Lesson 7: Transformation Basics

Air & Evidence

We can’t see air, taste air, or smell air. What if air is a myth? Can we really be sure it exists?

Of course we can! The cool feeling of a summer breeze, the rustling trees, the autumn leaves sailing through the sky are all evidence that air is a reality.

The Holy Spirit is exactly the same: You can’t see Him, but you know that He’s there when you see the effects of His presence. The evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in the soul is love shown by cheerful thoughts and unselfish deeds.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

We are naturally selfish, as any baby crying for the attention of its frazzled parents plainly shows. Babies aren’t trying to be selfish. They’re just thinking about what they want. It’s only natural.

Because we are naturally inclined towards selfish thoughts, motives, and feelings, we must receive new thoughts, motives, and feelings. The Bible says that we become new creatures by accepting Christ and submitting to His will.

Isn’t that good news? Even though sin has completely messed us up, Jesus has made a way for us to become completely different, completely new! He wants to give us a new life.

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Just Like New

Righteousness means right-doing. The Ten Commandments, God’s law, is God’s standard of righteousness (Psalm 119:172).

Because we are sinful, we cannot perfectly obey God’s holy law. We cannot make ourselves do what is right. That’s why Jesus died for us. He offers to take our sins for which He was punished, and give us His righteousness which entitles us to eternal life with Him in heaven.

It doesn’t matter how sinful you are. When you give yourself to Jesus, accepting Him as your Savior, then God sees you as righteous because of what Jesus did. God sees Christ’s life in the place of your life, and therefore He sees you as if you had never broken His law!

This new chance at life is only the beginning of your entire transformation! As you trust Jesus to work in your life, and submit to the Holy Spirit’s working, you will grow in love because “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). God takes out your old, stony heart and replaces it with a soft, loving heart that willingly, unselfishly serves God and people.

The Mirror

“He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Have you ever been leisurely enjoying a meal only to suddenly realize that you were late for an appointment? It’s happened to me. After seeing the time, I’d jump to my feet and run out the door. An hour later, much to my chagrin, I’d realize that I had peanut butter on my face or oatmeal on my shirt. It’s at times like these that I’m reminded of the importance of mirrors.

The law of God is like a mirror. It reveals our character stains. The apostle Paul said it this way: “I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet” (Romans 7:7).

Without the law of God, we wouldn’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. Imagine that you are driving 40 mph down a road with no speed limit signs. Would it be fair for an officer to pull you over for speeding? No! You had no way of knowing the speed limit. If you didn’t know the law, you wouldn’t know how to keep it.

The law shows us what our flaws are. But just knowing what your flaws are doesn’t enable you to fix them.

The law is a description of God’s character, because the fulfilling of the law is love (Romans 13:10), and God is love (1 John 4:8). Fulfilling the law means having a character and heart like God’s. Our heart becomes like God’s through a knowledge of His Word, the Bible. “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected” (1 John 2:5).

We cannot properly understand the Bible on our own, so the Holy Spirit helps us to understand when we ask Him in faith. “But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).

The closer we get to God, the more we see our shortcomings. It’s kind of like walking out of a dark corridor into a brightly lit room. You can’t see that you have a blemish on your face when it’s dark, but when the lights come on they allow you to see exactly where your blemishes are, and the brighter the light gets, the more blemishes you will see.

We shouldn’t allow this to discourage us. On the contrary, the fact that we see our sins means we are coming closer to Jesus! It means Satan’s delusions are losing their hold on us. As we stay focused on Jesus, the realization of our shortcomings should be, first, motivation to cling to Jesus; and, second, reason for rejoicing in what He is doing for us!