People See When We’re Transformed
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
10 February 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
2 Corinthians 3:12–4:2
This is Transfiguration Sunday, which celebrates the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, but it should also speak to us about our need to also be transformed. When we are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, our whole being should also be changed into a loving, compassionate, and peacemaking child of God that is evident to everyone around us.
In this Godly transformed state of being, we no longer contribute to the corruption of creation; rather we do everything in our power to end all human caused violence, suffering, and death that we possibly can. This is exactly what we were told in Ephesians 2:10…
10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. NASB
This is what having the infilling of the Holy Spirit does for us, or should do for us, if we allow Him to do so. We are transformed into a new being created in Christ Jesus, and this difference in our lives should be evident and seen by other people. In fact, as Paul tells us in Romans 8:19…
19. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons [children] of God. NASB
These children of God are the ones who have been transformed back into the image of God that we were created to be, and who will free creation from its present corruption.
In Exodus 34:29-35, we are told about the outward change that happened to Moses every time he spoke with God, but for us the important thing is that we are inwardly transformed back into the image of God that He created us to be, and this change should be seen by others almost as much as Moses’ face shone before the people.
29. And it came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses’ hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him [God]. 30. So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.
However, people should not be afraid of us for being filled with the perfect love of God; rather they should desire to be in our presence and have what we have, unless they have hardened their heart and soul to the extent that the Holy Spirit can no longer work in them.
31. Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers in the congregation returned to him; and Moses spoke to them.
32. And afterward all the sons of Israel came near, and he commanded them to do everything that the LORD had spoken to him on Mount Sinai.
33. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.
We should never be afraid or hide the changes the Holy Spirit makes in us; but instead, we should let these changes shine forth to the world around us in and through the loving, compassionate, peaceful good works that we do to help transform this world back into the world God created it to be, and what His heavenly will desires.
34. But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would take off the veil until he came out; and whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel what he had been commanded,
35. the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him. NASB
But in Christ Jesus we should never cover the glorious things God has done in us.
In Luke 9:28-43, we are given the account of the transfiguration of Jesus, and as we read it together, understand that it has the same message for us. We also are to be new creations in Christ Jesus.
28. And some eight days after these sayings, it came about that He took along Peter and John and James, and went up to the mountain to pray.
29. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.
30. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah,
31. who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him.
33. And it came about, as these were parting from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah” — not realizing what he was saying.
Peter is thinking in the physical realm instead of in the spiritual realm, where the true Godly changes take place. It’s the inner changes that take place within us that matter, and the ways in which we let them shine forth to the world around us that accomplishes the good works that God has prepared for us to do.
We should understand just as we are told in 2 Corinthians 6:16: “For we are the temple of the living God;” which means that we are never to conceal who God transformed us to be, just as a temple upon the hill cannot be hidden from view.
34. And while he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
We need to remember that fear only comes upon us when we are not perfected in God’s love, and it’s this perfected love that shines forth from us to the world around us, and brings peace.
35. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”
This message is also for the church today, because most of the Christians have failed to follow the loving, compassionate and peacemaking teachings of Jesus that lead us to end the warring madness and violence in this world that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
36. And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
But today we can no longer afford to keep silent. We must continually speak out about the way Jesus wants us to live and against the evil violent ways of the world.
37. And it came about on the next day, that when they had come down from the mountain, a great multitude met Him.
38. And behold, a man from the multitude shouted out, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy,
39. and behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth, and as it mauls him, it scarcely leaves him.
40. “And I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.”
41. And Jesus answered and said, “O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you, and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42. And while he was still approaching, the demon dashed him to the ground, and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
43. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. NASB
Shouldn’t we do the same thing or at least speak out about the atrocities taking place on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, in laboratories, and all other forms of wanton violence happening in the world around us? Of course we should, because this is exactly what God wants us to do.
This is also what Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, which applies to us even more today than it did to the Corinthians when Paul wrote his letter, for evil has multiplied in the world around us, even in our churches.
12. Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech,
13. and are not as Moses, who used to put a veil over his face that the sons of Israel might not look intently at the end of what was fading away.
But the perfect love of God never fades away; it always shines forth as a beacon on a hilltop, unless people deliberately hide it.
14. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
15. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
This is so true, because we always hear people who exploit animals or are indifferent to their suffering, and who are in favor of war, quote from the books of Moses and other Hebrew texts to try to justify their evil ways.
16. but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
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 from the Lord, the Spirit.
4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,
2. but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. NASB
This is walking with God and living in His heavenly will.
But knowing this and living this are two different things.
When we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have to be willing to listen to the Lord calling to us, and answer Him in the same way that Isaiah did in Isaiah 6:8…
8. Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” NASB
This is the beginning of the transformation in us that is seen by the world around us. Every one of us can do this, if we are willing; for it isn’t our own strength that will accomplish the tasks God sets before us, but His power working through us.
This is just as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13…
13. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. NASB
If we have been transformed, we can change the world. We can rise up as the peacemaking children of God and help free creation from its present corruption. It’s our choice. It’s our challenge. It’s our calling. And we can do it. Amen.