|Previous Verse||Next Verse|
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Note 6 at Ro 12:2: Many of us would think that if we fulfill the conditions of Ro 12:1, then everything else would automatically work out. Yet Paul went on to state that we also have to renew our minds. Many of us who have had made genuine commitments to the Lord but haven't renewed our minds through God's Word, have needlessly suffered many problems.
Note 7 at Ro 12:2: The Greek word that was translated "conformed" here is the word "SUSCHEMATIZO," and it means "to fashion alike, i.e. conform to the same pattern" (Strong's Concordance). This scripture is telling us that we should be different than the unbelievers. Most of us as Christians recognize this, but we seem at a loss as to how to accomplish it. This verse goes on to give us the answer. The key is our minds. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Pr 23:7).
If we think on the same things that the world thinks on, we are going to get the same results. If we keep our minds stayed upon God through the study of His Word and fellowship with Him, then we'll have perfect peace (Isa 26:3). It's that simple.
Note 8 at Ro 12:2: The Greek word that was translated "transformed" here is the word "METAMORPHOO" and is the same word that we get our word "metamorphosis" from. It is describing a complete change, like that of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. This word is also the same word that was used to describe Jesus' transformation when His face shone and His garments became white as the light (Mt 17:2).
Making our thinking line up with God's Word will affect this complete transformation in our lives.
Note 9 at Ro 12:2: When people are born again (see note 2 at Joh 3:3), they become totally new creations in their spirits. Their spiritual salvation is complete. They don't need any more faith, joy, or power. They are complete in Him (Col 2:9-10, see note 3 at Mt 26:41).
However, it is not God's will that we only be changed on the inside. He wants to manifest this salvation in our physical lives also. That takes place through the renewing of our minds.
We each have a spirit, soul, and body (1Th 5:23). As born-again believers, our spirits are as perfect as they will ever be in heaven (see note 1 at Ro 8:18). If we will change our thinking so that we believe what God says in His Word about who we are and what we have, then this agreement between our spirits and souls forms a majority, and our flesh will experience the life of God that has been deposited in our spirits.
If we fail to renew our minds, we can live our entire time on this earth without experiencing the abundant life that Jesus provided for us (Joh 10:10).
Note 10 at Ro 12:2: The American Heritage Dictionary defines "prove" as "to establish the truth or validity of by argument or evidence...to be shown to be such; turn out." Therefore, this is speaking of how to physically display God's will in our lives. This is a promise that if we fulfill the requirements of these two verses, we will prove (not might prove, but will prove) the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Finding God's will for our lives is not hard when we do what these verses instruct us to do. As a matter of fact, it would be impossible to miss God's will once we commit ourselves to God as living sacrifices and begin to renew our minds. Finding God's will for our lives only becomes hard if we are not totally committed to God.
Note 11 at Ro 12:2: There is a difference of opinion among scholars as to whether Paul was using "good, and acceptable, and perfect" to describe the will of God or if he was saying that there are stages in walking in the will of God (i.e., good, then acceptable, then perfect). Either of these cases would be doctrinally correct.
God's will certainly is good and acceptable and perfect. It is also true that people don't move immediately into everything that God has for them, but there is always growth into the things of God.
Note 12 at Ro 12:2: This is a wonderful promise that we can prove God's will in our lives (see note 10 at this verse). The first step is to make a total commitment of our lives to the Lord ("living sacrifice," Ro 12:1). Actually this is the will of God for us all. Our vocation is secondary. God's will for all of us is to be living sacrifices to Him. Once that is accomplished, more specific direction will come as we renew our minds.
If we try to find God's vocation for us but don't present ourselves to God as living sacrifices, then we are frustrating God's plan. God doesn't just want our service; He wants us. Once He gets us, He'll get our service.
|Previous Verse||Next Verse|