Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog
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. 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.”
As we enter chapter 12 the point is, “what are the practical implications of 1-11?” It is the start of a five chapter section on how we can put what Paul has said into action. In the first section of the book we learn that we all have sinned, but through faith we have received justification. This gift of justification should motivate us to faithful service.
Paul begins 12:1 by saying “I urge,” which is the powerful petition verb (parakaleo). It is always used by Paul to indicate a significant point.
Here it represents a transition from the doctrinal discussion to the practical. It also represents a key thought, that we must present ourselves to God as a “living sacrifice.” This is in contrast to the dead sacrifices of the Old Testament (slaying of innocent animals that wasn’t enough).
We must give to God while we are young, alive, and capable of service.
We must present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice that is Holy and acceptable. Holy means we are free from moral filth. Holy means that we are devoted to serving God. Holy means that we are an instrument of righteousness.
Then we come to verse 2 where Paul says, “Do not be conformed.” As Christians that are wanting to build our character we cannot let the world be our standard when it comes to:
- Our morals (the way we act)
- Philosophy (the way we think)
- In context the way we dress and the way we worship.
Rather than being conformed to the world, we must “renew our minds.”
- In intellect (change the way we reason, and think about things)
- In emotion (Renew our state of mind, the way we respond to different circumstances)
- In will power (have the strength to restrain our human impulses)
Have we found ourselves living without righteous thinking? We must renew our minds. When our gym membership runs out, we renew it. When our car insurance policy period is over, we renew it. When our thinking isn’t in line with God’s, we renew our minds.
Why do we sacrifice, and renew our minds? To prove/discern:
- What the good will of God is
- What the acceptable will of God is
- What the perfect will of God is
And by discerning these things, we can be known as Christians who think righteously.