Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Be Transformed in Mind

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).

Romans 12:1 begins, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers.” The apostle Paul was not only the greatest systematic theologian in the history of the church, but he was also the greatest practical theologian. Having laid out in 11 chapters the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, culminating in a stirring discussion of world evangelism in chapter 11, Paul now turns to the practical ramifications of all that has gone before. In Romans 12:1, he calls on us to offer our bodies as “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” Our total selves and our total lives are to be dedicated to His service. This means adopting a totally new worldview, a worldview no longer in conformity to the old world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds.

We have a natural tendency to conform. We tend to relegate this to the early teenage years, when “peer pressure” is most visible. In fact, we are conformist from the day we are born until the day we die. We always feel pressure to go along with the standards and styles of the community in which we live.

At the same time, nonconformity can be as vicious a trap as conformity. When we practice non-conformity for non-conformity’s sake, we are still being governed by the standards and styles of the world—it’s just that we are reacting against them.

To be transformed means to go above and beyond the forms of this world. Christians should neither conform nor react. They should transform. Christians are not to drop out of society, but to live in society as transformed people, as salt and light. This begins by the renewing of our minds, as we seek to think God’s thoughts after Him.

If we are to get a new mind, a new worldview, where shall we begin? We begin by studying God’s Word, for there we find His thoughts, and only by studying God’s Word can we think His thoughts after Him. In this way, as Romans 12:2 says, we can learn God’s will, what He wants us to do. Concentrate this week on discovering why people (especially yourself) do and say what they do. Determine to be transformed, not conformed.