Back in the day there was a cartoon (it’s still around today and has had movies made about it over the past years) called Transformers! Robots in Disguise! The premise of the cartoon is that there were ordinary machines present on the earth, like automobiles and big rigs, that really weren’t ordinary – that these machines could transform into robots with human-like qualities and protect mankind from evil and destruction. It was such a big money producer for the toy industry because little boys just loved the idea of transforming a vehicle into a robot and vise versa. Any of you ever have any of them in your home?
Well, today we start a new sermon series based on the premise of humans being transformed. And though the outward image still looks the same, this is a disguise that will come to full disclosure when the transformation process is complete. (Very much like the caterpillar in the cocoon – so much prettier when it comes through its metamorphosis process.)
We are naturally human, but with Christ, we are human in disguise – we don’t look the same, we don’t act the same, we don’t talk the same, we simply transform into His image.
So this series is going to be based upon the transformation process that is to be happening with you and me. It is a process that is to be identifiable in those who claim to be saved by the blood of Jesus – a transformation to be seen.
There are 8 transforming marks (signposts) that begin to show you and others that Christ has you in the process of metamorphosis. These marks show that you’re no longer a mere human, but a human in disguise – a human being made into the image of Christ. And this process is about God doing something in you — and you cooperating with Him.
Now transformation is not like a cherry tree trying to change itself into an orange tree. It’s about a cherry tree trying to grow up into what it is meant to be—a cherry tree. So as believers in Christ, we are not trying to become something we are not. It is about living by faith in Christ, with Him living in us, so that we become who He intended us to be when He perfectly created us in the Garden of Eden.
You see you can’t make this happen. I can’t make this happen. Only Christ can in an open-minded, softhearted you and me. It’s only Christ who can create the marks (the signposts) that are to be obvious in a transformed life.
So let’s get the ball rolling with what this process looks like from the Book of Romans, written by Paul. And if someone can attest to the transforming power of Jesus Christ, it is Paul, a former persecutor and murderer of those in the church.
Romans 12: 1 show us that the first mark of transformation is: Surrender (a surrendered life is a rendered life.)
Those who truly want to follow Jesus and be transformed into His image are those who surrender. They surrender their will, their hearts, their desires, their needs. They offer their bodies as living sacrifices in accordance to what Jesus wants from them and for them. And this is hard for us because a living sacrifice is not dead, meaning we like to squirm and get up from the altar.
Therefore, being a living sacrifice means we must choose daily to give up our ways for His ways. And in doing so we become purified – the bad stuff is extracted from our lives – the more we do so, the more we become humans in disguise. You may look like you, but inside it is Christ living in and out of you.
So what and how that transformation looks like is as unique as you are unique. For Jesus knows your heart and your motives (your priorities). Therefore, if your priority is on riches and pleasures, then He will test your heart. Jesus said to the rich young man in Matthew 19, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” If your priority is on human relationships (including family), meaning you place human relationships above Him, then He will test your commitment to Him. Jesus said to a man in Luke 9 who said he would follow Jesus but first needed to go back to his family and say goodbye, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” If your priority is on the worries of life (your finances, your health, your necessities of life), then He will test your stamina and perseverance. Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 12, “Do not set your heart on what you will eat and what you will drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your father knows you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
The first mark of transformation is a life surrendered to the will of Jesus. A surrendered life will be purified and bring balance to the one who willingly surrenders his/her desires to Jesus – greed won’t control you, relationships won’t rule you, worry won’t destroy you. Life will be brought into balance bringing greater peace, happiness, and joy.
Remember a surrendered life is a rendered life. A pretender will not surrender. So don’t be a pretender. Today is the day to surrender your will completely for Jesus’ will so that you may know the blessings God wants to grant to you.