What Is Transformation in the Bible?
Transformation is a biblical concept that refers to changing a person’s appearance and disposition. The word is derived from the Latin words trans and forma. It means to change the form and appearance of a thing. A common example is turning a lead into gold. Transformation also refers to the changing of a person’s disposition or temper. When it happens in a person’s life, it is an example of conforming to the image of God. It is a process that is done in a person’s mind.
God is a transforming God
The word transformed comes from the Greek word for “to change.” In Romans 12, the word is used to describe a total transformation through the renewing of one’s mind. In other words, transformation involves a total change for the better. This does not mean that one must conform to society’s ways, but rather a complete change to prove one’s worth to God. The Bible encourages us to transform ourselves to reflect God’s glory, by doing good works.
The Bible reveals that God wants to break generational sin-cycles in families and communities. He desires to redeem humankind through corporate repentance and the release of mercy. When communities are transformed, God’s redeeming love becomes more evident. One example is the city of Almolonga in Guatemala.
The Bible is full of stories of God transforming humankind. In the gospel of John, Jesus saves everyone who comes to Him. He becomes a father to His own after adoption. John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Gal 4:5; and Heb 12:5-9 are good examples of this.
The Bible shows that God’s transforming power can change a community’s identity and reputation. This is a critical aspect of a comprehensive biblical theology of transformation. This hope for communities must be part of the church’s purpose and vision. Redeemed communities reflect God’s glory and praise His name.
God transforms communities
God transforms communities in the Bible in many ways. These transformations are Christ-honoring, and they impact the entire surrounding community. This process begins with a call from God on our lives to engage in cross-cultural ministry. Through cross-cultural ministry, we participate in the work of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the Bible, God transforms communities on two levels: spiritual and physical. In Isaiah 35, the highway called the “Way of Holiness” and the “Road of the Redeemed” symbolizes the spiritual dimension. Ultimately, this transformation brings the presence of God into the world, bringing joy and gladness to the people of God.
Paul’s theology of transformation is shared by other New Testament writers. Transformation occurs when believers are stewards of God’s resources. We do justice by sharing our resources with the poor and praying for them. And in the Bible, God transforms communities by reconciling Jews and Gentiles.
The biblical vision of transformation reveals that God longs to manifest his infinite love in every community. Ultimately, transformation happens when God’s abundant love and grace are made manifest in the lives of every human. And this love is a tangible reality. God’s Son came to redeem people and communities.
God transforms land
In the Bible, the theme of “land” emerges throughout the story of creation. It is also a key element of God’s plan for redemption. He promised to transform the land of Israel in ecological terms, raise its status among other nations, and renew the people of Israel. Throughout the Bible, we see this transformation in action.
Biblical authors wrote extensively about the land. In Genesis, the first sin marred the land. In the story of Abraham and Lot, there was a dispute over the land that separated them, and in the book of Sodom, the land was spoiled by the wicked. In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, God prepares the Israelites for the Promised Land by establishing laws and regulations to be followed in the land. Prophets also warn that Israel will forfeit its land if they do not follow God’s laws.