Romans 12:2 – 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. ESV
Before diving straight into this verse, I feel it is important to read the one before it….Romans 12:1 – 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. ESV
Some translations for the phrase, spiritual worship, say instead – reasonable service. Why is this verse before so important to our truth of the week? Mainly because Paul wants believers to know that they are no longer their old selves and they need to look like followers of Christ in action, not just word.
My husband tells me all the time and has since I met him – Catherine, look at actions. If he had a pull like a doll that speaks a few lines, one phrase would be this. It’s that important. People do what they want.
We are to sacrifice our bodies for God’s glory and His use. It’s the least we could do after what He did for us, sacrificing Jesus. In order to present our bodies as a sacrifice, we can’t look just like the world living in its sinful ways.
Jesus came to give us freedom, but living in sin’s bondage can leave us battered with the consequences of sin and most definitely not looking transformed by doing the good and acceptable will of God for our lives.
In order to do the good we have to have our minds transformed. The word transform in Greek means “to change form.” In the New Testament it’s used to describe an inward renewal of our mind which our inner spirit is changed to look like Christ (commentary, NKJV).
Transformation is a process – from Christlikeness to Christlikeness. To conform is to mold or form. We are cautioned against molding to look like the age in which we live.
Transformation is a sacrifice for us – to have to say no to some things that we’d rather say yes to, to face judgement and mockery for agreeing with Jesus’s words and ways that are contrary to culture today.
Just because times have changed doesn’t mean the Bible’s words have changed.
How do we fight this conforming to the age situation?
We renew our minds by staying close to God. We check His words against what we want to believe or do. We pray and seek Him.
As you do these things it really does change you. Your thoughts and your desires change. Instead of wanting to please the world you want to please your Father. He wants us to serve each other, so you aren’t turning your back on the world, you are just trying to look like Jesus instead.
These days just like back then it wasn’t always popular to stick with Jesus’s system of lifestyle choices. The world wants to do anything and everything that feels good and nowhere in the Bible does it say to just do you and whatever doesn’t bring your happiness trash it.
God isn’t a kill joy who doesn’t want us to have nice things and enjoy life. He really does! When we follow Him our life is abundant on many levels. He offers us more than this world can offer, not only here on earth but especially afterwards.
I know it’s hard to stand up for what Jesus said when the world is throwing stones at us – but not everyone accepted Jesus, either. When we share in His sufferings we are blessed. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you are my followers. Matthew 5:11 NLT”
Stand your ground by knowing your ground. Transform your mind so you don’t conform to the world’s grounds.