Transforming for Fun and Profit
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, 2nd Corinthians 11:13.
We have looked at the issue of renewing the believer's mind in the last couple of posts. We saw that we are instructed to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 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, Romans 12:2. The King James Bible has a 400 year track record of transforming the minds of individuals, churches, communities and nations.
The type of transforming that the Lord requires in his workers is a mental transformation. It is a transformation that takes place on the inward parts and is directed by the Spirit of God through the word of God. When a person's thinking changes, his outward behavior will change. His character will change for the better. That process of inward change is a never ending process. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day, 2nd Corinthians 4:16.
There is more than one way for people to transform themselves. God's way works through the word of God. Churches are full of people who have found substitute ways of transforming themselves. The word "transform" in any form is found only four times in our King James Bible. Only one of them is good and that is our afore referenced verse, Romans 12:2. As we saw in our opening verse, the devil transforms his workers. After all, he transformed himself; And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, 2nd Corinthians 11:14.
Since God transforms his people through the word of God, it only makes sense that the Devil would seek to change the word of God itself. We have seen that play out in the devil's dialog with Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Apostle Paul was mindful of that when he said; But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, 2nd Corinthians 11:3.
Sure enough, further down the passage three verses describe how the devil's workers are transformed. The passage wraps up with, Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works, 2nd Corinthians 11:15. The simple truth to all of this is that men have always sought to use religion to transform themselves into something acceptable to God. With religion comes shackles. The truth makes us free, religion imprisons.
There was a time when among Baptists and Protestants there was a wholesale effort to be utterly transformed by the words of God. Our hymnology is filled with testimonies to the saving grace of God and the glorious transformations that took place within.
1. Holy Bible, Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine:
Mine to tell me whence I came;
Mine to teach me what I am.
2. Mine to chide me when I rove,
Mine to show a Savior's love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard;
Mine to punish or reward.
3. Mine to comfort in distress,
Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show by living faith,
We can triumph over death.
4. Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner's doom:
O thou Holy Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.
By John Burton 1803
Or as Charles Wesley so aptly put it:
I want a principle within
Of jealous, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin,
A pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel
Of pride or fond desire,
To catch the wand'ring of my will,
And quench the kindling fire.
From Thee that I no more may part,
No more Thy goodness grieve,
The filial awe, the fleshly heart,
The tender conscience, give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.
Almighty God of truth and love,
To me Thy pow'r impart;
The mountain from my soul remove,
The hardness from my heart.
Oh, may the least omission pain
My reawakened soul,
And drive me to that blood again,
Which makes the wounded whole.
One of the fruits of the uncertainty of the new versions is the "wiggle your hinny" genre of music that has replaced our hymns. Churches full of people waving their hands over their heads and swaying is the modern substitute for the soul searching work of scripture. One astute anonymous observer of the modern church scene said, "they have replaced faith with worship". Since faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17, uncertain bibles have led to uncertain faith. Churches have thrown off the inward transforming power of the King James Bible and replaced it with the outward transforming power of hell.