Read: Romans 12:1-2 |
The life cycle of a butterfly goes through four stages of metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
As a Believer, we also undergo a metamorphosis as we develop spiritually through our stages of growth: Baby Believer, Growing Believer, Maturing Believer and Glorified Believer. Just as each stage of a butterfly’s life plays a unique purpose in the next stage, the same is true for Believers.
The role of a Bible Teacher in each stage is to lead, guide and enable the transformation of their students. The Center for Christian Leadership provides a good working definition of transformation:
“Transformation is the process by which God forms Christ’s character in believers by the ministry of the Spirit, in the context of community, and in accordance with biblical standards. This process involves the transformation of the whole person in thoughts, behaviors, and styles of relating with God and others. It results in a life of service to others and witness for Christ.”
Our goal as a teacher is to teach for transformation. Our goal as a believer is to reach and strive for personal transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Teach for transformation
The end goal of the teaching is not for imparting biblical knowledge. The end goal is to make a difference in the lives of the students by clearly sharing God’s Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to pierce their hearts and move them to action (Hebrews 4:12; Acts 2:36-38. Good teaching leads the students to understand who they are in Christ and where they stand in the community of Christ and their peers. The students should also understand the need for a lifetime of growth and develop a desire to give back their time, talent and treasure to God.
Reach for Transformation
Spiritual Transformation is purposeful – it does not just happen! Some Believers chose to stay at their current stage, because they do not want to accept the changes that a spiritual transformation brings.
Transformed lives begin with the gospel message of Christ, for in it is the power of God (2 Corinthians 6:1-10). Via the gospel, we learn that not everything that feels right to do is righteous (Romans 3:9-12). As we listen and agree with the Holy Spirit, we are compelled to change and surrender our will to make a holy transformation. The metamorphosis may be simple or it may be difficult, but stay with it and God will bless!
In “A model of Spiritual Transformation”, by the Center for Christian Leadership, the authors note three broad approaches to spiritual transformation:
Fellowship Model: Utilize Small Groups or impromptu fellowship opportunities (e.g. watch the World Cup or the Super Bowl at a members home) to build relationships with believers and non-believers on an informal basis. The intimate setting lowers barriers of teacher-student-pastor and allows everyone to relate and connect with believers.
Spiritual Disciplines Model: Spend time alone in prayer, fasting, quiet time or reading a devotional in order to strengthen our bond with Christ.
Counseling Model: When overwhelmed, ask for counseling to receive a godly perspective on the problems faced. This approach focuses on identifying and resolving internal obstacles to spiritual growth.
By studying God’s word and judiciously applying all three models, we will witness or experience a metamorphosis from Baby Believer towards Maturing Believer.
Transformation is a prerequisite for growth. Our ways, thoughts and behaviors must become more Christ-like. Transformation is individual. Each believer receives God-given instructions on the things we need to transform. Transformation is super-natural. We rely on the Holy Spirit to sustain us even when we do wrong, but want to do good because we cannot do it alone (Romans 7:14-25). Be ye transformed, my brother and sister!
A. Metamorphosis is a Greek word meaning transformation, development or change in shape. Name some things God has transformed within you.
B. What is or was the biggest change God asked you to make in your life or lifestyle in order to be more like Him? How did you handle the request and the change?
A. Do you feel the Holy Spirit’s prodding to transform a part of your life, which you are not quite ready to turn over?
B. How long have you been bargaining with God to put Him off? What needs to change for you to obey God?
A. What areas of your life would your spouse or family say could use a little more “transforming”?
B. Are any of these areas a surprise to you or had God already pointed them out?