What is a truly transformed life in Christ? It is not one that is produced via a man devised program. It is one that is the fruit of becoming a living sacrifice in which God develops the mind of Christ via his plan of mind renewal.
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 (NASB)
Despite the fact that the unregenerate refuse to accept what I am about to say as being true, it does not change the fact that it is the truth. The true Christian walk is one of faith that results in faithfulness while the counterfeit or false Christian walk is one of works righteousness that results in a pragmatic form of religious works meant to counter failures of the flesh. The true Christian will be on a path of continual, progressive transformation unto Christlikeness that will result in God using him or her in doing His good works (Ephesians 2:10). On the other hand, the false Christian, not being regenerate, may still be fooled by their religiosity into believing that he or she is on that narrow path. They may even zealously do good works and call that a transformed life, but it is still nothing more than works righteousness. The enemy of men’s souls has produced a counterfeit version of Christian Transformation, but it is totally different and only produces temporal fruit while genuine Christian Transformation produces fruit that is eternal.
Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post. Here is that passage in Greek:
καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον. Romans 12:2 (NA28)
Notice that it is impossible for a Christian to be both conformed to this world and to be in the process of being transformed by the renewal of his or her mind at the same time. The Greek word translated here as “conformed” is συσχηματίζεσθε, which means to “be fashioned together.” However, Paul preceded it in this passage with the word μὴ, which mean “not,” therefore, we are being told to not be fashioned or conformed to this world or αἰῶνι, which could also be translated as “age,” and I think that is good way to understand what Paul is talking about here. If a person is fashioned together with this present age then he or she is not of God. He or she is not regenerate. If professing Christians are more in love with this present age than they are with denying themselves, taking up their crosses and following Christ because of what He has done for them on the Cross then they have not been truly saved. The real Christian is regenerate and will love Christ. Yes, the flesh remains and the tug of this world, this present age, will still be there, but there will be a difference for him or her. There will be a power to deny self and turn from evil to present self to God as a living sacrifice. That battle will always be there, but the power to repent will be with the regenerate. The battle to mortify our sins is part of our sanctification.