And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Growth in the Christian life is a process. Maturity takes place over our lifetimes. God does this great thing in relationship with us. As we see Him, as we come to know Him, as we follow His guidance and obey His teaching, we become more like Christ. And God gives us this great change. It is what He wants of us. He empowers us and transforms us.
I love that this is about transformation! The metaphor that Paul uses in this passage is Moses' physical transformation after coming down from Sinai with the Law. His face literally shone from being so intimately in contact with the glory of God. The Israelites were so afraid of this transformation that Moses had to wear a veil to cover the glory still radiating from him. This is the picture that Paul uses to talk about what happens in Christian maturity. We become more like Christ. We recover the "imago dei" (the image of God) as God transforms us. It is glorious.
Somehow we need to recover Paul's spiritual enthusiasm for transformation. Many times, if we are not careful about it, we make Christian maturity just another exercise in lists and exercises. I am all for spiritual disciplines, but not when they lose the image of God and the glory of Christ as their goal and directive! We must also remember that this is a lifelong process. We cannot insist a certain "transformation rate" take place. Paul would not even write about it being complete. Instead, he makes it clear that believers are in transit to this new degree of glory as they behold the glory of the Lord. We ARE BEING TRANSFORMED. Christian growth is always in process until we stand complete in the presence of our Lord.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13