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What the Bible says about Transformation, Process of
(From Forerunner Commentary)

1 Kings 5:17-18

Much of the rock chosen was probably the hard white limestone found near Jerusalem, but Solomon's builders found many other beautiful stones, boulders, and pillars from all over the known world.

Blocks of stone, granite, or marble are not hewn out of a rock mass easily. If rocks could speak, they would probably complain bitterly about the harshness of the chisel and saw. We too are required to endure hardships and setbacks. Suffering is part of the process of quarrying, sizing, polishing, and preparing us, the living stones, for our roles in God's Kingdom.

In I Peter 5:10, Peter prays, "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal gloryby Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." The hewing, chipping, sizing, and polishing are all vital parts to making each stone fit the Architect's blueprints please the Master Builder, God the Father. The church is His House, the "House of God" (I Timothy 3:15).

Even Jesus experienced "the quarry," as God perfected Him for His dual role as High Priest and King of Kings, by what He suffered:

[Jesus], in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:7-9)

A great deal of sacrifice awaits us once we commit ourselves to the salvation process, which prepares us for our responsibilities in the Temple of God. That process is not all fun! If we do not feel the shaping going on, we will. It must! Many valuable stones lose as much as sixty percent of their initial size and mass before they are considered finished as beautiful jewels. We must sacrifice significant parts of our lives, habits, cultures, reasoning, and values to be transformed into one of God's jewels (Malachi 3:17), a gem fit for our Master, which is His will and desire for each of us (Romans 12:1-2).

Staff
Living Stones in God's House

John 6:45-46

More is here than readily meets the eye because we must understand it in its wider context. He is not speaking of merely being taught by God but rather indicating the entire transformation process.

This section of the discourse begins with Jesus saying that He will do everything in His power to save the person God gives to Him. He then establishes that the Father begins the process through a powerful drawing. He goes on to declare that the transformation from human glory to divine glory is also from God. Paul writes in II Corinthians 3:18, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." Jesus thus encapsulates the entire salvation process as driven from above. Christians are still responsible to do works of submission, but the Bible always shows God in control and driving the entire process.

Our human responsibility resides in the word "heard" (verse 45), which encompasses not only hearing but also believing and producing faith. This touches again on "eating" the Word of God. Paul says in Romans 10:17 that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Through the work of hearing and analysis, we assimilate God's Word into use in our conduct.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Eating: How Good It Is! (Part Four)

1 Peter 1:16-17

The spiritual reproductive process is not solely God's work in us, but we also play a major role in what is happening. The work of God in this world is the implantation of His Spirit in us which gives to us the barest elements of the Divine nature, and then He works on the growth and perfection of holiness in His people. We are part of a work of transformation, of conversion, to holiness.

It is here that prayer fits into the picture because Peter writes in verse 17, "and if you call on the Father." That is prayer. Prayer is an integral part of the obtaining, the achieving, the process of transformation—from the glory of man to the glory of God. Prayer fits right into the scheme of things.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is Prayer?


 




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