Conformed to the Image of Christ. What is it All About?

How does the gospel play into being conformed to the image of Christ? Are we conformed by our efforts of study and prayer and other works? If we fail, do we simply have to confess our failure then double down and try harder next time? What is God after in us anyway?

What Conformed is Not Primarily…
Conformed is not primarily about character, our behaviors. It involves this, but this is not what conformed to the image of Christ is primarily concerned with.

Conformed is also not primarily concerned with mission, what we do for God. Service to God and others is crucial, but it is not the first concern.

So what is the first concern?

Perfected in the Father’s Love (I John 4:7-19)
In a word, conformed is about relationship. We are perfected in the Father’s love.

Being conformed is primarily concerned with growing in the Father’s love in Christ. Communion first. Then comes the other elements mentioned above as corollary. As we grow in deeper communion, our character is radically changed. And we are immersed in his love, just as his Son was, we, also like his Son, willingly lay our lives down for his purposes. We sacrificially serve God and others. But first things first…

It’s not about trying harder. God is not impatiently waiting until we get our act together.


Attached is the recording of a plenary session given at the PTM Conference October 2019.  Take some time to listen to the session. I have also attached a .pdf of the slides that accompany the talk.

I’d love to hear your feedback. And feel free to pass it along to others.

Conformed PTM Plenary 2019

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7 Responses to Conformed to the Image of Christ. What is it All About?

  1. Smith, Michael John (Department of Biblical Studies) says:

    The PDF does not appear to be available.


    Michael J. Smith, Ph.D.
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    School of Divinity

    (434) 592-3450

    Liberty University | Training Champions for Christ since 1971


  2. Greg Trowbridge says:

    Hey Scott!!
    Don’t think my comment posted yesterday.
    I love this! Your talk from the PTM Plenary was so illuminating! Really cut through so much clutter and was succinct.
    Abby and I have been leading a class for new leaders at our church and our topic last night was on self care. Your talk brought all we have been trying to communicate in terms of the first principle that our service and leadership is grounded in our relationship with the Father and how we function as leaders/ministers emerges from that relationship.
    I will be forwarding this to our team and those who participated in the class.


  3. Tim Patterson says:

    Thanks, Scott.
    It was good to see you and hear you again at the PTM conference.
    Thanks for your ministry to us there, and here.


  4. Tim Patterson says:

    Thank you, Scott.
    It was good to see and hear you again at the PTM conference. I appreciate you and your ministry.
    BTW, I do not see the attached .pdf of the slides. Where am I not looking?



  5. jeff Whitaker says:

    Hi Scott, Thanks brother. I have just been able to listen this morning. I’ve had a great sense in the last several months that I’ve needed to focus anew on knowing (relationally) our Lord. Your words are a great encouragement.


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