My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
So it is that we come to the final month of 2019. We have walked together through Romans 12, and it has been quite a walk. We have listened as the apostle Paul has exhorted us to be a transformed people, not living in conformity to the world around us. He has challenged us to live lives in harmony with the salvation that we have in Christ. He has clarified our responsibility to use our gifts for the glory of the God who has saved us. He has written to us of the priceless value of love in all relationships and in all human connections, reminding us to love others as Christ loves them, regardless who they may be and regardless how they may feel and act toward us. He has insisted that we be active in our pursuit of good—that we be people who seek to live in peace with all humankind. In short, Paul longs for all people—including us—to be formed into Christ.
To be formed into something is to take the shape of that something. It is to become a close imitation. Being formed into Christ, then, is a process of transformation that changes us from what we were into what God wants us to be. It is a process that causes us to live above our human nature—a process that takes us farther and farther away from natural responses and natural behavior. Being formed into Christ means we live by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. It means the world will see Christ in us.