Trek fans will know this link well, and I am sure I have it right this time when referencing Star Trek, of “You will be assimilated.”It is the line that the Borg give to indicate that resistance is futile. There is no “might” within that. They speak like it’s a certainty. I had such a moment in the church service last night.
Our pastor preached on Romans 8:28-30. Like most churches I suspect, we read the passage first. As we read, I listened, and it was one of those times again where I felt like I was hearing it for the first time. During the times we read, I don’t read alone because I want to hear the words fresh as if Paul’s letter was being read to me or Jesus in the gospels was speaking and I was in the audience.
I love this passage. I’ve heard it several times. However, with my emphasis lately on the image of God, I noticed something in this passage I had never heard before and it was enough to change my mood in a good way. In fact, I had my own private worship service going on I’m sure after hearing that. Let’s read it as the NIV records it.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
This verse is a key verse in answering the so-called “Problem of Evil.” However, I would like to focus mainly on verse 29, though verse 30 does play a part. The Bible is clear and straight-forward here. We are to reflect the nature of God as I have said before and have all removed from us that does not reflect him.
What does this passage say? “If you live a righteous life, you will be conformed.” No. “If you attend enough church, you will be conformed.” No. “If you have enough faith, you will be conformed.” No. It simply comes right out and says that if you are a Christian you will be conformed. All of these are good, but they’re not what the passage speaks of.
Notice also what else it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say “A few good ones will be conformed.” It doesn’t say “You might be conformed.” It doesn’t tell us that being conformed is for the most righteous of all or it doesn’t mean that it is only for a select few. (If you are a Calvinist, consider my meaning a select few of the elect.)
This is one of those times when I wonder if we really realize the truth of what the Bible says. As this dawned on me what was being said, I thought my world was being rocked. This means that at some point in the future, I WILL be conformed to the likeness of Christ. I will walk as a true reflection of God. I will be free from the sinful nature.
Such a thought should leave us in excitement. If it doesn’t, it could just be further indication that we’re not free yet. It could show that we don’t know how bad our sinful nature is and/or how good the nature of Christ is for us. It means that the truth of what we believe hasn’t hit home yet.
What a great thought it is! You don’t have to wonder if this will happen. You can be sure it will. God has promised it and if you do not think God is a liar, you will have to believe that he can deliver it. There will come a day when you will walk in perfection as you are conformed to the likeness of the Son.
For unlike the borg, God can always and always will deliver on his promises.