Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 30, 1961
NUMBER 30, PAGE 2,14b

From Translation To Transfiguration

C. D. Plum, Paden City, West Virginia

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." (Cot 1:12-14)

I am inclined to think that from our actions and deeds, a great many of us are not as thankful to the Father as we should be for his having made it possible for us to "be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." Without being a prophet at all, it just occurs to me that if God had made us partakers of the inheritance of a million dollars, many would be better pleased. But why? Money will pass with time. But this inheritance is: "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (1 Pet. 1:4) This should fill our souls with joy, and our hearts with thankfulness to God. We are not deserving of this honor.

Being "translated into the kingdom of his dear Son," we become a son or daughter of God ourselves; therefore an heir of God, with a privilege to share in the Father's estate. "We are baptized into Christ," where the inheritance is. (Gal. 3 27) Baptism is the climax of the process of "translation." "Trans" means across. And when we are "baptized into Christ" we have "crossed" from Satan's kingdom into Christ's kingdom. This is a simple easy something to understand, isn't it? And, "in Christ we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

"Translation," remember, puts us into Christ. We shall now mention different things which exist between translation and transfiguration.

"Mortification," it occurs to me, is now in order. But just what do I mean by mortification? Let us let the Scriptures speak. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which thing's sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience." (Col. 3:5-6) "For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die: but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Rom. 8:13) I think we may gather from the Scriptures here used that mortification means that we must "deaden sinful desires by religious discipline." Yes, the old sins we used to revel in before becoming Christians, when they try to get hold of us again, we are to mortify them, that is deaden by Scripture discipline. But we now proceed to something else that exists between translation and transfiguration.

"Appropriation" is now in order to be considered. This word embraces the idea of "putting on" because we have "put off?' The holy Scripture states it this way: "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have 'put off' the old man with his deeds; and have 'put on' the new man (Christ)." (Col. 3:9-10) Since "being baptized into Christ we put on Christ," we simply in the same process put off the devil. Now that we have put on Christ, appropriation simply means the doing of those things that are becoming to this high and holy profession. And why not appropriation? Why should we want to be found doing those things which bring reproach upon that worthy name by the which we are called? But here let us introduce another step between translation and transfiguration.

"Assimilation" should now be considered. But what do we mean by assimilation? Again the Scriptures shall be our guide and refuge. "But he (Christ) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4) Then, too, the Spirit said through Peter, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (1 Pet. 2:2) Does not the meaning of assimilation begin to dawn? Natural food is assimilated to impart strength to us physically. Even so, the word of God, sometimes called "sincere milk," is assimilated to impart spiritual strength. Then assimilation simply is spiritual digestion of spiritual food for the spiritual man. But note another step between translation and transfiguration.

"Transformation" is an important step. Translated "into" Christ, but transformed "in" Christ. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye 'transformed' by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Rom. 12:1-2) And again we note this Scripture: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in hint; rooted and built up 'in' him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." (Col. 2:6-7) All of which means that to be transformed we become more and more like our Savior. "Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his." But we are now prepared to notice another step between translation and transfiguration.

"Multiplication" rightly has its place in Christ. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Gal. 6:10) Here we are exhorted to multiply our good deeds to Christians, first, and then to those who are not Christians. There are so many ways in which this can be done that there -is no danger of us running out of ways to do it. We certainly have not used up all our kind words. Surely most any of us can multiply the kind words we speak to father, mother, brother and sister. It would not hurt any of us to multiply the speaking of kind words to brothers and sisters in the church. I am sure it would do all of us good if we would multiply our smiles to member" and non-members of the church. And make your smile just as pretty as you can, too. It won't take any effort at all if you get in the habit of it. And, 0 how much better it looks than a frowny grouchy face. And how much good it will do! And we could multiply our deeds of kindness without much effort I am quite sure. Then we can multiply our attendance at church services, and our devotions to the Christian life. There are so many things we should multiply. But I must hasten to a thought or two about transfiguration.

"Transfiguration" refers to that time when we shall be perfectly like our Savior. Translation puts us "into" Christ; transformed makes us act like Christ; and transfiguration causes us to look like Christ. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear (the second time, CDP) WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM (transfigured), for we shall see him as he is." (1 Jno. 3:2) To me this is a glorious thought. I shall be like him!

All the cares and worries and burdens of this life will be forgotten, easily, when we awake in his likeness. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18) I wish that I might be able to so impress this lesson upon all that a greater effort might be made by all to reach this climatic peak, our own transfiguration. Christ is willing, if we are ready. "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Phil. 3:21)