“1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect-Romans 12:1-2“.
Whilst reading through a message I wrote about 3 years on transformation, I came across this popular portion of scripture known by many believers. Reading this scripture and meditating on it for some time gave me some deep insights which I would like to share with you.
It is the desire of every believer to become more like Christ. This is an ongoing transformation, which will become complete when we meet Christ (1 John 3:2). This daily transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit.
For us to be transformed daily into the image of Christ, certain conditions need to be met.
1. Not be conformed to this world: we are naturally conformed to the world (Ephesians 2:1-3). Therefore not to be conformed to this world means putting away all the desires of the world or the desires of the flesh. We can only put away all these evil desires of the world (that we are naturally conformed to) by repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Rejection of the world and acceptance of Christ in our lives is a true sign or proof of non-conformity to the world. Hostility to God is friendship with the world and friendship with God is hostility to the world – James 4:4. This friendship with God is by faith with (James 2:23). As believers, our non-conformity to the world is the sovereign will of God (Romans 9:29-30).
2. Renewal of the mind: This condition also needs to hold in order for the process of transformation to be existent in the life of a believer, because without the renewal of the mind, transformation cannot take place. “The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is His revealed Word, the Bible. Transformation through renewed minds comes as believers expose themselves to God’s Word through the faithful exposition of it each week in church, personal Bible study, and group Bible study. A solid church that believes in preaching the Word, reading the Word, and singing the Word is invaluable in helping us renew our minds.”- Got Questions. “The Spirit renews the mind. It is first and decisively his work. We are radically dependent on him. Our efforts follow his initiatives and enablings.”- John Piper. “There are no shortcuts. There is no magical formula for renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with God’s Word. As Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).-Got Questions” Now, we see how these 2 conditions are really essential for transformation to take place in our lives.
Benefits of being transformed by the word of God Discernment of the will of God – God’s will is summarised into three words – good, acceptable and perfect. We cannot discern between what is God’s will and what is not unless we know it. As we are being transformed by the renewal of our minds with the word of God, we are enlightened as to what is the will of God and what is not.
We just do not know His will is and leave it there but we do it! In doing HIS WILL we see ourselves becoming more like HIM (that is transformation) and that brings Glory and Honour unto Him. “An unwasted life is the life that is lived according to God’s will”.
Brethren, many books will inform us but it is the word of God that transforms us by the doing of the Holy Spirit.