Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
If we look to our culture to determine what good character is, we find a moving target. There is no pattern or blueprint for what we are to become. The thoughts, attitudes and behavior we say ‘yes’ to and which we are to say ‘no’ to are culturally determined and are constantly changing. The result of having no blueprint is a chaos of character. But we, as Christians, do have a blueprint. His name is Jesus.
Our text says that we are being transformed into God’s likeness. What is God’s likeness? Perfection. Matthew 5:48 says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Our heavenly Father, the creator and sustainer of the universe, is the embodiment of everything that is good, perfect, wholesome, merciful, pure and loving. It isn’t that He conforms to some outward standard of perfection, His character is perfection. Jesus demonstrated what God’s character looks like. When He was beaten and crucified, He forgave His enemies. He loved His disciples in spite of their flaws. He saw the best in people. He gave freely and unreservedly. Even His enemies acknowledged that He lived a flawless life, a perfect life. When we are transformed into the image of God, we are becoming more like Jesus. In Jesus we have a definite, unmoveable pattern or blueprint for character transformation.
However, becoming like Jesus is impossible without supernatural power. Unless we have our sins forgiven and have the indwelling Holy Spirit at work within us, we will only be conformed to cultural norms, not to an absolute standard. Our culture is unraveling because we don’t know what ideal character is or how to move from being governed by our natural impulses to God’s standard of excellence. We, as Christians, however, know what our ideal is (Jesus), how to get there (through inner transformation), and we know that God’s Holy Spirit is at work in us to enable us to become what He has called us to become – like Him. We spend time with Jesus to learn from Jesus how to be like Jesus.