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Monday, April 26, 2010

Personal Transformation

The Apostle Paul had a personal transformation. We know this because he tells us this in the letter to the churches in Galatia. The book of Galatians is a clear exposition on justification by faith. It is the Gospel that transforms. The message of eternal life permeates a radical life-altering transformation from death to life. Paul understood this and told the Galatians he has been made a new creation in Christ.

Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I live my days by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave his life for me."

Paul was "crucified with Christ". Interesting to note, the Greek tense for the verb " crucified" conveys a continual transformation. Luke's Gospel says that we are "take up our cross daily," which has a similar Greek tense that means a continual self-denial of the flesh and taking up a spiritual identity with the cross of Christ (cf. Luke 9:23). The radical calling is a change from an old lifestyle to a new lifestyle. One that was dead in sin to a life that is alive in salvation. Paul lost his old life and counted as rubbish (Philippians 3:8). He examined his life daily by a personal reflection. Paul changed from Saul of Tarsus, who murdered Christians, into the Apostle Paul who multiplied Christians. Through his personal reflection of who he use to be and who he was in Christ, it provided for him a Christ-like identification. Personal reflection in Christ provides a Christ-like identification.

The Apostle Paul said that "Christ lives in him." Every day Paul lived in the Spirit. He had Jesus Christ dwelling in his life, which is the hope of glory for all believers (cf. Colossians 1:27). Christ is manifested in believers lives, and gives them a new "imago dei" [image] in Christ with a regenerated and renewed lifestyle in righteousness and holiness. Paul understood this lifestyle and he made it public with all those who saw him.

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