WHAT IS TRANSFORMATION? by Bishop Dr. J. Akin Atere




SUB-TEXT: 2COR. 3:18




Transformation is a complete or major change in appearance, form, character, nature, life etc. it is metamorphosis “A profound change in form from one stage to the other in the life history of an organism”, like a caterpillar born with the life that causes it to become a butterfly. As long as it eats, its metabolism takes the nutrients, assimilated them into the caterpillar and causes it to grow, eventually, the caterpillar changes and becomes real, genuine butterfly. This happened when we are regenerated or experience a rebirth with God’s life to become children of God. When our lives transform into the image of Christ. Like the caterpillar, when we have to stay in the process by eating the WORD. Jesus confirmed this in John 6:35 “And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: He that comes to me shall never hunger, and He that believes on me shall never thirst”.

We start a process as in2Cor. 3:18“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 by the Spirit of the Lord”. Christ must be fully formed in us. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,” (Gal.4:19). We cannot transform ourselves, but can be transformed by cooperating with the Lord. He worked out in us change or renewal from a life that no longer confirms to the ways of the world to one that pleases Him (God). This is accomplished by the renewing of our minds, an inward transformation that will manifest itself in outward actions of bearing fruits in every good works and growing in the knowledge of God. Col. 1:10; Eph. 2:13; Romans 8:29 confirmed that as believers, we are not trying to become something we are not because our ongoing transformation is about living out in real term what has been secured for all times. As Paul said about the Corinthians, you used to be immoral (1Cor. 6:9-11) but you have been washed. The old has gone, the new has come 2Cor. 5:17. Christ now lives within. What Paul is saying here is that I have been transformed in Christ Jesus; I have lost my original shape and form. What was his original form? – an instrument of oppression, the arrester and persecutor of brethren, an enemy of Christ and Christ’s followers, etc. A transformed life will suddenly discover that he has lost the capacity to do certain things. Capacity to tell lies, to defraud, to fight for himself, to be rebellious, to be disobedient 1John 3:8-10.

A transformed person’s affection will be changed to Jesus Christ; his thinking will be in line with the kingdom thinking. It will be unthinkable for the cup on the master’s table be used in the toilet. Likewise if acclaimed Born Again is acting wickedly, his transformation has not started. Col. 3:1-4. A transformed life is a life that rebuked Satan every day. Zech. 3:1-4.

His friends and company will change in Mark 5, Jesus healed a mad man living among the swine and dead. Immediately his healing and salvation was completed, Jesus told him to go home to his family. He could no longer live among the dead. When your company changed, your location will also change. He can no longer be at beer palour, joint, brothel. He will also move from poverty to riches, sickness to roboust health, disability to ability, trouble to peace, from Egypt to the Promised Land. Exo. 15:26. Jesus Himself said that a change of territory will bring us relieve in Matt. 11:28 “Come to me all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”


There must be correct understanding of the scriptural truth that Holy Spirit is God’s power that can transform lives (Eph. 4:15; 1Cor. 14:20)

The growth process involves over powering the pull of the flesh and replacing them with the character of Jesus. As long as we remained human and imperfect, our nature is subject to degenerate (1John 1:8). But when you replace with character of Jesus this will happen as in (1John 3:9) compare 1Cor. 6:18.

The formula to overcome sin is presented by Paul in Eph. 4:22-24“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” The old man in us is our carnal, selfish, soulistic nature which is hostile to God. Rom.8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be”.

Our former self must be put to a symbolic death through the water baptism Rom 6:1-4. There must be evidence of miracle work of God in changing the worst of us through His transforming power as experienced by Paul. He describes it as liberation from slavery Rom. 6:16; Col. 3:5. It must be evident in you the process of engaging to harness the power in the word of God Heb. 4:12. Paul acknowledge Bible Study as necessary tool.

A complete turnaround as Paul illustrated in Eph. 4:28-32. Another example is our way of communication. It is an accurate indicator of our dominant nature controlled by Jesus Himself Matt. 12:34-37, James talk of unbridle tongue in James 3:6 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. One who is transformed, His words should spring from a well of life Prov. 10:11; Col. 4:6

Paul lists the fruits that should characterize those who are transformed in his letter to the Galatians 5:22-23. You must stir up the gift of God’s spirit within us (2Tim 1:6). It is through Jesus dwelling in us that we can live a new godly life Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:13-14. We can be redeemed from every lawless deeds and ………as His own special people Titus 2:14

A very passionate imitation is extended to those Christians yet to be transformed in Heb. 4:14-16; 12:1-3.


The entire transformation process and fruits we have discussed concerns the wonderful conversion that God through Christ and power of the Holy Spirit makes in us. The final and most dramatic aspect will occur at the resurrection of the dead when Jesus returns. Apostle Paul reveal what will happen in 1Cor. 15:50-54. Daniel 12:2-3 also speaks on this marvelous occurrence and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth.

Finally, Paul describes the unquantifiable conclusion of all that God is doing for us in Phil. 3:20-21. His advice and exhortation to Titus is part of our heritage in 2:12-14.


  1. Purification of hearts – 1John 1:7
  2. Eternal life – John 6:52-54
  3. Fellowship with God, restored – Rom. 5:8-9; Eph. 2:13
  4. Cleanses him from guilt – Heb. 9:14
  5. Sanctifies him – Heb. 13:12
  6. Reconcile him with God – Col. 1:20-22
  7. Gives him boldness to enter God’s presence – Heb. 10:19-22
  8. Makes him perfect in the sight of God – Heb. 10:14


  1. How can we identify a transformed person? 2Cor. 3:18; Col. 1:10; Eph. 2:13; or Rom. 8:29; 1Cor. 6:10-11
  2. What are the fruits God expects transformed life to bear? Eph. 4:15; 1Cor. 14:20; Rom. 8:6-7; Rom. 6:4; Eph. 4:28
  3. How do you understand the message of Heb. 4:14-16; 12:1-3?
  4. Discuss our ultimate transformation – 1Cor. 15:50-54; Dan. 12:2-3
  5. Mention those things a transformed life enjoyed from the blood of Christ.