“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29).
It’s easy enough to see that God is in the business of changing his people into the image of his Son. What’s not as readily apparent is the fact that as people are being transformed into likeness of Christ, the church is going to change as well. This is because the church is the people of God. The church is not an institution. It’s people. It’s you and me, and as God transforms our souls–our minds, wills, words, and actions to look more like Jesus, the church as a whole will begin to change. That is to say, the way we as a church think, speak, and act will become more like Jesus. We are being conformed into the image of our Savior. One by one we are changing, and as we change individually, we will also change corporately.
“Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin…The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me” (Rom.7:7,10). “Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large Parlor that was full of dust, because it had never been swept…Then he called for a man to sweep it. When he swept, the dust began to fly, so much that Christian was almost choked. Then Interpreter said, ‘Bring some water and sprinkle the room.’ Christian asked, ‘What does this mean?’ And Interpreter answered, ‘This Parlor is the heart of man…the dust is original sin and inward corruption, which have defiled the whole person. The one who began to sweep is the Law of God. The one who brought the water and cleansed the room is the Gospel of God. The Law, instead of cleansing the heart, stirs up sin, revives it, gives it strength, and increases it in our souls. It can never give us the power to subdue sin. But when the Gospel comes, as in the water that washed the room, our sin is conquered and our soul is made clean.'”