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I just noticed that the last 6 blog posts (including this one) all had words ending with “-tion”. Guess I am on a “-tion” direction, predilection, or inclination.

Some of the comments on the 1st Reformation post got me thinking about this question: what is the different between “reformation” and “transformation”? Clearly the prefix of the root word holds the key: “re-” means “again” so “reform” means “form again” and “trans-” has several meanings, including “across” or to “change thoroughly”, so “transform” means to “change its form thoroughly”.

While God is about reforming, I believe that God’s work is primarily about “transforming.” He didn’t just “reform” the dust of the earth to create man, he breathed into and transformed it into a living being. His work in salvation is not to clean us up and “reform” us into better people, he gives us a new heart and a new nature. Ezekiel 36:26 says “26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” God doesn’t just change the old heart, he gives us a new one. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Romans 12:1 is a great passage about presenting ourselves as living sacrifices which is our spiritual worship. However, we often stop there. Verse two continues: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We are not to be “con-formed” or “formed with” the world, but instead “change our form entirely” by the renewing of our minds.

So we can work on “reforming” ourselves, but are we really open to God doing transformation on our hearts? Are be being “formed with” the world, or are our minds “changing thoroughly”? Are we open to God’s spirit changing us? 2 Cor. 3:18 says “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.”

Rev. Alan Redpath said this: “He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding–He does the transforming.”

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