If we want to be “divinely transformed”, we must begin with “First Things First”. We need to build a framework of FAITH, whereby we are able to continue on the path and purpose that God has planned for us. We must:
F– Have Faith in the truth of the Gospel (2 Cor. 5:17). “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Faith in the gospel places the believer “in Christ,” where everything becomes new. Your new identity is characterized by faith and solidarity with Christ in his resurrection so that “we might bear fruit to God” (Rom. 7:4b; cf. Rom. 6:1–11; Col. 3:1–4).
I – Take on the Identity of Christ (Rom. 6:6). “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Formally, the transformation by faith is immediate, but we must work to bring about changed thinking or behavior.
R – Develop a Relationship with the God of glory (2 Cor. 3:18). “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.” It is being in His presence that we are changed (2 Cor. 3:18). Your relationship with God now must takes precedence.
S – Strive to live as Sanctified people of God. (Col. 2:6) “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” We now choose a lifestyle of holiness controlled (filled) by the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:6-7) Believers are to “pursue” sanctification (Heb. 12:14). God will judge any person claiming identification with Christ while not actively engaged in pursuing sanctification (Matt. 7:21–23).
T – Trust in the finished work of the cross (Phil. 1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Trust is living in the light of everything that characterizes the “new man,” even if it doesn’t “feel” right. All of this is done in hope, or forward-looking faith—confidence that God will carry out his sanctifying purposes to the end.