December 7, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Let’s continue with Romans 12:1-3 to see how we are to be Overcoming The Head Start of the world in our lives as it tries to conform you, or “… squeeze you into its own mold…” (Romans 12:2 – The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips).
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you pre-
sent your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be trans-
formed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say through the grace
given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more
highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to
everyone a measure of faith.
We saw in the last blog that we are to “…present…our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is…our reasonable service.” It is only reasonable considering all that God has done for us – presenting His Son Jesus to be our Savior, and offering us eternal life and abundant life in Him! (See John 10:10). So what’s next?
• Paul gives us the positive and the negative of the next step in Romans 12:2 – “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed….” There is usually a positive and a negative! If you just try to adhere to the negative – “Don’t do this or that!” – it just doesn’t seem to work very well!
Myron is an illustration. He is a fellow treasure hunter – finding things lost or buried with a metal detector – and we were at a club-sponsored hunt one day. Knowing that I am a minister, Myron confided in me that he had a gambling addiction, and he was asking how to turn away from it. I thought about it for a few moments, sending a quick prayer to God for wisdom. Then I asked him, “Myron, are you a Christian?” – explaining briefly to him that it meant opening your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting Him as your Savior. “ Yes,” he said, “I accepted Jesus as my Savior.”
“Alright, Myron,” I advised, “Turn to Him, confessing your problem to Him
and telling Him you need His help. Really turn to Him in all things in your
life! You see, you cannot turn to God whole-heartedly without turning away
from sin! God and sin are diametrically opposed! If you turn to God, you
will be turning away from your gambling addiction.”
Concentrate on being transformed, and you will automatically turn away from being conformed !
• So how are we transformed into what God wants us to be? “…by the renewing of your mind….” (Romans 12:2). What renews our minds? The Word of God! Between August 2 and 16, 2013, I wrote a seven-part series of blogs called What The Word Will Do. I recommend reading over those seven blogs, for God’s Word, the Bible, will produce within your life an amazing array of positive things if you just regularly take it in!
How do I know that it is the Bible to which Paul is referring in verse two when he tells us that being transformed is by the renewing of your mind? In other Scriptures we are told:
* Psalm 119:9, 11 – “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking
heed according to Your word….Your word I have hidden in my heart,
that I might not sin against You.”
* Jeremiah 15:16 – “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your
word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by
Your name, O LORD God of Hosts.”
* Colossians 3:10 –“…the new man [the new creation in II Corinthians 5:17]
is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created
* II Peter 1:3, 4 (Modern King James Version) – “…His divine power has
given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the
knowledge of Him who called us to glory and virtue, through which
He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that
by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Take in God’s Word! Read, study, memorize and meditate upon what is written in the Bible! It transforms us by the renewing of our minds! It makes us more and more into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ! (See II Corinthians 3:18).