But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2Cor 3:18)
How often we are preached at that we are not acceptable to God. It’s never really phrased like that in most churches. (Although I have heard of a few where they come right out and say it like this.) Most times it is preached as a way we could be improving our lives. It disguises itself as a helpful tip, God’s will, or pointing out our inner sin habit. While all of these things seem to be good motivators to empower us to lay down our selfish desires and pick up the selfless heart of God, they are not His ways nor His heart.
2 Corinthians 3:18 reveals a beautiful picture to us of the Father’s heart, and methods of transforming our hearts. As we gaze into the glory of Jesus we are changed into the same image (that of His glory) by His Spirit. He transforms our heart as we gaze upon His greatness, His beauty, His love, and His grace.
Don’t get me wrong. I am against sin. I hate sin because I have seen the suffering that sin brings to the lives of those enslaved to it. I have seen the cancer that an angry, bitter, raging heart can spread to those around it. I have fallen victim to the disease and consequence of a life lived unrestrained. I hate sin. I hate what it does. I hate how it manipulates and twists the truth. I hate how it destroys lives.
But this is not about what sin you are actively committing. This is not about whether that wrong action displeases God or makes Him angry (though I will give you a hint, it doesn’t.) It is not about whether you are good enough to enter heaven (another hint, Jesus made you good enough.)
This is about helping you be all that you can be. This is about helping you get the inner healing you need inside the recess of your heart. This is about your life being transformed into a dazzling reflection of the beauty of Jesus. Of course that doesn’t include sins, inward or outward. But don’t we understand that Jesus is well capable of seeing His own reflection, and the darkness left in our hearts as well? Don’t we believe that Holy Spirit is well capable of taking our longing, gazing heart, and make it beautiful?
When you see the beauty of everything God is in the life of Jesus, you will fall in love. When you see the patience of His heart towards your failures, or your weakness you will trust Him. When you see His gentleness with your heart in the face of all your pain, you will feel comforted. When you hear the tenderness in His voice as you cry, and sob in desperation for answer, you will be transformed. This is not the work of the heart of man, nor is it the pressure of the world, or the flesh, or religion.
This is the trans-formative work of the Holy Spirit of God. He alone can do these things. He alone can change a human heart and heal it. He alone can take the addict, the murderer, the prostitute, the beggar, and make them look like Jesus. If you are searching for answers, try searching for the real Jesus. You may be surprised that He looks very little like what the church says He looks like.