Transportation vs. Transformation

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
–Paul the Apostle (Romans 12:2, ESV)

Many years ago, I heard a pastor cleverly say, “Many people want transportation but they may not necessarily want transformation.” He was referring to the desire of many people to end up in heaven—transportation to the heavenly realm. But they may not necessarily want the transformation of their earthly lives when they’re asked to surrender everything to Jesus. You see, Jesus didn’t come here just to save us. Salvation is certainly an important part of Christ’s mission. But that’s not all. Jesus came to usher in His kingdom. He came to offer us another way of living—a new reality—that’s different from this tragic sinful world that we live in. More aptly, Jesus came to begin restoring things to what it was supposed to be in God’s eyes.

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If all we want is transportation to heaven, we might be disappointed in the end. Jesus said that not everybody who calls Him “Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7:21-23). We have to also desire the transformation that comes along with accepting to be part of His magnificent kingdom. Paul said, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17, ESV). Paul speaks of a transformation that takes place in our lives between our old selves and our old way of living and this new life with its new way of living. When we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we begin a process of transformation that moves us closer and closer to Christ-likeness. Parts of our lives are surrendered to Him and evident change takes place. Transformation begins to take place in…

Our desires
Our values
Our lifestyles
Our mindset
Our attitudes
Our decisions
Our behavior

The transformation that takes place in our lives is often in stark contrast with what the world says we should look like. That’s not too surprising because the world often entices us to continue living in the old way. But as followers of Jesus, we’re encouraged to embrace this new way of life and everything that it has to offer—both transportation to heaven and transformation into these new creations that are rich in the ways of Christ.