us anxious and fearful. Our worship of success makes us busy and restless. The more we avert our gaze from the true God and chase these idols, the more ungodly we become.” (Bob Thune)
See also II KIngs 17:15 (ESV).
The good side:….II Cor. 3:17-18
We are being transformed now, and I John 3:2 tells us that the process will be complete when we see Him as He is. So we see that the more we “behold” and “see” him, the more we’ll be like Him!
First of all, “beholding” is a matter of the heart.
Hebrews 12:1-2–looking unto Jesus
–having the Lord ever before us–but what does THAT mean?
Look into written word. We find ourselves there!
-be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Would you leave the house without looking into the mirror?)
–what righteousness looks like
How does God’s word do that? Hebrews 4:12 God’s Spirit working with His written word.
Plus, God’s word cleanses us. (Eph. 5:25-26) This isn’t just about our behavior, but also about our spiritual sight! See Matthew 5:8 The more cleaned up we get, the better we can see Jesus, and the more we reflect Him!
Do “God things” with other people. Matthew 18:20 Church, small groups, praying with other believers, meeting with others and and sharing your heart.
Another way we see God begins with a question: What humans are you looking at, and why?
Who do you look down on? The poor? The rich? The seemingly insignificant? The seemingly influential? We’re not all God’s children, but we are all His creation. And what are we missing about God that we would do that?
Who are you jealous of? Why? He’s given us everything for life and godliness–besides, you don’t know what’s going on their life.
Lastly, who do you look up to, and who do you want to model yourself after? Is it because of what they do, or because of who they are?
Is it because they are “successful”–whatever that means!–or good looking, or accomplished, or rich?
Hebrews 11:1 Paul said to imitate him as he imitated Christ. We can begin to see God in a new way if we start looking for His spirit and His handiwork in others, and begin to emulate them.
If we are looking for God all the time, we’ll begin to see Him all over the place. Every believer has something of Jesus working in him or her, something worth imitating and learning from.
Who are your role models, and why? If we choose the right ones, we’ll behold the glory of God in them.
So what can we do to reflect Jesus better? It’s God’s plan to transform us. How much are we working with Him?
Remember, we become what we behold!