Galatians 4:19

Galatians 4:19
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "Luke 17:10

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Running the race of Christformation

Christformation In You Ministries

Running the Race of Christformation


Hebrews 12:1-4 (New International Version)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

We often hear of the phrase ‘running the race’. Why was this phrase often used. What ‘race’ is this? Why race? Why not a slow jog, brisk walking or slow walk?

The one same answer to all these questions above is that the race has already been ‘marked out’ for us by the Lord, the Author and the Perfecter of our race of faith..

According to Hebrews chapter 12 verses 1-4, we see the requirements of our God in this race marked out for us. We need perseverance on our part to run this race or else we will fail.

Cloud of Witnesses

There is always a crowd invited to watch or witness the running of a race. The crowd is for the cheering, wooing, clapping and encouraging of all participants of that race

In this race marked out for us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself we have a ‘cloud of witnesses’ too. What is this cloud of witnesses? Rather, who are they? Why are we being surrounded by these witnesses? What are they watching for? Let’s look at the verses below in chapter 11 of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:32-40 (New International Version)

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect

“God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” Hebrews 11: 40

What is that which ‘God had planned better for us’? As new covenant believers what is better for us than old covenant believers ? The marked difference between the Old and the New Testament believers is that in the Old Testament, all of God’s people then were judged by their physical obedience to God, whereas the New Testament Christians by our spiritual obedience to the Holy Spirit.
To explain it further, in the Old Testament times there were the ceremonial laws, physical laws such as circumcision, bodily cleanliness laws, priesthood laws, physical structure laws for the tabernacle of Moses and the temple building, laws related to the ark of the covenant which they had to strictly follow or face the death penalty by stoning.

In contrast to the New Testament times today, we will not be judged by our physical obedience but by our spiritual obedience to the Holy Spirit our Helper whom the Father has sent through His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Laws of God are written in our new hearts, in our new born again spirit. The Holy Spirit will remind us of these truths and convict us of three important things in our heart and renewed mind. He will convict us of the sins we commit from our sinful nature that will defile us if we yield to that specific temptation.He will urge us to put to death the sinful nature within us. The second important thing He will convict us about is the righteousness of Christ that needs to fill our lives all the time. The third thing that He will convict us about is where we stand in God eyes through Christ and reminds us that Satan stands condemned before God eternally with all his fallen angels. We will suffer the same punishment eternally, if we disobey His constant leading in us.

Noah was given specific measurements for the Ark he was told to build. Disobedience to that would have cost him his own life and the life of the seven others with him in that Ark. Moses was similarly given specific items to build the Tabernacle with. The physical and tiresome journey from out of Egypt into the land of Canaan made the Israelites disobey some of God’s commandments. They were punished with physical death. They were required to obey God physically.

In the New Testament, we are required to obey the Holy Spirit who leads us to full Christformation in us. In the Old Testament, those who strictly obeyed God’s commandments with their physical obedience had Christ formed in them. Those who did not obey died or were destroyed along the way.

You may ask how Christ can be formed in those who did not meet or experience Christ themselves as we have done. The answer to that is, as they obeyed and met the requirements of God with pysical obedience, for example, the circumcision, Christ got formed in them.

All the requirements of the Old Testament pointed to Christ who was to be revealed soon to the world, The Seven feast of the Lord, the articles in the Tabernacle of Moses, the priesthood garments, the Ark of the Covenant, the ceremonial laws, the physical journey from Egypt to Canaan were all Christformation in them whenever or wherever they obeyed.

Peter 1:10-12 (New International Version)

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Today, if we obey the Holy Spirit in us alone (who leads us to all truth), Christ gets formed in us.

If that was the case, why is the ‘cloud of witnesses’ watching how we run the race marked out for us?

This is so because we have taken over the ‘baton’ from them and are running towards the finishing line. They are watching and cheering us on so that we will finish our race with much perseverance till the end, a race which they themselves began and would like it completed with full Christformation in all of us. They lived to please the Author of their faith during their times and are waiting eagerly to witness the Perfecter of our faith bring full Christformation in us into completion.

Let’s study these verses carefully that speaks of the physical and spiritual differences.

1 Corinthians 15:40-58 (New International Version)
There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, for we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:
"Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death is your victory?
Where, O death is your sting?"[The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”.
Perseverance to run the race till the end is required, but first, before we ‘run the race’ we need to do something, without which, we will fail.

Throw off Everything that Hinders

In order for us to run with perseverance and ‘win’ or ‘gain’ the crowns offered to each triumphant and more-than-an-overcomer coveted ‘prize’, we need to throw off everything that hinders full- Christformation in us. First, what are these crowns, if they are not full- Christformation in us?
Aren’t these crowns called crowns of righteousness, eternal life in Christ, salvation, joy or glory found only in Christ? Don’t all these crowns speak of full–Christformation in us? Isn’t the righteousness of Christ supposed to be formed in us fully? Doesn’t the eternal life of Christ form in us? Don’t we have to work out salvation with fear and trembling to gain Christ fully in us? Or else, why do we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, if not for full-Christformation in us.

What exactly is it that we need to ‘throw off’? What is this ‘everything’ that hinders? Hinders What?

‘Everything’ that is in our sinful nature which has been sown in us by Satan through Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we need to throw off. Why do we need to throw off the sinful nature? The sole reason is that, full-Christformation in us will be hindered if it’s not ‘thrown off’. We have to overcome all the power of the enemy in order for full Christformation in us.

How do we throw off the sinful nature from us? Is it possible to throw off the sinful nature from us? Yes, it’s possible. In the Old Testament, there were two kinds of goat offerings, one is to be killed and offered on the Altar of burnt offering and the other to be laid on with hands by the priest laying all the sins of the people of God on it and be freed into the wilderness without return. This will symbolize full salvation for them.

These two goats symbolized the forgiveness and the removal of the sinful nature from us through Christ’s death on the Cross. Goats symbolize sins in us. The Lord Jesus Christ had no sin in himself. He came to take upon himself our sins. Just as the first goat was offered on the altar with all its blood, Christ the perfect Lamb of God also shed his blood and died on the cross at Calvary. All the remaining flesh of the goat was then burnt on the altar to be the burnt offering. Christ died on the cross and his flesh was buried for three days in his grave. This Altar of Burnt -Offering symbolized the forgiveness of our sins through the atonement work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. The other goat will now be laid with all the sins of God’s chosen people when the priest lays his hands on the head of the goat. The goat will become the ‘scape-goat’ and be released into the wilderness without return. This will be the second part of our salvation.

Our sinful nature will be removed far away with no return only if we choose to ‘throw it off’ from us. If we don’t resent it with all our might but cherish even some part of the sinful nature to remain in us, the sinful nature will not be removed from us. With the remaining of some part of the sinful nature, full Christformation will be hindered in us. The choice or decision is still yours but the consequences of retaining the sinful nature will be eternal embarrassment, shame and disgrace because you might have the life in you but the righteousness of Christ will be conspicuously lacking because you did not want to let go off the sinful nature of Satan when the opportunity was given to you. You may appear poorly dressed for eternity revealing some of your ‘nakedness’.

Obedience to the Holy Spirit in us is very important to the running of the race of Christformation. If we do not listen or obey Him at this point of time, we will be deceived easily. We must be led by the Holy Spirit and not by any flesh, let alone our own flesh. Don’t ‘gamble’ your life away. It may cost you your eternity in Christ and only you would have to suffer the consequences by yourself.
The apostle Paul says it this way in his epistle to the Ephesians. “Put off you old self”. It’s the same as saying “throw off everything that hinders”.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (New International Version)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

To “Put off your old self” is to let your sinful nature go from you with no return and not hold it back, like the scapegoat as in the Old Testament times. The sinful nature will corrupt you if it continues to remain in you. Corruption of the sinful nature in you will give no place for full-Christformation in you. It will hinder full Christformation in you.

Remember always, the race we are called to run is the race of full Christformation in us. Anything that hinders full Christformation, you are required to throw it off from you. The other corresponding exhortation Paul gives to this body of believers is, “put on the new self”. The new self is the new creation in us. The new creation is full-Christformation in us. Without Christ being formed in us, how can we be like God in true righteousness and holiness? There is no other way. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man goes to the Heavenly Father except by Christ being formed in him.

Just how do we ‘throw off everything that hinders’ or ‘put off the old self’ which refers to the same thing?
Yes, the apostle Paul once again touches on this subject in his epistles to the Colossians. Here it is.

Colossians 3:5-10 (New International Version)

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry? Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

This time the apostle Paul tells them to “Put to death” He urged them to ‘put to death everything that belongs to their earthly nature’. The phrase ‘earthly nature’ is synonym to the phrase ‘sinful nature’. Any reference to ‘earthly’ in the word of God is attached to the Devil (Satan).This earth is Satan’s temporary ‘home’ before his eternal annihilation. He did not rightfully inherit it but was “thrown down to this earth like lightning” because of His sinful pride, the Lord Jesus told us so.
The verses above in Colossians say, “...The wrath of God is coming”. Why is it coming? It is coming on those who cherish this sinful nature of Satan in them. The sins that come from the sinful nature of Satan are found in these verses there specifically. These are the sins that hinder Christformation in us. Let’s remove it from ourselves willingly.

“Being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” is Christformation and it all happens in the new born again spirit in you. That’s your new self in Christ. Christ must be fully formed in your new self.

Run the Race with Perseverance

2 Timothy 2:5 (New International Version)
Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

Many of us do not know why we are in a race and are in the dark as to what kind of race we are running. We are in a race because a race involves strict self discipline. It’s when we lack self discipline that God comes into our life with His own disciplining of us. This discipline is necessary to align us back to God’s ways after we had lived the way of sin for a long time. Though we have a born again spirit within us, the sinful nature is still there waiting for us to ‘put it to death’ willingly.

Hebrews 12:7-13 (New International Version)

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Running the race of Christformation is an ongoing race and the ‘crowns’ or prize of that race you will ‘win’ or gain is full Christformation in us. It will require a lot of perseverance from us. Each of the crowns is actually a part of Christ’s divine nature and when you have attained all the ‘crowns’, you would have gained Christ fully. Full Christformation would have happened in you. But, only with perseverance you could successfully finish the race and ‘win’ the ‘crowns’ of His divine nature.

Perseverance is the strength you would need to run this race of Christformation. Why perseverance? What is perseverance? How do we get this perseverance? How does this strength come to us?

You will be surprised to note that suffering actually produces perseverance. That would mean perseverance is a product of suffering.

Suffering is a fearsome thing for many. Instead, many choose worldly pleasure because they fear suffering. The cross of Christ is a symbol of suffering. Some preachers, in order to retain membership and loyalty to themselves and their organizations have even gone further to preach and teach against suffering. They have resorted to the standards of this world and would prefer preaching and teaching about how their members could avoid suffering.

The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering while on earth. He had to suffer to bear our iniquities. Well, He could have instead just lived comfortably and taught his disciples on secrets of success on how to live a comfortable life too, on earth. He did not.

Isaiah 53:3 (New International Version)

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

He taught his disciples that suffering produces perseverance. He persevered till the end and ‘won’. When the disciples could not take the sufferings anymore they left Him and went back to fishing which was the only means of earning an income for them. For most of them, their livelihood was fishing.

The Lord Jesus Christ suffered shame, humiliation, rejection, mockery, poverty, physical lack, oppression, hunger, thirst, pain, injustices, cruelty, physical and emotional abuse, psychological tortures and pressures, unjustified hatred, verbal insults, unjust punishment, false- accusations, unfairness, persecution, threats, opposition, being alone and forsaken, being without a permanent shelter,the death penalty although not guilty and the list goes on.

Isaiah 53:10 (New International Version)

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

His disciples, except for Judas Iscariot suffered almost similarly for their faith in Christ. The apostle Paul suffered much for his faith in Christ our Lord. Similarly, the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, priests, judges, leaders, kings, and the people of God in general suffered too. One such person was Job. He was rewarded for his perseverance or should we say the sufferings in Job’s life brought out the perseverance in him? God allows suffering because suffering produces perseverance. But what are we going to do with this perseverance after we have gained it. Well, we can use it to defeat Satan (the Devil). The Devil does not have perseverance.How do we know that? Just take a glimpse at those who do not belong to Christ and you will know that Satan does not have perseverance. Why do Satan’s children fight among themselves and destroy each other? It’s because they lack perseverance. They cannot take the test. They are only accustomed to living comfortable lives which they acquire by ‘hook or by crook’. If they cannot get their way, they fight and quarrel. Remember, the once ‘Lucifer’ became the ‘Deceiver’ because he wanted his way with God. That was how he was thrown to this earth.

Perseverance is keeping your eyes, thoughts, motives, intentions, desires, hope, trust and love on the Author and the Perfecter of our faith, who is, Jesus Christ the Son of God and our Lord and Savior.


We are running the last lap of the race of Christformation. Please do not be mistaken here! We are not running the race for Christformation but we are running the race of Christformation. What is the difference between the two?

When we say we are running the race of Christformation, it speaks about the race we are running now. Whereas when we say the other (for Christformation), it only speaks about the purpose of our running. We don’t run for the purpose of Christformation but we run the Christformation race for full Christformation in us. In this race, we will overcome all the power of the enemy in our life along the way, just like an athlete runs overcoming tiredness,slackness, pain in the legs and muscles, the competing opponent’s heated challenge, personal indiscipline, fears, doubts about his ability, inconsistency, lack of stamina, lack of self confidence and so on.

The race is not our goal. Christformation is the race but full- Christformation in us is the goal. The fullness of Christ’s divine nature formed in us will produce Christ likeness in us for eternity that will please the Heavenly Father, for that was His will from the beginning of everything on earth, in the heavens and underneath or beneath the earth.

Revelation 20:4-6 (New International Version)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

The suffering life of the Lord Jesus Christ will be formed in us fully if we obey the Holy Spirit fully. We must remember extra eyes,the cloud of witnesses are watching us all the time. We must put to death the sinful nature and run the race of christformation marked out for us with perseverance and gain Christ fully in us with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Article written by Ronald K.Pillai for Christformation In You Ministries.

Search This Blog

Galatians 4:19

Galatians 4:19
Christ must be formed in you....

Welcome to the diligenthands of the Christformation prophet

Welcome to this prophetic writings blog that warns and saves lives from eternal condemnation as a result of continual sinning. Overcoming sinful living is the objective of the prophet. Diligently writing down of every timely warning to avoid catastrophic disaster by the fruit of our sinful living.

The fierce wind that blows away the bad fruit may also unintendedly throw to the ground, good fruit because they grow on the same ground. If forewarned, the good fruit could safely grow on solid ground and be well guarded and escape the wrath that they don't deserve.

Romans 16:25-27
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.