Paul Exhorts Believers to be Living Sacrifices to God Part 2
Romans 12:2 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. KJV
Paul began his exhortation to us by telling us to present our own bodies to God as a living sacrifice, which is spiritual worship to Him. Now before I move on to the second half of Paul’s urging or command to us found in verse 2, let me interject a key point that I failed to point out in Part 1. Notice in verse one Paul uses the second person pronoun “you” twice in verse 1 and its cousin “your” twice also. Paul is speaking to each one of our inner man or inner woman the real us that have been re-created by way of regeneration and new birth. It is our awakened spirit that speaks to our soul (mind, emotions, and will) that directs our body and its members on what to do or not to do according to the will of God as we receive from God’s Holy Word as Paul is now going to expound on for us. Paul now moves swiftly from mere exhortation to what he perceives from God the Holy Spirit to be a command from our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ. The first command is for us to not be conformed to this world. The English word conformed is translated from the Greek word suschematizo which means to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to).
Paul has graduated from exhortation to command us not to allow our view of this present age or time we live in to mold or shape us into its way of thinking and subsequently living, for as the Word of God says here, Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. KJV All around us we find the loose and scandalous way the natural man and woman think constantly, continually, and with costly consequences often not seen until many years in the future, but the time of crop reaping always comes in without failure, again as the Word of God declares with this truth from the pen of this same Apostle Paul in another one of his epistles or letters here, Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. NKJV Paul reminds each one of us believers that there are consequences to every one of our actions in the flesh that will be rewarded it’s just do. We are to no longer live as we did in the time of our ignorance when we did not know and love God but went about gratifying and indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Ephesians 2:3 & 1 Peter 1:14).
Paul is by contrast commanding or exhorting us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The English word transformed Paul uses is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo which means to change into another form; to transfigure or change completely the nature or appearance. It is the picture of a caterpillar hanging himself upside down and weaving a chrysalis or cocoon and emerging some weeks later as a beautiful butterfly. Paul also uses the English word renewing and it is translated from the Greek word anakainosis which means a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better. Before we come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and we are saved eternally by Him, we have a mind that is marred, warped, and shaped by the continual use for sinful pleasure and pleasures. Our minds are worthless in that present state or condition to God the Father, so God the Holy Spirit takes us into the Word of God, where we see the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Walk on the earth as the God-Man along with His Teaching, Commands, Instructions, and Wisdom imparted to the early disciples (as written down for our learning) and we reshape our thinking patterns from worldly sinful view to Biblical World View that always sees the Glory of God as the only goal. Paul goes on to declare that when we present our bodies as living sacrifices and resist being conformed into this world’s thinking and have our minds transformed by being renewed in the Word of God, we will then prove what God’s Will truly is for each one of us.
Paul uses the English word prove which is translated from the Greek word dokimazo which means to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy, to discern. Paul guarantees (on the Authority of God’s Word in the Holy Spirit’s Power) that we will discern or understand God’s Will for our lives after and as our minds are continually being transfigured by the Word of God. This will of God for us will be good or a benefit to us and God and will be acceptable to us (as we are renewing our mind in his word), fully agreeable, and well-pleasing to us and to God the Father and finally the will of God will be perfect or complete growing us up into virtuous (morally excellent) men and women of God (1 Peter 1:15-16). Here is an example of the will of God as Paul declares it to us with these words, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. NKJV
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ presents itself, not as a mere republication of morality, not as merely a new stimulus and motive to do what is right, but as an actual communication to men of a new power to work in them, a strong hand laid upon our poor, feeble hand with which we try to put on the brake or to apply the stimulus. It is a new gift of a life which will unfold itself after its own nature, as the bud into flower, and the flower into fruit; giving new desires, tastes, directions, and renewing the whole nature. And so, says Paul, the beginning of transformation of character is the renovation in the very centre of the being, and the communication of a new impulse and power to the inward self.” Alexander MacLaren
“The man or woman that has truly come to the foot of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ will hunger and thirst after righteousness and will only find himself or herself being filled up when they are eating the flesh and drinking the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by first desiring the sincere milk of the Word of God just as a new born baby from the womb wants nothing but its Mother’s breast and then growing up spiritually and devouring huge slices of meat from the Word of God and all the time our minds are being transformed and changed forever.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…