Scriptural Gem for March 2014

In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 we read: 'For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also transform themselves into servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.'

In the previous Scriptural Gem (Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18) we saw that Paul uses the word 'Metamorphoo' (transfigured) to describe what happens to us as Christ is revealed in us more and more. In our scripture above, he uses quite another word, although it is also translated as 'transformed' in most Bible translations. The Greek word used here is 'Metaschematizo' and the literal translation is 'to transform oneself'. The difference between 'Metamorphoo' and 'Metaschematizo' is striking. Note the middle part of 'Meta-schema-tizo' - 'schema'. In Greek this means a 'plan' or 'diagram'. So, Paul uses this word to describe someone who is transforming themselves into something else using a 'plan' or 'diagram' and in this case with specific reference to Satan and false apostles or ministers attempting to look like the real thing. However, think about this for a moment. Is this not exactly what so many Christians are doing? Do they not also have a clear 'diagram' of what a Christian is 'supposed' to do, 'supposed' to look like and then set about trying to 'do' and 'be' that? Paul calls this a 'masquerade' which is the secondary translation of the word 'Metaschematizo'.

The question dear friend, is which one of these two words describes you best? Are you being transfigured by the very presence and power of the living Christ in your life or are you using a detailed plan or description of Christianity to attempt to transform yourself into a 'christian'... Let it go. Let it go today. Repent before the Living God for trying to do something that only He can do. Unless of course you are quite happy with a 'masquerade'...

Lord Jesus, cleanse us and make your home in us that we may be transfigured into genuine Christians. Amen.