Pastor Christopher Brock
December 30, 2023
Romans 12:2, King James Version
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect, will of God.”
I believe that when we think of the word metamorphosis one of the first examples that would come to mind is that of the caterpillar and the butterfly. Most of us remember this from our elementary school days when we learned about how the caterpillar goes into its cocoon and then later emerges as the beautiful butterfly. The process of this change is called a “metamorphosis” and this in fact reflects what happens in a person’s life when they become a Christian.
The definition of metamorphosis is as follows: a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. When we review the verse above, we see the word “transformed” and this is true in almost all translations. However, when we dig deeper and study the original Greek that was used, we see this word being the Greek word, “metamorphous the”. This is the where the English word metamorphosis is derived. This English word indicated a more fundamental change than the English word transform. There is something that takes places on the foundational level when metamorphosis occurs. It is not simply a change in something or a rearrangement of what already exists. It indicates that a to change to something completely different. So much so that what exists after the metamorphosis is unrecognizable when compared to what existed before the metamorphosis. This is just as we see in the example of the caterpillar and the butterfly.
In addition to the metamorphosis which takes place we also see the words “by the renewing of your mind” used. In this portion of the passage the original Greek uses the word “anakainoó”, which can literally be read as an ongoing renewal which is performed by God. This passage therefore indicates to us that a person, upon becoming a Christian goes through an initial metamorphosis in which they are changed into a new creation. However, this metamorphosis is not the end. Afterwards, God begins a process of renewal in that person’s life by which they are further changed and refined. Another definition that is used for the word renewal in this context is: moving from one stage to a higher, more developed, one.
As we can see, this process is neither a one-time occurrence nor is it something that a person is capable of doing on their own. There is an initial metamorphosis which occurs at the time a person believes in Christ, however, this point in time is not a destination but a beginning. It is from this point that the work of the Holy Spirit begins in the life of the Christian and over time, day by day, the Holy Spirit will change and refine a person preparing them path that the Lord has for them, a path that ultimately led to that person entering into heaven and being with the Lord for all of eternity.