Luis Cruz, GCF Durham
Every new year is a chance to do things right. For many people, that’s what it means. The New Year brings hope. Almost everyone I know, wanted to start doing something they have always wanted to do but failed to get it done in the past months. They know they should but have not done it. This is no different with Paul’s audience in his letter to the church in Rome. In previous chapters, Paul, explained that sin have enslaved them and were blind to the fact that the Gospel should trigger their mind, heart and life to change. Thus, here in chapter 12, Paul concluded that the time to change is now! This chapter is about the believer’s transformation which must take place in at least three personal areas.
1. Transforming the mind before renewing the heart.
Christians were meant to be transformed according to Romans 12:2, “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” NRSV
The Greek word for transform is metamorphoó. Metamorphoó is the root word for the English word – metamorphosis.
Merriam-Webster's dictionary describes Metamorphosis as, “a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances.”
The mind must be transformed first before the character can be changed.
From being worldly in perspectives, to being biblical in perspectives.
Believing that the Bible is sufficient and perfect.
2. Renovating the heart changes the life.
“the renewing of your mind. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Rom. 12:2b-3.
The Greek root word (anakanioo) talks about renovation, too!
Every true believer is part of God’s house (Heb. 3:6) whose heart needed to be renovated.
26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
The Spirit of God works in tandem with His Word.
But it is our responsibility to hide the Word in our heart.
The Holy Spirit and His Word can renovate our life – Gal.5:22-26.
“love, joy, peace, patience” are experience from within but, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are expressed towards other people. Other people benefit from the fruit of the Spirit.
And because we have the fruit of the Spirit we can “think so as to have sound judgment” See Rom. 12:3b.
Sound judgment means, without bias, fully informed with the pros and cons; and judging based on clear biblical doctrines with the intention of reflecting the fruit of the Spirit.
Without the fruit of the Spirit, we become legalistic, self-serving and self-righteous in our ways of bringing out the Word.
3. Transformation and renovation unify the Church.
4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:4-5.
Once transformation takes place in the mind and heart, the hands will follow.
We have been gifted with abilities, skills, talents that we can use to glorify God.
It’s never easy to follow and serve the Lord as many challenges arise so that the mind and the heart will continue to be transformed.
Challenges that God allows in order to help us in our transformation.
A challenge to think and live biblically despite negative circumstances.
A challenge to remain faithful to the Lord despite unfavourable circumstances.
A challenge to remain focused to the Lord and rely on the Holy Spirit.
Credits: Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay