Week Eight - Day Three
Renewal as a part of Transformation
Romans 12:1-2 - I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to pres- ent your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiri- tual worship. 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.
Paul wrote a letter to the Roman church explaining how to live as unified Christians with various ethnicities in their church. In Romans 12:2, he explains an important concept in the transformation process for all Christians. Transformation happens “by the renewal of your mind.” This idea is also echoed in Ephesians 4:23 and Co- lossians 3:10. To be clear, this is not talking about salvation, but only transformation. Salvation is a work God does in declaring us righteous and giving us a new heart and mind. Transformation is the process of growing in Christlikeness in which we participate with the Holy Spirit. In this text, Paul describes transformation as culti- vated with “the renewal of your mind.” What does that mean? It is similar to what Jesus spoke about in Luke 6:43-45; what you put in your mind cultivates your heart and flows out into your life. In transformation, there is a mind-heart-life connection.
Think of the bigger picture: Paul is calling this Roman church, and all Christians, to respond to what Jesus has done on the cross. He is inviting each Christian to respond to “the mercies of God,” namely Jesus’ sacrifice, by wholly giving their life to God. This is practically done by “the renewal of your mind” which is held in contrast to being “conformed to this world” or loving worldly things (1 John 2:15). Part of renewing our minds is practicing the Christian disciplines of studying and memorizing God’s word, listening to the gospel preached, praying, and asking God to help us discern what his will is for us in each situation. This cultivates transforma- tion and transformation results in a genuine display of Jesus’ love for one another and unity in the church.
- To which of these practices (reading the Bible, listening preaching/teaching, praying) are you most drawn? Record specific examples of how they have enabled your mind to be renewed.
- As a disciple-maker what are some ways you can help others in their transformation?