2nd Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 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.
This passage of scripture breaks down the process of thorough conversion into its simplest and most understandable form, because it basically states that by beholding, we become changed. What God has always asked us to do by His grace, is to spend quality time in His presence, studying the beauty and symmetry of His Character, and by doing so we will be changed by the power of His Holy Spirit working in us. This is as simple as it gets, and if we were to act on the counsel given in the above passage, we will certainly discover that a gradual and imperceptive change will come over us, in so much that righteousness will become more and more second nature to us.
In the days of old when the Hebrews were wandering in the desert, an unfortunate situation had developed in which many of them were bitten by poisonous serpents, as a direct result of their incessant murmurings and complaints against God and His servant Moses, and so, to alleviate and remedy the situation, God then instructed Moses to make a serpent of brass and set it upon a pole, so that whosoever looked upon it in faith, would live and be healed. This being done, many of them who believed in the simple remedy provided, looked up, and as they looked, a complete change in their misfortune came over them, which no amount of human effort or medicine could have ever accomplished. This uplifted serpent actually represented Christ, who was to be lifted up on the cross at Calvary, so that whosever looked upon Him believing, would not perish, but have everlasting life. Let's read:
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In our own experience it is important that we do not attempt conversion on any other terms, such as penance, charitable deeds, or righteousness by works, for although it is good to practice uniform benevolence and kindness, yet we must never lose sight of the fact that beholding Christ is the way that God has provided so that we be changed from glory to glory, or from one stage of development to another. When we spend the necessary time with Christ each day, our conversion and spiritual development is not lop-sided, but instead there is seen a fine balance in the development of all of the Christian graces, thus bringing us to spiritual maturity over a period of time.
No need for us to languish in doubt and uncertainty, and no need to fuss over the bite of the serpent, for each human being has been bitten in some way another, yet the righteousness of Christ is efficacious to wash away the most stubborn stains of sin, for this is what God specializes in, and it is His will that we avail ourselves daily of the perfect remedy that has been provided in Christ. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to look and live, and when this is done on a continual basis, there is only one direction that we will travel in, and that is upwards. Let's read:
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!