2 Corinthians 3:18 - Changed By Beholding

2 Cor 3:18 (KJV)  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the
glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even
as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The plan of redemption aims to restore the image of God in man (Rom. 8:29; 1
John 3:2), a transformation that comes about by contemplating Christ [SDA

Look to Christ, behold the attractive loveliness of His character, and by
beholding you will become changed into His likeness. 6BC1097

To be "changed" into the likeness of Christ is logically the result of
"beholding" Him, [SDA Commentary]

As the believer "beholds"--studies or meditates upon--the character of God
as revealed in Christ, as revealed in the Word (and in nature), his/her
character becomes more and more like His perfect character. [The Bible

When the people of God look into the Word of God and see the glory of God,
the Spirit of God transforms them to be like the Son of God [Wiersbe
Expository Outlines]

So, by earnestly contemplating the Gospel of Jesus, and believing on him who
is its Author, the soul becomes illuminated with his divine splendour, for
this sacred mirror reflects back on the believing soul the image of Him
whose perfections it exhibits; and thus we see the glorious form after which
our minds are to be fashioned; and by believing and receiving the influence
of his Spirit, our form is changed, into the same image, which we behold
there; and this is the image of God, lost by our fall, and now recovered and
restored by Jesus Christ: for the shining of the face of God upon us, i. e.
approbation, through Christ, is the cause of our transformation into the
divine image. (Adam Clarke Commentary)

The reference here is to the process of Christian sanctification. [NIV SB]

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a
lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result
of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. AA560,1

The more closely we follow Christ, the more we will be like him. Becoming
Christlike is a progressive experience. [Life Application SB]

The further we progress in our relationship with God, the more visible God's
glory becomes in our life.  [Life Recovery SB]

Looking unto Jesus we obtain brighter and more distinct views of God, and by
beholding we become changed. . . Growing into His likeness, we enlarge our
capacity for knowing God. More and more we enter into fellowship with the
heavenly world, and we have continually increasing power to receive the
riches of the knowledge and wisdom of eternity.  COL355

Transformation of character. This is the sure result of union with Jesus.
When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed. Christ's
Spirit, His love, softens the heart, subdues the soul, and raises the
thoughts and desires toward God and heaven.  SC71-3

Those who behold the Saviour are changed from glory to greater glory. When
men will consent to submit to Christ's will, to be partakers of the divine
nature, their crooked, human peculiarities will disappear. 6BC1098,9

It is not by looking away from Him that we imitate the life of Jesus, but by
talking of Him, by dwelling upon His perfections, by seeking to refine the
taste and elevate the character, by trying--through faith and love, and by
earnest, persevering effort--to approach the perfect Pattern. By having a
knowledge of Christ--His words, His habits, and His lessons of
instruction--we borrow the virtues of the character we have so closely
studied, and become imbued with the spirit we have so much admired. Jesus
becomes to us "the chiefest among ten thousand," the One "altogether lovely"

Glory, I've learned, is what God is all about.  His essential being.
Whenever you talk about His character or attributes - like holiness, love,
compassion, justice, truth, or mercy - that's God's glory.
So how is it that you and I can glorify God?  It happens every time we
reveal His attributes in the course of our daily lives.  Every time you
share the good news of Christ with another.  Every time you reflect patience
in the middle of an upsetting or perplexing problem.  Every time you smile
from the heart or offer an encouraging word.  Whenever those around you see
God's character displayed in your attitudes and responses, you are
displaying His glory.
God's glory isn't reserved for a temple of stone or some heavenly vista.  It
can shine out clearly while you're changing a flat on the freeway ... or
counseling an angry co-worker ... or lying in a hospital bed ... or
balancing two crying babies in the church nursery.  [Joni Eareckson Tada;
Time with God devotional SB]

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of
strength and life. Hence it is Satan's constant effort to keep the attention
diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the
soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life's cares and perplexities
and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections--to
any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. . . Talk and think of
Jesus. Let self be lost in Him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears.

So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to
overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no
point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is
the result of lifelong obedience. AA560,1

Sin hides from our view that matchless charms of Jesus; prejudice,
selfishness, self-righteousness, and passion blind our eyes, so that we do
not discern the Saviour. Oh, if we would by faith draw nigh to God, He would
reveal to us His glory, which is His character, 6BC1097

Is that who people see when they look at us? Do they see Jesus' love,
integrity, and power? Or do we "veil" the Light of the World (Matt. 5:14-16)
under a mask of selfish ambition and worldly concerns? [Word In Life SB]

The best teacher on earth cannot teach the man who knows it all already and
does not wish to learn. God gave us free will, and, if we insist upon our
own way, we cannot learn his. [Barclay Commentary]

There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they
talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do
not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies.
We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit
God works in His people "to will and to do of His good pleasure." Phil.
2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This
is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly
upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The
power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing,
claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. DA671,2

Very often it is moral and not intellectual blindness which keeps us from
seeing God. If we persist in disobeying him we become less and less capable
of seeing him. The vision of God is to the pure in heart. [Barclay

When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a
tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man
himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break
this tie--to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need
to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may entice us to choose another
master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed
upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe.

There are many hundreds of thousands of books in the Library of Congress in
Washington, D.C.  Books on countless subjects, by countless people over
hundreds of years.  Some of those writings have been the seed bed for
philosophies, political parties, religious movements and more. The writers
have come and gone; most are no longer remembered.  God's Word is remembered
because it IS His Word, and it WORKS.  The sad thing is, many of us don't
pay any more attention to God's Word than to any other book. In the Bible
are the tools to enable every believer to lead a victorious life.  But day
after day, the Bible sits unopened.  We must take that Word, read it, think
about it and so devour it that it feeds us. Memorize it! That Word
transforms our thoughts and actions.  Christian, take it today and feed on
it and put it in your heart, that you might not sin against Almighty God,
and partake of the victorious life!  [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]

The Word of God is a constant and continuing source of joy for the
Christian.  I don't think I've ever met a joyless Christian who was
regularly employed in searching the Scriptures.  The result of such
searching is to see beyond the words of the One who inspired them.  Of all
the habits the Christian can cultivate, this is one of the most blessed and
profitable.  Some books are exhausting and exhaustible.  The Bible is the
only Book that rewards the student with increasing insight as he allows the
Word of God to flow through and cleanse him.  Indeed, it is the only Book
that can cleanse and purify the life of its reader.  Other books can inform,
but only the Scripture can transform, infill, and inspire.  [Al Bryant; Time
with God devotional SB]

Is reading the Bible a necessary part of your day or does it have a low
priority in your life?
George muller, after having read the Bible through one hundred times with
increasing delight, made this statement: "I look upon it as a lost day when
I have not had a good time over the Word of God.  Friends often say, 'I have
so much to do, so many people to see, I cannot find time for Scripture
study.'  Perhaps there are not many who have more to do than I.  For more
than half a century I have never known one day when I had not more business
than I could get through.  For 4 years I have had annually about 30,000
letters, and most of these have passed through my own hands.
"Then, as pastor of a church with 1,200 believers, great has been my care.
Besides, I have had charge of live immense orphanages; also, at my
publishing depot, the printing and circulating of millions of tracts, books,
and Bibles; but I have always made it a rule never to begin work until I
have had a good season with God and His Word.  The blessing I have received
has been wonderful."
Do you want to know how to meet the problems of the day?  Do you want to
know what God wants you to do with your life?  Then you must pray and
consult His wonderful guide book, the Bible, every day.
If we are too busy to read God's Word daily, then one thing is sure - we are
too busy! by H.G.B.