Transitioning. The dictionary gives the definition, “Change from one form, state, style, or place to another.” To get into the grammatical weeds for a moment: it is a present participle (accomplished by adding ing to the verb). It is occurring at the moment.
Grammar lesson aside, it is important to note in the New Testament we find a great deal more about transitioning than we do transitioned. Christianity ought to effect ongoing change so that all of us are transitioning day by day from the sinful nature of man to the sinless nature of God.
Paul writes, 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
In contrast to disobedient Jews who cannot see the glory of the Father (which is beheld in the Son–Jn. 1:14, 18), the veil that hides the Father’s glory is lifted for those in Christ. This image of God’s glory that we behold transforms us as we continue to behold Him. Paul reminds his readers that God changes us. Put another way–by God’s power and grace we are transitioning towards His glory. Our role in this
transitioning is to maintain our obedient faith. But the cause of our transitioning is the Spirit of the Lord at work within us.
We are constantly bombarded with suggestive statements and thoughts to the effect that God changes or transitions toward us. It is a pleasing but deceptive statement that God “will meet you in the middle.” God is fully righteous and perfect in His holiness. He does not shed those attributes to meet us where we are. Instead, He makes it possible for our transitioning toward His righteousness and holiness to occur.
Of course, it begins with being in Christ. Until we have clothed ourselves or put on Christ (Gal. 3:27), we cannot draw near to the Father. If the false teachers of our day could be silenced on this one subject, the ranks of the obedient would multiply. We cannot put on Christ except by baptism. Could Paul have stated the case any better than what the Spirit instructed him to write in that verse?
Once we have put on Christ in baptism, we walk a lifelong walk of reconciliation. Reconciliation is related in meaning to transitioning. But reconciliation points to the source of this change. God reconciles man to Himself (Rom. 5:10). He doesn’t leave His holiness; He draws us to Him. He makes us holy in the blood of Christ and then commands us to remain holy in our behavior (1 Pt. 1:15).
Here again, the worldly view of God falls short of what the Scriptures teach. He NEVER reconciles Himself to us. And He NEVER co-reconciles together with us. He ONLY reconciles us to Him!
Estranged husbands and wives are reconciled when both admit wrong and agree to put their marriage above everything that each had put ahead of the marriage. God does not do that. He hasn’t put anything ahead of His desire to have fellowship with us. He made possible what we could not–a way to have eternal fellowship with Him. He provides everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pt. 1:3) and every spiritual blessing that we need (Eph. 1:3). He gives us His living and abiding word (1 Pt. 1:23) and through it makes us complete and adequate (2 Tim. 3:16-17) so that we might become, day by day, more like Him.
Transitioning: a present participle meaning to change from one form, state, style, or place to another. Are you? Do you still keep the ing on the end or have you been satisfied with an ed at the end?
Keep studying and keep serving! DC Brown ©2016