What is Transformation?

Jesus graciously empowers us to become like Him. He also expects us to become like Him.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. Romans 8:29

But, what does that transformation look like? What is the definition of a disciple? How do you help a person become a disciple? There are many answers to this, and most of them lack a helpful degree of specificity. The most common explanation I hear is that a disciple is one that becomes more and more like Jesus. While I agree with this statement, it begs the question… “in what way?”

A lack of clarity on the outcomes of discipleship makes it very difficult to determine the strategies to help them accomplish them. Fortunately, the bible provides clarity on what the outcomes of disciple-making are. If we focus on those outcomes, we will yield more enthusiastic and effective disciples.

Outcome Focused Transformation

The search for the outcomes begins with an understanding of God Himself. God is three persons. The Father ordains our salvation. The Son accomplishes our salvation. The Spirit applies our salvation. If the Spirit applies our salvation, it begs the question… what does that application look like?

First, the Spirit cultivates spiritual fruit in us. The spiritual fruit listed in the bible are simply the character traits of Jesus. Second, the Spirit deposits spiritual gifts into us. The spiritual gifts are a key indicator of the calling Jesus has for our lives. Every command Jesus gives us falls into one of these transformation buckets.

Our focus, then, of disciple-making is to develop the character and calling of those who follow Jesus. The power of having specific outcomes in disciple-making is that we can create processes to help people accomplish these objectives. Those processes will be described in subsequent blogs.

The result of focusing on these two outcomes is impact. As disciples allow Jesus to cultivate His character in them, and as they allow Jesus to demonstrate His power through their calling, it will change the world around them for the good. This powerful mystery of transformation is summed up in Colossians.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27

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