“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” – Romans 12:1-2 TPT.
Our new series title is, “Under Renovations”. We are going to be talking about renewing our minds so we can be transformed into Christ likeness. I was going to call this series, “Under Construction”, but we already have minds and thoughts so it’s a matter of renovating, reforming or moving things around so we learn how to think right. In this series we are going to learn how to actively participate with the reformation works that the Holy Spirit is doing within us.
The Apostle Paul talks about people who are immature infants in Christ in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, as people who are still dominated by the mindset of the flesh. After salvation, we have a responsibility to co-labour with God so we can grow and mature in Christ and not remain as spiritual infants.
Did you know that you can be saved and be in church for 30 years but never make the transition from a baby Christian to a mature Christian? Maturing in Christ takes work. Mostly on the part of the Holy Spirit but we also have a part to play. Our verse today tells us what we need to do to ensure that we grow and mature in Christ. First, we are to surrender ourselves as living sacrifices to God. That means, we no longer run our lives but we give God total and absolute control over our lives.
Secondly, we live in holiness (physically pure or morally blameless). Our verse tells us that when we do this, we will experience all that delights God’s heart and this will be part of our worship to God. Thirdly, we are to stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the world. There are so many things that the world is ok with that God says we should not do. We have been set apart, our lives are living sacrifices unto God. We cannot just do with them as we please.
So then, since we live in the world how do we stop the culture and ideals of the world from getting on the inside of us? We commit ourselves to being inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation (renovation) of how we think. See if someone was timid before they got saved, they would still be timid 5 minutes after they are saved because they still have the same mind. However, through a journey with God and through reading the Scripture, the Holy Spirit can then change their thinking to line up with the word of God which says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” But they have an active role.
John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” See first you must know the truth then that truth which you know will set you free. In The Passion Translation there is a note for this verse which says, “Truth must be embraced and worked out through the divine process of spiritual maturity.” We have to embrace the truth of God’s Word. This forms part of the mind renovations that the Holy Spirit does in us. As we embrace the truth of God’s Word, we let go of wrong thinking and wrong mindsets.
The renewal of our minds stops us from focusing on what we see around us. We stop looking at culture to find our identity or try to fit in with the ideals that the world thinks are acceptable right now. Instead, we focus on the Word of God- which doesn’t change and we let God transform our minds to line up with what He says about us, our situation, our lives. God’s Word addresses every aspect of our lives because God loves us and He so wants to be a part of our lives. He wants to help us grow and mature so we can discern His will and live beautiful lives that are satisfying and perfect in His eyes.
Love and blessings,