Peter received a new name, signifying a new element, and a new being. He was transformed. To be transformed is not simply to be changed outwardly; it is to have a new element added into your being. Transformation brings in a new element and eliminates the old element. To be transformed is to be both charged and discharged. We all need to be charged with Christ, just as a transformer is charged with electricity. When Christ is charged into us, He will discharge many old things. In this way we will be renewed and transformed. Transformation is not merely to have an outward change or correction. In the process of transformation a new element is added to replace the old. As this process continues, we become new and transformed. This is exactly what Peter experienced; the old clay Simon was discharged, and Peter became a precious stone.
In the local churches today we are all under the process of transformation. Day by day Christ is charging Himself into us, and He is discharging and carrying away all the old elements. This process of charging and discharging is transformation. Throughout the past years I have seen some amount of transformation, especially with the young people. Many young people in the local churches have been transformed without regulation or outward correction. Although no one tried to teach them or change them, they were transformed. Some new elements of Christ have been charged into them, causing a discharge of the old elements.
The transformation is for the building. In Matthew 13 we see the sower, the seed, the growth, and the transformation. The vegetables are transformed into minerals. Although we are wheat, we can become precious stones and pearls by transformation. Both precious stones and pearls are transformed items.
In Matthew 13 we cannot see the purpose of growth and transformation. For this, we need to proceed to Matthew 16. In this chapter we find a very significant statement: "You are a stone" (Matt. 16:18, Gk.). It is not sufficient just to recognize that the Lord Jesus is the Christ. We must also realize that we are stones. It is very good that we know Christ, but we must also know ourselves. Sisters, are you stones? I am afraid that tomorrow morning you may find that it is very easy to shed some tears. When you are about to cry you should remind yourself that you are a stone.
Furthermore, a stone will never lose its temper. Brothers, are you stones? What will you do if your wife gives you a difficult time tomorrow morning? Will you lose your temper? If you lose your temper, it indicates that, at least to a certain extent, you are not yet a stone—you are still clay.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)