The Process of Transformation Part 5
“Our New Reality”
This impartation is part 5 of the teaching, “The Process of Transformation,” the title of which describes a vital truth. In the last portion, I talked about how you discern the truthfulness of God’s Word; or to say it another way, how you know the Bible is true. In this teaching, I’ll explain how The Word of God changes from being something we hope for — to our new, present-day reality — where we live every day!
If you’ve missed them, I encourage you to review previous portions of this series. In Part 1, I talked about how the manner in which we come to Christ can set the precedent for how we judge our spiritual growth. In Part 2, I talked about “being in two places at one time” and shared a miraculous testimony. In Part 3, I explained the concept of spirit, soul and body using diagrams. With this understanding, you can better cooperate with the Holy Spirit because you can see how what’s been placed in your spirit in the new birth navigates its way into your body and your on-the-ground experience in this world. In Part 4, I took a deeper dive into what we’ve received in the new birth and how the language of the Spirit draws it out.
We get the true picture of what our spirit is like from our spiritual mirror (the Word) just like we find out what our natural face looks like by looking into a physical mirror.
When you get up in the morning, you usually want to know exactly what you look like — so you look into the mirror. You may have a knot in your hair or a streak in your face because of how you slept, but that’s not the mirror’s fault. The mirror is just doing its job — to reflect an image of what’s in front of it — and if that’s you, it’s only telling you what is. If your hair is out of place or there’s a smudge on your face, you don’t correct the situation by blaming the mirror. You grab a comb or brush. You turn on the faucet and wet your face, followed by a little soap and some light pressure. Hello. The action you take is based on what you see in the mirror. In other words, you believe the mirror and therefore make adjustments based on what the mirror is telling you. The function of the word of God is very similar. It’s your mirror.
James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a [mirror]: (24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and immediately forgetteth what manner of man he was. (25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Many have taken this passage to mean that the Bible is there to tell you what’s wrong with you, so you can repent and “clean up your act.” But that’s not really what it’s saying here. Let’s look at verse 24.
James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and immediately forgetteth what manner of man he was.
In other words, instead of showing you how bad you are so you can fix what’s wrong, the Bible reveals how you really are (in Christ), so your thoughts can line up with God’s thoughts about you. In this way, a natural mirror is different from our spiritual mirror, the Bible. With a natural mirror we are finding out what’s wrong with us so we can make adjustments. (A mirror also tells you what’s right, but when you look into a mirror, it’s with an intent to change what’s wrong.) In the Bible, we find out what we really look like (in our spirit man) so that our thinking can come into alignment with how we really are (which is how we change our actions — by understanding what we really look like in our spirit). (But enough with the redundancy about that point.)
Some don’t want to accept what the Word says at face value because it’s not “real” to them. What they mean is, that what the Bible speaks to us — about us — cannot be perceived with the senses. Yes, it requires faith. But if you think about it, faith is required to believe a physical mirror, too. Maybe you haven’t thought about this before: You’ve never actually seen your face! You’ve only seen a reflection of your face. Nonetheless, you trust the mirror. In the same way, we’ve never seen our spirits, but we can trust our spiritual mirror, the Word.
We’ve all observed the frustration of God’s people. We’ve all experienced it. We’re caring people, so we can get overwhelmed with thinking about what’s going on, in our personal life, our families, our friends and neighbors, our country or the world. We must understand that it’s NOT our responsibility to figure everything out. We don’t need to, because we have the Spirit of Wisdom living on the inside of us.
The reality is, in the spirit, we’re connected with God.
1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
The meaning of the word “one” here means “of the exact same kind”. We’re really talking about one in number, not just one in unity.
To illustrate, I want to make an observation…
Have you ever watched one of those programs on cable TV where two people are arguing about an issue, each taking the opposite side, and after you listen awhile, you just want to jump in the middle of it and explain to both people what the other one means?
I have. Maybe you have too. The reason for this is that you can see that both parties’ have a reality that is so far removed from the other, you could say they are “living in a different universe”. They don’t agree because each person’s view of life is so radically different.…and this creates frustration with both parties, because in each case, you can see they think this is simple, and each one just doesn’t understand why the other person “just doesn’t get it”?
As a Bible teacher, that’s the way I feel sometimes when I’m trying to explain to people things of the spirit. We are literally “living in a different universe” from the world (and not just metaphorically, like those arguing a current issue on TV). Our view of life is radically different from that of the world. After all, we are “seated with Christ in heavenly places,” and the world can’t relate to that.
The following are the words of Jesus…
John 15:16-17 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my Name, he may give it you. (17) These things I command you, that ye love one another. (18) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
The world is not supposed to relate to us! (…but neither are we supposed to relate to the world and its thinking. To us, the way they think should be like a distant memory.)
More from the Master…
John 17:14-18 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
We’re going to focus on verse 17. As I shared previously in this series, there are redemption scriptures that we tend to relegate to our actions only, but shouldn’t, because they’re talking about our spiritual state. One example is 2 Corinthians 5:17, talking about being a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is NOT about actions, but about what took place in our spirit when we were born again.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
We established that this scripture is about our spiritual state. In the same way, John 17:17 is NOT about our actions; it’s about our being. And our being affects our thinking first, then our actions.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
In John 17:17, the word “sanctify” means to set apart. The word “truth” is best translated “reality”. (This verse is where we get the title, “Our New Reality.”) Our reality comes from the Word, not our senses. Since we are a spirit and we live out of our spirit, we live by the Word, not by our senses.
Consider what Paul had to say about our thinking…
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Now let’s read that in context…
Romans 8:1-3 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
Verse 1; I used to think (based on my understanding of the latter part of this verse) that this only applied to a select group of Believers. Hold on to that thought as we discuss intervening verses.
Verse 2; “The law of sin and death” is the law of Moses. Christ Jesus set in motion the law of life (John 10:10b) which set us free of the law and it’s decrees which call for sin (1 Cor 15:56) and death (2 Cor 3:7).
Verse 3; Because of what Jesus did, the flesh is dead! (The “flesh” referred to here is not synonymous with the body. It’s referring to a mindset or system of thoughts associated with the old man.)
Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Jesus completed that work. Therefore, we DO walk after the Spirit.
Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
We are not in the flesh, therefore WE DO PLEASE GOD. (Paul is explaining who you are — NOT who you should be, or who you are trying to become, or who you’re going to be — but who you are!)
Romans 8:9 But ye are (ARE!) not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
We are not in the flesh (remember verse 1?), and the Spirit dwells (or lives) in us. We have the Spirit of Christ.
Consider these verses…
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Life comes from the Word. Spirit comes from the Word.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Peace — or wholeness — comes from the Word. We take the Word, digest it, and let it affect our thinking, to the point where our trust is in God. Therefore you are not moved by the things going on:
• in your life.
• in your family.
• in the lives of others.
• in the world.
We’re talking about transformation, which is a function of the soul.
Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Paul is saying that we’re not to be like the other Gentiles (the ones who don’t know God). That’s because they walk in the vanity of their mind…
Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
The non-believing Gentiles have their understanding (or the soul) darkened. They need their eyes opened (see Ephesians 1:18). Satan is the one who blinds people’s minds, but he will only have access if there is unbelief (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Lack of understanding leads to lasciviousness, or lack of restraint. (Some will insist that if we don’t preach hard against sin, people will sin. Actually, the opposite is true. If we have our understanding enlightened to who we are in Christ, the revelation of it provides restraint.)
Ephesians 4:20-24 But ye have not so learned Christ; (21) If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (22) That ye put off concerning the former conversation (or lifestyle) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Verse 23; The way we turn is not to dwell on sin, but to “repent, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). “Repent” doesn’t mean to feel bad or to grovel over sin. It simply means to change your mind. It’s as we adopt a new mindset that the direction of our life changes.
Verse 24; We have a new man, but he must be “put on”. In other words, we take what is true on the inside and adorn ourselves on the outside — to “work out” what is already in (Phil 2:12).
KEY TAKEAWAY: You are already righteous and holy. (When I say “you” I mean the real you; your spirit man.) God created you that way, so who are we to argue? God created us that way in Christ Jesus, and we cannot do anything to improve on it. All we can do is walk in it; to manifest who we are.
In Part 6, I’ll focus on RENEWAL. I trust this has blessed your life. If you want to hear more about this topic, request my 4-hour teaching on CD by the same name, “The Process of Transformation.” To order, click here.
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May God bless you Richly in Every Way,