“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2Corinthians 3:18)
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2Corinthians 5:17)
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” ( Ephesians 4:17-24)
There is surely a transformation and restoration by the work of the Spirit of God when some one surrenders their lives to Christ. The old things are passed away, all things become new.
That is why Jesus in John chapter three called it, “being born again.”
For many of us it was a tremendous transformation which has led to the restoration of our souls, (mind, will, emotions) but the restoration takes time although the transformation of the heart is instant.
The things that were so important to us before we received Christ do not have the same magnetism for us any longer, the motives of our hearts are changed, where once it was all about what the flesh wanted, but now it is about what is pleasing to God that is the motivation of our hearts.
God is a God that brings new life to the soul because He is a life giving Spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45 Paul writes, “So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Jesus has come and has brought to us life in our hearts where as before we were dead in trespasses and sins. (see Romans 5:12-16)
It is not behavioral modification which attempts to change a persons heart by changing their
behavior, but it is a change that comes from the inside out. We will never see permanent lasting change in a persons life from modifying their behaviors. The heart must be changed which will result in a change in the behavior.
Even as Christians we try to modify some ones behavior in the hope that a lasting change can result. This is nothing but legalism which is non-productive in bringing change for yourself or others.
This is so true with how we treat our children, trying to get them to behave, without helping them to come to know Christ who can change them from the inside out. Many of our children are growing up in the church and when they come of age they depart from it.
When I think of how I was so worried about my young children acting a certain way in church so it wouldn't make me look bad as a youth pastor; my heart grieves because instead of leading them to Christ I taught them how to be posers, and did not teach them to have a personal relationship with Christ and see them be transformed.
We need to bring others into a relationship with Christ, then allow the Holy Spirit to bring the changes that are needed.
There is a young girl I know who was into the whole punk rock scene with all the stuff that goes with it. She surrendered her life to Christ and no one said anything about her appearance, then after a few months she changed her whole appearance. I ask her one day what happened? She said, “I just wanted to look on the outside like I do on the inside now that Christ has changed my life.”
Are we willing to trust God with the work of transformation and restoration of those who are in our world. Maybe it is a spouse, or one of your children, or a parent, or a dear friend. God is the transformer of heart and soul. Our job is to trust God, and be ready to share with them the good news that God can transform and restore a broken life.