“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:2a ESV
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2a NIV
“And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes].” (Romans 12:2a)
Our Sunday School lessons this quarter are focused around “God’s Urgent Call.” So far, we have looked at specific individuals and the life lessons we can learn from their responses to the assignments God gave them. Eventually, we will study God’s call to specific action on our part. The call to witness, the call to obedience, the call to shine like the stars, etc. AND the call to transformation…”transformation by the renewing of your mind.”
No matter what your Bible translation preference may be, for the most part there is no change in the words used, “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Let’s face it, each person God created has a mind and the One who created us knows that our minds have been impacted by sin and need to renewed by His Spirit and Word.
I am reminded of the principle that states “salvation is the miracle of the moment, sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” This is what Paul was saying in Philippians 2:12b, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” When we accept Jesus and our Lord and Savior, the setting apart to and for God begins and setting apart from sin, evil and the enemy begins as well with our participating in this work.
The Lord is so gracious to call us to transformation from that old man mind (thinking) to the renewed mind (thinking) in Christ. He gave us our minds and now compels to use them for His glory. Is this not what the Lord speaks through Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:20, “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.“ Let your thinking align with the Word of God. It is light and it is truth; it will not change.
Mind renewal doesn’t just happen with one quick zap but is much like tenderizing a piece of meat…poke it, soak it, cook it, chew it, digest it. In other words, as God said in Isaiah 1:18, “come let us reason together.” Let there be many Selah, pause and ponder, moments of talking to God, asking questions, praying for understanding and wisdom. In fact, not moments but meditating upon the Word both day and night. Joshua 1:8 says it like this, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Romans says it in a nutshell, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The transformation takes place in the moving of the Word from the head to the heart. God promised in Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.“
“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
What an awesome grace of God, to be instructed by His Spirit and Word…the living Wordfrom the One, True and Living God! We cannot instruct the Lord and our finite minds pale in comparison to His infinite knowledge and wisdom but the verses above encourage us to be transformed in our minds and therefore align our hearts and minds- thoughts, beliefs, actions so we no longer conform to this world but to His mind, will, ways, purposes and plans.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11
Oh my, what a great privilege – all for His glory!