How the Holy Spirit Transforms Us

Dr. Michael Allen writes in his work, Sanctification:

“Sanctification depicts, first and foremost, not a discipline of the Christian but a gift of the Savior…”

Transformation is one of the main objectives in our lives as followers of Jesus.

The writers of the New Testament refer to this transformation as sanctification. It’s the lifelong process of growth, maturity, healing, and transformation that takes place in those who follow Jesus.

To be transformed is to be changed, restored, and healed.

To no longer be bound by the things that once enslaved us.

To be free and walking in the abundant life Jesus has on offer to us.

This is what Jesus desires to do in our lives.

And while transformation is one of the main objectives, it’s not something that comes naturally to us. On our own and in our own strength, we do not have the ability to transform ourselves.

Transformation is not merely an act of the will.

It’s by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The question is: how does the Holy Spirit transform us?

Let’s look at 3 key ways the Holy Spirit transforms us on the journey to becoming more like Jesus.

3 Ways the Holy Spirit Transforms Us

Renewing the Mind

The Holy Spirit transforms us by renewing our minds. He reshapes our thoughts and frameworks for how we view the world to align with God’s thoughts and ways.

As Paul writes in Romans 12:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In order to form us into the image of Jesus, the Holy Spirit must renew our minds. He works in us to correct our thought patterns so that we can have the mind of Christ (Philippians 3).

Michael Bird shares:

The mind renewed by the Spirit is able to discern the good, the pleasing, and the perfect purposes of God with a view to aligning their own attitudes and values with it.
The journey to deepen our discipleship to Jesus and be transformed often starts in our minds. For this reason, the Holy Spirit works in us to renew our mind and empower us to think differently.

Producing Fruit

The Holy Spirit also transforms us by producing fruit in our lives. Referred to in Galatians 5, the fruit of the Spirit are key indicators of a life that is being transformed.

Fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness are the metrics to measure when it comes to living a transformed life.

Jesus told us in John 15 that fruit is the byproduct of a life lived abiding in Him. And the fruit produced in our lives brings glory to the Father.

As the pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer asserts:

Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it.

The fruit of the Spirit is just that: of the Spirit.

It’s not something we can will into existence.

The Holy Spirit is the one who works in us to produce the fruit that glorifies the Father, which in turn reveals who God is to the world around us.

Empowering for Service

The Holy Spirit transforms us by empowering us for service, equipping us with gifts to build up the body of Christ and fulfill our God-given purposes.

Luke writes in Acts:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

The Holy Spirit is the dunamis power within us, giving us the ability to faithfully serve in God’s Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit equips us to love and serve our neighbors, revealing the Gospel of the Kingdom in our everyday lives.

The Holy Spirit and Formation

Author Kevin DeYoung writes:
The Bible expects that because God dwells in us by the Spirit, we can, by that same Spirit, begin to share in the qualities that are characteristic of God himself.

Through the Spirit, we are empowered to change. To be transformed. To be made new and live as citizens of God’s Kingdom.

Yet the process of sanctification is just that: a process.

Being made holy and becoming like Jesus is not something we can accomplish by willpower alone. We need power. We need presence. We need the Spirit to do in us and through us what we could never do on our own.

The Apostle Paul writes:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

God’s desire is to form us into the image of His Son.

And the process of formation is empowered by and accomplished through the Holy Spirit.

Our role in the process is to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

As Paul writes to the Church in Galatia:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

As we walk by the Spirit, keeping in step with Him, we position ourselves to be daily transformed. Continually shaped and molded into the image of Jesus.

The process of transformation is long.

But it’s worth it.

And it’s empowered by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead.

So, let’s surrender to the process and let the Holy Spirit transform us, from the inside out.

The Process of Sanctification

Transformation takes place across a lifetime.

It’s the lifelong process of being formed into the image of Jesus, day after day.

To explore this concept more, we created an online course called The Doctrine of Sanctification.

In this course, Dr. Joel Muddamalle explores the sanctification process of becoming more like Jesus and being conformed to His image. He delves into the concept of cheap grace and the cost of grace, emphasizing the need to live out the freedom and grace given to us.

After completing this course, you’ll be able to explain the:

If you’d like to learn more about the course, click here.

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