2 Corinthians 3:18
“We all . . . are being transformed into the same image” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV).
“Blessed are those who aim at nothing for verily they shall hit it!” states a popular proverb. We need to know what we’re aiming at-in our jobs, marriages, responsibilities, and our relationship with God. As we enter a new year, what is your goal in life? What do you want to accomplish? I want to . . . “survive with sanity,” “build a good marriage with successful children,” “make a bundle,” “become like Jesus,” “maintain good health and happiness,” or perhaps “be filled with the Spirit.” None of those objectives are bad, though some are more worthy than others. If we want our goals in life to fit together and not compete, we’ve got to set an ultimate purpose that brings all the others together. Paul gives us a good goal: “We all . . . are being transformed into the same image” (2 Corinthians 3 :18, NKJV).
To be like Jesus! Now there’s an objective that will purify and focus all our other goals. But why did God choose such a lofty plan for us? God created us based on His design. We’re designed in some mysterious sense as models of the God who created us. God created us, but we rebelled against His purpose. We call that rebellion the fall. We became a fallen or broken model of God. Because of the fall, we can’t always act like Jesus. We fail to have His attitude about people or His kind of relationship with the Father. But God has a reconstruction program to take us-broken models of Himself-and re-make us into His likeness. Before we come to know Jesus, we are all on the downward spiral away from God. His purpose is to turn us around and spiral us up toward ever greater likeness to Jesus: “We all . . . are being transformed into the same image.” Before God could transform us, He had to get our attention and reveal Himself to us. So we examine the Spirit’s role in revealing God to humanity; “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; mate and female he created them” (Genesis 1 :27).
If you wanted to know what God expects of you or plans for you, how would you find out? Jesus is our model of what God is like. He is our standard. He is our goal. We don’t know much about Jesus apart from the Bible. Besides, the Bible teaches us not only about Jesus but also about God and what He expects of us. The Bible is God’s revelation of His will for us; it’s our only sure road map for life.
How can I know the Bible is reliable? (See 2 Timothy 3 :16-17; Matthew 5:17-18). Some folks say, “Try it and see for yourself.” That’s good common-sense advice, but the “what works is true” test won’t do to prove the validity of the Bible. What if my attempts to follow the Bible don’t seem to work all that well? I try to do what I think the Bible teaches and everything comes unglued. Does that mean the instruction manual is unreliable, that it led me astray? Or does it mean I misread it and must study it more carefully? The bottom line is this: Jesus fully trusted the Scriptures. And I’m not smarter than He! We have to lay a solid foundation. Some folks are impatient with foundation laying. They want to get on with the exciting truths about how to experience the God intended life. They are like the home builder who’s so excited about the Jacuzzi for the second-floor master bedroom that he neglects laying a solid foundation. Too bad for the Jacuzzi and its occupant if the foundation is poor! We need to be sure of our foundation and our goal.