There are lots of things we can safely ignore in life, but this command is not one of them. Every human is challenged to become the person God meant them to be. He has a purpose for the world and He wants to use us in fulfilling His purpose. God used St Paul to outline the challenge that faces every human and how that challenge can be met with His help.
What follows is a brief outline of what is involved, followed in the next article in Part 2 by a deeper look into the meaning of the words and phrases for those who [like myself] like to dig deeper into God’s revelation of His will for us in His word, the Bible.
Romans 12:1-2. “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. 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.”
COMMENTS ON THE TEXT OF Romans 12:1-2
- The passage is an appeal by God for humans to recognise His great love for humankind and to respond accordingly.
- The appeal is based on what He has done for them in Christ [His mercies]. So it is based on the mercies of God and not on the terrors of hell [though they do exist for those who thumb their noses at Him and ignore His purposes for them.]
- The appeal is that they turn from the binding power of the world with all its attractions which holds them in its grip [they are conformed to it] and present all they are and have to Him so that they can be transformed by Him to be able to know and to do the will of God. In brief, conformation to the world has to cease, and transformation by God to do His will, must begin and continue throughout life.
- In the process of making that total presentation of themselves to God, something incredible happens. They become transformed people by having renewed minds which are able to learn to recognise the will of God for them. They then find that as they attempt to put that will into practice, that His will is “good and acceptable and perfect” not only in the sight of God [as it has always been] but now in their sight as well.
- God as the Creator God could have made humans like robots already programmed to do His will at all times. But He didn’t. He chose to give them freewill so that they could freely choose to love Him and to obey Him in doing His will, which would always be best for them and glorifying to the Creator God.
Why would anyone ever choose not to respond to God’s merciful initiatives in sending His Son into the world to make the riches of His grace available to us [which include forgiveness, the gift of His life in us by the Holy Spirit, eternal life and the joy of being used in the purposes of God for His world?] Oh, that’s right. They are still conformed and not yet willing to be transformed!
In the next article in Part 2, I will attempt to look more closely at the words used in this passage, to help us see the deep meanings behind the words of Rom 12:1-2 and their significance for us today.
Blog No.352 posted on www.jimholbeck.blog on Monday 11th May 2020