You’ve seen the advertisement hundreds of times – whether it’s for weight loss, orthodontia, men’s hair restoration, or home improvement.

I’m talking about the classic “before and after” ads.

You know: Here’s a picture of singer Tony Orlando before he lost over 100 pounds. Here he is now, svelte and buff. Here’s your mouth before you got braces. Here are your new, straight, pearly-white teeth.

The ads have been used over and over again because they’re so effective.

We love to see how something looked before it was improved, fixed, or corrected, and then compare it with the “new and improved” version.

For every believer in Christ, there’s a before and after story. Jesus never touches a life without changing it completely. Before, we were dead in sin. Now, we are alive in Christ. Before, we were lost and perishing. Now, we are saved and secure. Before, we were orphaned and alone. Now, we are members of God’s family – all because of Jesus!

The Bible says that, throughout our Christian lives, God desires to continue a work of transformation in us. Paul writes:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind... (Romans 12:2).

Notice the second instruction in this verse: “Be transformed.” The Greek word here provides the root of our word metamorphosis. The word means “to change the essential nature of something.”

This isn’t just a resurfacing of our old life. It’s a completely new life in Christ.

“Be transformed” is a present tense command, which means that God intends for us continually and consistently to allow ourselves to be transformed. This process never stops.

It’s also a passive command. God is not saying: “Transform yourself.” Most of us have probably already tried that, and we’ve discovered it’s impossible. We have a hard time even altering our behavior, much less changing the essence of who we are. We just can’t do it.

Instead, God is saying, “Let Me transform you. Let Me change you into what I want you to be in Jesus Christ.”

How are we transformed? By renewing our minds. By allowing the Holy Spirit and Word of God to change us from the inside out.

Have a great day and keep moving forward!