The Starting Point of Spiritual Transformation
All spiritual transformation is the result of the Spirit removing the veil from our minds and allowing us to see the glory of God uncovered in the One who is his image, Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians Paul makes his case by building on the account in Exodus 34:33-35, where Moses had to veil the brightness of God’s glory on his face after he received the Ten Commandments. Paul maintains that, in a sense, the glory of God is still veiled from unbelieving Jews, for “their minds were hardened” and “only in Christ is [the veil] set aside” (2 Cor 3:14). “To this very day,” he continues, “whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds,” for they cannot see that all Scripture points to Jesus (2 Cor 3:15).
“When one turns to the Lord the veil is removed” (2 Cor 3:16). Christ alone uncovers the true God for us. All who know God through Christ may “with unveiled faces” see “the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror.” And as we behold this glory we are “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18). In other words, when our unveiled minds behold the radiant beauty of the true God in Jesus Christ, we are transformed into his beauty.
As we receive the love of God in Christ, we are transformed into his love. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we gradually become like Jesus. Our transformation is dependent on the picture of God we embrace in our mind and heart. And the picture God gives us is Jesus.
The truth of the gospel is still “veiled to those who are perishing,” for “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:3-4). To believers, however, “the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ … has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). Believers have received a light that the veiled minds of nonbelievers cannot receive. Consequently, believers are enabled to trust God, who is as glorious as the One who is his true image. They are no longer in bondage to the lies of Satan, for they see who God truly is: Jesus Christ. He is a God who loves them to the point of becoming human and dying a hellish, godforsaken death for them on the cross of Calvary.
—Adapted from Is God to Blame? pages 31-33.