Archive for transformation

Transformation!

Posted in Spiritual Formation, Transformation with tags , , on August 14, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Spiritual Transformation is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit!

  • Genesis 1:27 says the Spirit was involved in the creation process.
  • John 16:8 says the Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgement.
  • John 3:8 says the Spirit breathes life into us.
  • John 14:17 says the Spirit resides in us.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 says the Spirit inspired the Scriptures for us.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18; 5:18 says the Spirit transforms us.

The Holy Spirit is our helper and our sanctifier but we have a role to play in the transformation process. In Acts 2:37-39 the Apostle Peter called the crowd on the Day of Pentecost to repent, be baptized and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The core element of spiritual transformation is your heart! Your heart is the epicenter of your life that directs and motivates everything. The problem is your heart is deceitful above all else (Jer 17:9). Our hearts are totally depraved because apart from Christ we are dead in our sin (Romans 3:8-10) and the answer isn’t more education but reconciliation with God which leads to a reformation of the heart.

Reformation of the heart begins with acknowledging that we are inherently sinful and that we need to repent and have genuine remorse over our sinfulness. I think one of the reasons why we don’t see more genuine transformation in our lives at times is because we aren’t genuinely repentant and remorseful of our sin.

Faith in Jesus Christ, being the Son of God and that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) is essential. Faith in God worships God as God and builds a close relationship with God through the Scriptures and prayer. Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of Christ. Daily communion with God positions us to be sanctified by the word of truth (Jn 17) and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Repentance and faith leads us to being apart of the Community of faith = Church! To be a Christian and not be a part of a local church is to disobey God and remove yourself from the very environment that God chooses to use to shape and mold your faith and new creation nature. Some of us run away from church the moment there’s an issue but we are missing the point. It’s as we embrace the wrestle and tensions of the things that irritate us and challenge us about people within the church that God uses, in part, to shape and mold us.

Build your future on biblical truth that leads to spiritual transformation. Spiritually transformed people love God with all their heart, soul and strength.

Be the Change!

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Spiritual Transformation!

Posted in Spiritual Formation, Transformation with tags , , on August 12, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3 Times in the Scriptures, the word “Transformed” is used (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 3:18; Phil 3:21). The word ‘Transformed’ in the Greek translated through to English is the word, ‘Metamorphosis’ and it means a change of form or a change of character. In the study of Biology, it means “a process of change in structure that results in a change of behaviour.” The same word is used to describe the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly in a cocoon.

God intends each of us to experience a spiritual transformation as radical as the physical transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly…and then some. When a caterpillar enters the cocoon, everything about the animal changes, except the heart. When we are saved, we enter into the process of sanctification = being conformed to the image of Christ. This transforming work includes and centers on the heart. Hence why Proverbs 4:23 exhorts us to, “Guard your heart, for out if it flows the wellspring of life”.

I think the reality is we will all be transformed to one degree or another. The question is, in whose image will we be transformed into? We all become who we are according to the image we consistently behold. Gen 1:26-27 tells us we are made in the image of God but because of Genesis 3 and our rebellion against God, we are inherently selfish and sinful beings. Hence why we need to be saved and experience the transforming work of Christ on the cross and the help of the Holy Spirit.  What image are we pre-occupied with – Self or Christ?

Colossians 3:10 “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

I think one of the reasons why spiritual transformation breaks down is because we lack vision of what a Gospel-centered life looks like. Without a vision of life in obedience to the teachings of Jesus we settle for a vision of our selves in a fallen world. The culture around us makes it easy for us to be focused on our selves and not on Christ.

Every single one of us, apart from Christ, is addicted to ourselves and we need to be set free from our self-sufficiency. Spiritual transformation is not a ‘life enhancement’ project that helps you become a better you. Sanctification is the process of developing the life of Christ inside of you that can only be sustained by the work of the Spirit inside of you as well.

Be the Change!

Innovare!

Posted in church, Spiritual Formation, Transformation with tags , , on June 3, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

One of our 3 core values as a faith community is “Innovative Leadership”. To innovate is to make changes and bring in new ideas. The word innovation comes from the root Latin word, “Innovare” and it means to renew, start again and initiate change.

I love this concept and I love doing exactly this in my life and ministry. When we encounter Christ we immediately encounter change. When you get transformed by Christ, the old has gone, the new has come and you enter into the process of sanctification as the Holy Spirit begins to make you more like Christ. God intends for us to be new creations in Christ Jesus.

Churches are the ultimate epi-centres of “Innovare” because we are all about helping people start again, embrace spiritual transformation and be renewed in our thinking and lifestyles. Where is God “Innovare-ing” in your life and where are you helping others have their own “Innovare” encounter with Christ?

Lead the Change!

7 Stages of Spiritual Maturity!

Posted in Spirituality with tags , , on January 10, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Our Christian walk can be broken down into 7 distinct stages and each of these stages marks our journey toward spiritual maturity:

  1. We begin with comfort as we come to Christ.
  2. From comfort we move to connection as we begin to embrace the people & values of the kingdom
  3. Through our connection we become aware of the cause as we begin to see our Christian life in the greater context of the mission of the Church.
  4. The cause brings us to a place of commitment as we decide to play our part in the greater context.
  5. Once we begin to get committed it’s generally only a short time before life will send crisis our way as our faith is tested.
  6. Through crisis we move to a place of conviction as our core values are firmly established.
  7. Finally, through a life driven by our convictions, we reap a lifestyle of consistency.

I find these 7 stages a helpful way of thinking about my own development toward spiritual maturity and the development of the people in my congregation that I lead. 

Unfortunately I think many believers are stuck in the first 2 stages. They desire comfort and connection but never move to being committed to the cause. It would be easy to think that commitment to the cause is the climax of our spiritual walk but until our commitment is tested through crisis and we respond with conviction, we will lack the consistency that is needed to truly walk in spiritual maturity.

Lead the Change!

Follow that trail!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

One of the things i enjoy about going away on holidays is going for a run in foreign locations and exploring the sights and sounds of a new environment. Often when running in a place i am not familiar with i will come across various walking tracks or trails that take my curiosity and compel me to run down them. Sometimes i run along it for a while and come to a dead end but most of the time running down the new trail reveals new sounds and breathtaking sights. Different trails take you to different places and give you different experiences.

We can have a similar experience spiritually. Week after week we hear sermons, read the bible, listen to podcasts, discuss spiritual issues with fellow believers and share our faith in Jesus with others. In other words we’re running the race of faith and during the run God takes something we’ve just heard or observed and it sets off a train of thought in our minds or a deep processing of the heart.

These seminal moments are God’s divine invitations to follow a trail into new spiritual experiences and theological conclusions that will transform your life. Some of these trails seem risky, even dangerous but they call you and beckon you to run down them because you sense that what is at the end of the trail is worth the journey.

The greatest spiritual growth in my life has come out of following these holy trails of thought than almost anything else in my spiritual experience. It’s not often what the preacher is saying that changes you, it’s what God is saying behind what the preacher is saying that transforms you.

Ignore these trails at your own peril. Don’t ignore that pesty thought or idea that keeps coming up in your mind as you are listening to a sermon or reading the word. This is either God’s invitation to abundant life or the devils distraction to a destructive life.

God often does his best work along these trails so let your curiosity get the better of you and follow that trail.

Lead the Change!

When God changes you!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 17, 2008 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Have you ever been conscious of God working in your life and transitioning you from one way of living and looking at the world to another way of living and looking at the world.

Most of us seem to skim through life and fail to notice the subtle changes that God is provoking in us but of late i have been conscious of God’s spirit at work in my own heart changing the way i think and the way i interact with the world around me.

This is exciting and scary at the same time. My ideas are becoming more creative and i am looking at the world through a different lens than i did even 12 months ago. I feel this sense of anticipation about what God is going to produce through me as a result of these changes.

Where is God at work in you today? Are you too busy to even notice? Do you sense God’s spirit wanting to tweak some things inside of you or are you just barreling ahead without paying attention to His whispers?

I challenge you today to take time out to reflect on what God is wanting to tweak in you. He has a plan for your life that requires growth and development on your part. The more you are open to his working inside of you the more you will become sensitive to the changes happening to you.

Lead the Change!

From Church to Kingdom

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2008 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

One of the paradigm shifts we need to make is from being church centered to kingdom focused.

Jesus came to earth preaching the gospel of the kingdom not just the gospel of salvation. There is a difference. The gospel of Matthew talks about the gospel of the kingdom being preached to the ends of the earth and then the end will come. Jesus encouraged the disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

The Father’s priority is the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth not just churches growing bigger for its own sake. A big church with little impact in the world is not fulfilling God’s intention for the church. Christ intended the church to transform society not just attract large crowds. God has called us to build an influential church not just a large church.

We will be a large church but we must also be a sending church that doesn’t just swell in size but sends people out to be salt and light in the world – this is what God’s kingdom coming to earth is all about.

We must get beyond thinking just about individual transformation and start thinking about discpling nations because after all Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Transformation begins with individuals and ends in nations.

Let’s embrace a ‘kings domain’ mindset. A mindset that aims to see more and more of Australia become apart of the King of Kings domain because after all that’s what Jesus came to establish on earth.

Lead the Change!