Thursday, August 25, 2016

If we are already transfigured/transformed, do we need to be changed at the coming of Christ?

Dear in Christ,

People make a lot of assumptions and presumptions about the expression “we shall be changed” in 1Cor 15:51, 52. Here is the complete list of passages where the Greek word translated as changed here is used..
Act 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change[G236] the customs which Moses delivered us.
Rom 1:23 And changed[G236] the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
Gal 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change[G236] my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
Heb 1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed:[G236] but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
If we can't find any kind of metamorphosis into heavenly / spirit beings in these passages, what warrants such a metamorphosis in the following passage?
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed[G236].
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed[G236]

We are already changed (transfigured, metamorphosed)!

Consider the following passage where yet another Greek word is translated as changed.
2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory[G1391] of the Lord, are changed[G3339] into the same image from glory[G1391] to glory[G1391], even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Please note the Greek word translated as changed - G3339 in Strong's Lexicon, this word is μεταμορφόω (met-am-or-fo'-o). This is the Greek word from which the English word metamorphosis has been derived.

The passage talks about our being transfigured / transformed / metamorphosed into the image of Our Lord, with an ever increasing glory.

Do you know something? The Greek word translated here as changed is exactly the same as the word used to describe the transfiguration of Jesus Christ!
Mat 17:2 And was transfigured[G3339] before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. (See also: Mar 9:2)
Have you studied the passage where Peter alludes to the transfiguration scene?
2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming[G3952, Parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory[G1391], when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory[G1391], This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
At the transfiguration, what Our Lord received was glory (G1391, δόξα, dox'-ah) from God the Father. Now, compare this with 2Co 3:18: We are changed (transfigured, metamorphosed) into the same image of Our Lord (who is the Spirit), from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.

So, this is where we are: Glorified by the spirit, like Our Lord. If we are already transformed and glorified, do we need to be changed at the so-called second coming?

I do admit that this topic deserves a better treatment, knowing that 2Co 3:17, 18 is preceded by the a discussion on the limited glory and the then imminent obsolesce of the Law of Moses. Hope, some day I will give it a better expression or leave it to brilliant young men like Jonathan Forgor to expand it further.

In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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