reflectingJesus | 5 stages to restoring the image of God in communion
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5 stages to restoring the image of God through communion

introduction

 

Paul wrote that from the beginning of time, God’s purpose is that you will “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29), enabling you to become “transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

But how does this happen?

 

The as you will see in this model, the 5 step process that transforms you into the image of God happens as you learn to deepen your communion with Him.

Process overview

biblical foundations

 

As we see in the life of Pharaoh (Exodus 7:13) and even Jesus’ own disciples (Mark 8:17), nothing can happen in an your life unless you are open to God. By nature, you do not desire openness with God (Romans 3:10-12). So from the beginning, God has always initiated communion (Genesis 3:8-9). People’s spiritual journey begins as they open themselves to God’s initiative for relationship. This enables you to move towards the place where you have the possibility to “contemplate the Lord’s glory” (Psalm 27:4) and therefore become “transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

personal reflection questions

 

  • What causes you to become closed to God—even if you are already a Christian—and what causes you to become open?
  • If God initiates communion with you, how can you create an environment where you are always open to God?
  • What evidence indicates that you are open or closed to God?

biblical foundations

 

Faith can only take root once you are open to God. A growing faith indicates a growing commitment to Jesus. Broken people cannot change themselves. Only God can transform. So learning to trust God—believing what He has promised—is foundational to all transformation. Without faith you cannot be transformed (Matthew 13:58), nor can you please God (Hebrews 11:6).

 

personal reflection questions

 

  • Everything comes from God, even faith (Romans 12:3). Therefore, how can you foster growing faith in your life?
  • What evidence indicates can you expect to see in your life of growing faith?
Article: how to die to self

biblical foundations

 

Without faith, you will not be willing to devote everything you have and are to God and commit to putting to death their sinful nature (Romans 6:3-7). Yet total abandonment, becoming a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) is unavoidable if you are “to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) Indeed, Jesus’ call to die daily is the doorway into a life of missionary discipleship (Luke 9:23).

 

personal reflection questions

 

  • What does it mean for you to die to self?
  • How would you explain how to die to self?
  • What evidence indicates that you are becoming a “living sacrifice” every day?
Free ebook on dying to self and the baptism of the Holy Spirit

biblical foundations

 

The Holy Spirit fills the space that is created by the death of the sinful nature. Divine fire fell on sacrifices in the tabernacle and temple (Leviticus 9:24, 2 Chronicles 7:1). The Holy Spirit fell upon Jesus after he came up out of His watery grave at His baptism and upon the disciples humbling themselves in the upper room (Acts 2:1-4). So as you learn to become “living sacrifices”, devoting yourself utterly to God, Jesus will baptise you with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33). This baptism of the Holy Spirit is critical if you are to have a ministry and influence that reveals supernatural power.

 

personal reflection questions

 

  • How would you explain how to become baptised by the Holy Spirit?
  • What evidence indicates that you are baptised by the Holy Spirit?
  • What problems would you face and your church face, if you are not baptised by the Holy Spirit every day?
Week of Prayer article on the need for divinely transformed missionaries

biblical foundations

 

When you are baptised by the Holy Spirit, the mission you pursue for God will be characterised by His supernatural power (See the consequences of the Holy Spirit coming on Jesus in Luke 3:21—Luke 4:19). Your efforts will not simply be the sum of what you can do, but of what God can do (Zechariah 4:6). God will send people to you to help because He knows you are trustworthy—someone who is truly working in harmony with Him and His character—because you are depending on His power to serve.

 

personal reflection questions

 

  • It is too easy to teach about God in a way that your content remains only as information in people’s minds without re-shaping their practice. How will you teach in so that mission with divine power will actually be accomplished?
  • What evidence will you look for that reveals that the witnessing you do relies on divine power rather than only on your own human ideas and initiative?