And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Romans 12:2
After pleading with the reader to live a life of sacrifice to God in response to the mercies of God, the text commands us not to conform to this world. The idea here is not to pattern ourselves after the patterns we see in the world system. What is the remedy? He says a contrasting statement here. He says to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The world wants to control the way we think. It wants us to think like them. The plan of God in sanctification is to change our thinking, to change our hearts, and in so doing our behavior is changed. We have to think differently. Thinking God’s thoughts leads to our minds being renewed. When our minds are renewed we are able to discern what God sees as good and acceptable. In discerning that we begin to live that out.
This really is a pattern of what Paul has done in the book of Romans. He has made the case in chapters 1-11 of how God views us, our sinful state, and our need for a Savior. He has helped us take on a new perspective of our standing before God, and of God’s love for us. He has helped us see how we are justified by faith and not by works. All of these things are “the mercies of God” that he spoke of in verse 1. Now that our mind has been renewed about these things he challenges us to offer our bodies (v1) and our minds (v2) to God as a reasonable response of worship for what God has done. When we do that we are transformed and we live the way God wants us to live.
The transformation does not happen from the outside in, but from the inside out.
My behavior will not change if my thinking has not changed. My thinking won’t change if I continue to pattern my thinking after the way the world things. To think like God I have to know what God thinks. The incredible thing is that God wrote a book!
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.2 Timothy 3:16-17
The scripture also says this in 2 Peter:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.2 Peter 1:20-21
- Is there a sin I’m struggling with today? What is that sin?
- Is there a scriptural passage that deals with that sin issue?
- What scripture should I dwell on, memorize and obey to help me think differently about my sin?
- What does repentance look like?