We All ... Are Transfigured
The apostle takes hold of that very word, and says: "We all ... are transfigured into the same image." I am glad he uses that little word with its so comprehensive meaning - "we all ..." He is not talking only about himself and his fellow-workers, brothers in the work; he is talking about the Corinthians and all believers. "We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transfigured into the same image." He takes hold of that same word, and brings it over to all saints; making of that which had been perfected and completed in the Lord Jesus a continuous process in the life of believers. He is but saying: What was completed and perfected in that One, has now to be reproduced in us progressively; that perfection, that character, that personality - the personality of the Lord Jesus - perfected, brought into us, developed in us, manifested through us. For "personality," we could equally well substitute the word "character."
Now the first thing to note about this, which is, of course, so helpful and encouraging, is where the apostle finishes this statement, "as by the Spirit Who is the Lord." With all that we know about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Person and the work of the Holy Spirit, all the effects of the Spirit's advent and indwelling, let us recognize this as supreme: The inclusive work of the Holy Spirit, in all His manifold activities, is one thing - to reproduce the Lord Jesus in a people. When you pray about the Holy Spirit, and you speak about the Holy Spirit, remember that. The Holy Spirit's supreme and comprehensive object is to reproduce the Lord Jesus, in His character, His personality, His perfected manhood or humanity, in a people.
This is very testing to you and to me. If we really contemplate it - and it has challenged my own heart to the point of making me very hesitant to speak freely - the test of the Holy Spirit having His way in your life and mine, the proof that He is there and that He is doing His work is our transfiguration. In other words: Is what Christ is in His perfect humanity becoming more and more true of us, in our natures, in our hearts? The real test of a Spirit-governed life lies here: the progressive increase of the character of Christ. If we are going to meet one another as really Spirit-governed men and women, what we must meet in one another is the Lord Jesus; and that must be, not just today, not just in one time of our lives, but going on, going on all the time.
(continued with # 23 - "Transfigured Through the Liberation of the Spirit")