Tag Archives: Metamorphosis

God’s Game Plan

Are we able to bear fruit without being meaningfully transformed? Yes, in scant quantity and meager quality we can. But without a true metamorphosis we’ll never be successful in bearing the kind Jesus wants—“much fruit.” For this reason transformation is absolutely essential to fruitfulness in God’s kingdom.

There’s no question that God wants to see us radically changed. And since we know we can’t transform ourselves, He must have a method to accomplish it. But the big question is just what that plan consists of; how do we get from here to there? Well, God has His part in the process, and we’ve got ours.

If transformation is ever to become a reality in us, we must cooperate with God as He goes about working in our life. The beauty is that freedom from the power of sin makes choosing to walk out our faith in this way possible—in spite of the weakness of our flesh. Because God has done what He has through Christ, it’s now all about choice! But submitting ourselves to God for what is likely to be a very arduous journey is never an easy choice to make. Nevertheless, we can do it! Aided by His power, we can become the kind of Christians we intuitively want to be as a result of our redemption. God Himself has put that desire there.

Yet truth be told, we often have to come to the end of ourselves—finally fed up with failure—before we can actually bring ourselves to make that commitment. You may be at that point in your life right now! If so, unconditionally give yourself over to God, and then take action by submitting to His will. Sometimes we think that giving over our will to God is a one-time event. Not so. Rather, it’s a choice we make day by day. And making daily progress toward transformation entails following well-defined steps: God’s Game Plan. We’ll be talking about what that involves.

Gone to Flying!

In the New Testament, the term used for transformed is a Greek word from which our English word metamorphosis comes. It means radical change from one form to another. Probably the most common example of such change in the natural world is the striking metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly—a transformation so radical that it is entirely inexplicable. The caterpillar takes on an amazing new form as the result of metamorphosis. Not only is the butterfly a much more beautiful creature, but it also behaves differently. No longer is it confined to merely crawling around; now it can fly!

Well, it’s not too hard to see how such a dramatic transformation might apply to our initiation as that “new creature” in Christ.(2 Corinthians 5:17) But it’s a little more difficult to understand how the concept of metamorphosis might apply to a change in our character. Just how are we “transformed by the renewing of our mind?” And more puzzling yet, how is it that our old self can co-exist right alongside our dynamic new self? Yet this is nothing more than the core question we’ve been grappling with right along, isn’t it?

Our old self doesn’t simply evaporate once we’re saved. It hangs on, not only as an ever-present reminder of our humanity but as an impediment to our spiritual growth as well. So this can’t help but raise a legitimate question: if we can never altogether get rid of the old self, how can we ever claim to be genuinely transformed?

Interestingly, the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly sheds some light here. You see, though radically changed, the genetic make-up of the butterfly hasn’t changed at all; it still retains the DNA of the caterpillar. In like manner, our life now rooted in the new self maintains the stamp of our humanity. But we’ve gone to flying instead of merely being limited to crawling around!

Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself


The miracle in the caterpillar’s cocoon is but a whisper of the dramatic unfolding of godly character—so foreign to our inherently self-willed nature—being fashioned in the human heart through the intervening power of God’s Spirit. Paul goes so far as to say we “are being transformed into [the Lord’s] image from glory to glory.”(2 Corinthians 3:17). What an incredible metamorphosis this must be! A mysterious process indeed; how can it even be possible? God knows!

Metamorphosis in our character is essentially the old self giving way to the new. Thinking back to what we’ve talked about regarding this issue of self-will, in Christ we now possess the power of choice in spite of our human condition. Being set free from the power of sin has set the stage to accomplish this.(Romans 6:6). Even though at times it may not feel like it, we have the power to choose to lay aside the old self by an act of our will, deciding instead to put on the new self.(Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9-10). But where does that leave us when we fail to perform perfectly? What does such failure say about genuine transformation in our heart?