Sermon quotes on transformation

Jack Adams

If it’s free, it’s advice; if you pay for it, it’s counseling; if you can use either one, it’s a miracle.

Jerry Bridges

We take what we think are the tools of spiritual transformation into our own hands and try to sculpt ourselves into robust Christlike specimens. But spiritual transformation is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the Master Sculptor.

Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness, NavPress, 2006.

Oswald Chambers

Beware of harking back to what you once were when God wants you to be something you have never been.

Our Brilliant Heritage / If You Will Be Perfect / Disciples Indeed: The Inheritance of God’s Transforming Mind & Heart, Discovery House,  2015,  p.138.

Jonathan Edwards

The glory of Christ is such, that it is of a transforming nature. It’s of a powerful nature: it changes all that behold it into the same image; it reaches to the bottom of the heart, to the most inner soul; it is a sight that purifies and beautifies.

“A Sight of the Glory of Christ,” in Jonathan Edwards Sermons, ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1728), 2 Cor. 3:18.

John Flavel

Did Christ finish His work for us? Then there can be no doubt but He will also finish His work in us.

The Fountain of Life Opened; Or, A Display of Christ in His Essential and Mediatorial Glory. 1671, pub.,1836, p.351.

Eric Gieger

Discipleship is transformation, not information overload or behavioral modification. When transformation occurs, there is an increasing hunger for more knowledge of Jesus and His Word, but the primary focus of acquiring knowledge must be the ongoing renewal of the heart. When transformation occurs, behavior will follow. But the focus must be the heart, or the behavior is self-manipulated and short-lived as opposed to flowing from the transformation offered by Christ.

Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow (Nashville: B&H, 2012), 28.

Søren Kierkegaard

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.


You’ve got to admit you’re broken before you can be made whole.

Erwin McManus

We are all hypocrites in transition. I am not who I want to be, but I am on the journey there, and thankfully I am not whom I used to be.

Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit, 2008, Thomas Nelson, p.77.

Helen Keller 

The million little things that drop into your hands – the small opportunities each day brings He leaves us free to use or abuse and goes unchanging along His silent way.

Søren Kierkegaard

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. 

Thomas Merton

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within.

Dwight L. Moody

The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.

Martin Luther King Jr. 

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

John Ortberg

I hate how hard spiritual transformation is and how long it takes. I hate thinking about how many people have gone to church for decades and remain joyless or judgmental or bitter or superior.

John Ortberg

Spiritual transformation is not a matter of trying harder, but of training wisely.

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, Harper Collins, 1997, p.47.

Alan Redpath

Give up the struggle and the fight; relax in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus; look up into His lovely face and as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding–He does the transforming. There is no short-cut to holiness.

Adrian Rogers

The same Jesus Who turned water into wine can transform your home, your life, your family, and your future. He is still in the miracle-working business, and His business is the business of transformation.

Richard Rohr

Without transformation, you can assume you’re at a high moral, spiritual level just because you call yourself Lutheran or Methodist or Catholic. I think my great disappointment as a priest

has been to see how little actual spiritual curiosity there is in so many people.

Interview with Judy Valente

Charles Stanley

Renewing the mind is a little like refinishing furniture. It is a two-stage process. It involves taking off the old and replacing it with the new. The old is the lies you have learned to tell or were taught by those around you; it is the attitudes and ideas that have become a part of your thinking but do not reflect reality. The new is the truth. To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. To the degree that you do this, your behavior will be transformed.

Marjorie Thompson

The caterpillar must yield up the life it knows and submit to the mystery of interior transformation. It emerges from the process transfigured, with wings that give it freedom to fly. . .. A rule of life gives us a way to enter into the life-long process of personal transformation. Its disciplines help us to shed the familiar but constricting “old self” and allow our “new self” in Christ to be formed—the true self that is naturally attracted to the light of God.


Rick Warren

I want to change my circumstances. God wants to change me.

Rick Warren

Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.

Dallas Willard

Projects of personal transformation rarely if ever succeed by accident, drift or imposition.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ

Dallas Willard

[We] must take the need for human transformation as seriously as do modern revolutionary movements

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. Reprint edition. San Francisco: HarperOne, ix 1999.

Chuck DeGroat

When I teach on the dynamics of real change and maturation, I often describe a “furnace of transformation” each of us must pass through for the sake of growth and refinement. I’ve never seen real growth occur without suffering, humiliation, disappointment, and pain. The way of transformation is the way of the cross, a journey in which our sufferings make a way for resurrection (Philippians 3:7-11).

Taken from When Narcissism Comes to Church by Chuck DeGroat Copyright (c) 2020 by Chuck DeGroat. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Chuck DeGroat

In the end, the hope of transformation is anchored in the presence of a God who is utterly familiar with all the dark and light within us—and is not afraid of it. Recall the words of Macarius…“The heart is Christ’s palace: there Christ the King comes to take his rest, with the angels and spirits of the saints, and he dwells there, walking within it and placing his Kingdom there.”

Taken from When Narcissism Comes to Church by Chuck DeGroat Copyright (c) 2020 by Chuck DeGroat. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Brenda Salter McNeil

Cultural transformation in a church or organization must go beyond interpersonal models of changing “one person at a time,” which dominates Western evangelical thinking. The goals of reconciliation need to shift from interpersonal acceptance to building reconciling communities of racial, ethnic, class and gender diversity.

Taken from Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil (c) 2020 by Brenda Salter McNeil. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

John Newton

I am not what I ought to be,

I am not what I want to be,

I am not what I hope to be,

But by the grace of God

I am not what I was.

Meredith Kline

Redemption is a recovering and restoring of the original. The person who experiences redemption in Christ remains the same person, even though the transformation from the sinner dead-in-sins to the saint alive-forevermore-in-Christ is so radical as to be called a new creation.

God, Heaven, and Har Magedon: A Covenental Tale of the Cosmos and Telos (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006, p.22.

Warren Wiersbe

If worship does nothing else for us, it helps us discover the things that are important. Real worship will transform your life.

Anne Lamott

The secret is that God loves us exactly the way we are .. . and that he loves us too much to let us stay like this.

Traveling Mercies


And I thought to myself, oh dear, however many skins have I got to take off?

C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader


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