I. THE SPIRIT’S TRANSFORMING IS
THE WORKING OUT OF THE SPIRIT’S RENEWING
I purposely use the word transforming here, not the noun transformation. Transformation refers to a fact, whereas transforming indicates that something is going on.
According to Romans 12:2 transforming is by the renewing of our mind, including our emotion and will, that is, our entire soul. Renewing is to deal with our oldness. We need to be renewed because we are old, even stale. Transforming is to bring forth Christ in newness. To be made new you need some new element added into you through the resurrection of Christ. Something within us is going on positively and subjectively. That is the resurrection of Christ. Actually, that is the pneumatic Christ. The pneumatic Christ is the resurrecting Spirit. The resurrecting Spirit is the reality of Christ’s resurrection, which is working within us all the time to bring in Christ. Thus, a new element is dispensed into us to renew us, and this results in transformation. Transformation is a further step of the sanctifying Spirit.
II. TRANSFORMING IS A METABOLISM
Transforming is a metabolism to bring in a new element. This element is the riches of the Triune God embodied in Christ, who today is the pneumatic Christ, the resurrecting Spirit. He is the new element. This transforming brings in the new element and discharges the old element — the rotten things of Adam. This is a metabolism to take away Adam and to replace Adam with Christ.
Transformation is a big replacement, but this does not mean that our being is taken away absolutely. It takes away only the fallen part of our being, and it keeps the part created and redeemed by God. Thus, the transforming of the sanctifying Spirit takes away the old, fallen part of our being and keeps our created, redeemed, and regenerated part for this part to grow, to be enlarged, and to increase until it will be matured in the processed Triune God. The new element is added into the God-created, redeemed, and regenerated part to increase that part with what God is. Then the divine element is mingled with the human element and constituted into the human element to make this constitution the organism of the Triune God. This organism is the Body of Christ.
III. TRANSFORMING IS A PROCESS
THROUGH DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Transforming is a process bringing our old man through the death of Christ (2 Cor. 4:16) and carrying on our new man in the resurrection of Christ (2 Cor. 4:11; Phil. 3:10). In Philippians 3:10 Paul said that he desired to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and to be conformed to the death of Christ. This means we need to be shaped, to be fashioned, by the death of Christ through the power of resurrection and with the element of resurrection.
The farmers who grow fruit trees know that the trees need fertilizer. If you do not fertilize the tree, the fruit will still come out but in a kind of poor condition. But if you add the proper amount of fertilizer, the fruit comes out in a richer way. That is a picture of transformation. The principle of transformation can be seen in God’s creation. Without transformation, there is no growth in life. Growth in life means to pass through death and to enter into resurrection. In the spiritual realm, the death and resurrection are Christ’s and the element is Christ Himself. His death and resurrection bring Him into us as the new element to transform us. In this transformation, there are the metabolism, the mingling, the constitution, and the organism, which is the Body of Christ.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)