Sometimes God transforms us in an instant, either by giving us the gift of self-control or by taking away our taste for a particular sin. An example would be the alcoholic who commits his life to Christ and never has another drink.
More often than not, though, transformation is a step-by-step process, and God expects us to be involved in the project. Look up the following Bible verses and for each verse, try to find the role we play and the role God plays in the transformation process. I’ve done the first one for you.
We renew our minds.
God transforms us.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
In summary, what is our part in the transformation process?
What is God’s part?
Why do you think God asks us to be involved in our own transformation when He has the power to speak a word and change us in an instant?
If God were to change us in an instant at the moment of salvation, so that we never even felt like sinning again, would we still be living within the context of free will or would He be controlling our minds?
In Romans 12:2, the Greek word for transformed is metamorphoo. It describes a transformation that starts on the inside and works its way out. Here’s an example. Let’s say I have a problem with saying mean things to people. If I were focusing on outward transformation, I would try to control my tongue and only say nice things. If I were focusing on inward transformation, I would work on loving them rather than being critical and condemning of them.
Do you think God would rather have me learn to love that person or learn to control what I say to that person? Explain.
Would it be easier to control my words if I were also controlling my thoughts? Why or why not?
What does Paul tell me I need to do if I want to be transformed on the inside?
If I wanted to change the way I thought about a person, do you think it would help if I prayed 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for that person on a regular basis? Why or why not?
Can you think of anything else you could do to change the way you think about that person?
How would it change your walk with God if you went to Him on a regular basis for help with your relationship difficulties?
Assignment: Try praying 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 a few times this week before you get together with a person who annoys you and see if it makes a difference.
Note: See Beyond the Sinners Prayer for the blog post that goes with this Bible study. I couldn't get my little chart to work on Wordpress so I posted the Bible study here. Also, you are welcome to print this Bible study if you want to use it with a group. I only ask that you include the website address and author information. Thanks!