Transformation is an important concept all throughout the bible. Most people think about the word inadequately, which can make for a lesser understanding of the miracles that are worked in their lives. For instance, people might think of someone transforming a hardtop sedan into a convertible. Or they might think of a person transforming a room by painting it and covering up the flaws. But this is not usually what is meant by transformation in the bible. The nature of the sedan is still the same, and it is still recognizable as its earlier form. The painted room is still the same room with the same capacity and the same flaws. The flaws are just covered up with paint. When the bible talks about transformation, it is talking about real change. It means that something will change from one kind of thing into something entirely different. Transformation is all-encompassing and permanent. Transformation is a caterpillar changing into a butterfly, which does not turn back into a caterpillar. I have a friend who changed his riding lawn mower into a log splitter. He re-worked everything on that mower’s chassis. And when he was done, he had transformed the machine permanently and unmistakably. The new machine was barely discernible from the old. Just consider the word’s roots: “trans,” meaning across or beyond, and “form,” meaning visible shape or configuration. Transform means to change something across or beyond forms.
And it is transformative change that the bible presents when God touches a person’s life. There are many examples of people so moved by God’s power that they become completely different. Peter, Paul, and all of the apostles. But also a demon possessed common man (Mark 5:1-20), and a dying thief who was transformed into a saint (Luke 23:32-43).
This same power that transformed them can also transform you. Paul instructs us to be transformed by changing the way we think about God (Romans 12:2). If you do that, then God will make you into something totally different than what you were before, and he won’t stop until you are perfect (Philippians 1:6).