July 27, 2020
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
As I have previously shared, this summer I am working on a long anticipated book project. The book’s working title is The Second Half of the Gospel: Walking the Way of Great Awakening.
My assessment of the great tragedy of the present day church is that people most will go the first half of the gospel but not the second half. They make a decision to “believe” in Jesus but they do not “become” real disciples of Jesus. Our churches are filled with people who profess saving faith in Jesus Christ yet all too few live into the sanctifying fullness of the Holy Spirit.
There are at least two reasons for this failure: content and connection. First, there is a lack of clear teaching. The Christian faith gets presented as eternal life insurance on one hand and self-oriented prosperity on the other. We lift up pardon from the penalty of sin while failing to teach freedom from the power of sin. As a result of a lack of understanding, so many live far beneath the potential God freely gives us. Second, we do not have the kind of relationships it takes to sustain second half of the gospel transformation. So many who do grasp the implications of the fullness of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit fail to make significant progress because they are isolated in broken patterns of sin.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
So much is packed into this single verse of Scripture. If a single verse could capture the second half of the gospel it would be this one. There’s the movement from unveiling to beholding. Note also the passive dynamic of “being transformed,” moving from our broken identity into the wholeness of the very image of God. And note how it all happens: by the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t miss the most powerful two letter word in the opening: We.
Father, thank you for creating me in the image of your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for forgiving me for all the ways I have sinned and hidden from your holiness. When I hide from your holiness I forfeit your wholeness. Come Holy Spirit, and bring me into the kind of community in which I can be transformed, from one degree of glory to the next. In Jesus name, amen.
- How do you resonate with the concept of the second half of the gospel?
- Where do you find your development as a disciple of Jesus arrested or stalled?
P.S. Upcoming on the Daily Text
Next Monday, August 3, we begins our next Daily Text series: The Gospel of John. It will take us all the way to Advent. Please invite others to join us. Earlier this year I wrote a brand new Advent Study we are calling The Christian New Year. I am so excited about it and hope you will consider it for your church.
As always, What Happens in Corinth is available for pre-order now. Consider ordering a copy or two. It will bless you and help our sowing mission.
For the Awakening,