Week Four – Day Two – Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Read ROMANS 12:1-2 (ESV) SOAP v. 2
12 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. 2 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.
Romans 12:1,2 (Amplified)Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
Romans 12:1-2 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) 1-2 With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
O – I’ve read this passage so many times that I wanted a fresh look at it…. So I turned to the Amplified Version. It makes me stop and read all those words in the parentheses – I can’t just rattle off those words!
• Therefore – Paul is referring to what he just finished telling the Romans in Chapter 11 – “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? FOr from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen!” (Rom. 11:33-36)
• By the mercies of God – Because of ALL that God has done – it is only because of His mercy that we are saved and CAN present ourselves to Him
• To present my body – dedicating all of myself – set apart
o ”Present your bodies means that God wants you, not just your work. You may do all kinds of work for God, but never give Him yourself. “ (David Guzik)
• Living sacrifice – giving myself to God, but doing it here on earth
• Holy and well-pleasing to God – remembering that what God wanted in the OT was a pure and unblemished lamb. He still wants holy sacrifice – but from us. Not to “die” but to give our living selves – purified by Him.
• Rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship – this makes sense, when you think of what God did for US!
o “The ancient Greek word for reasonable (logikos) can also be translated “of the word” (as it is in 1 Peter 2:2). Reasonable service is a life of worship according to God’s Word.” (David Guzik) Interesting thought!
• Do not be conformed to this world (any longer with its superficial values and customs)
o “Do not be conformed to this world warns us that the “world system” – the popular culture and manner of thinking that is in rebellion against God – will try to conform us to its ungodly pattern, and that process must be resisted.” (David Guzik)
o Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. (Message)
o Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould (JB Phillips)
• Be transformed and progressively changed (as you mature spiritually)
o ”But be transformed by the renewing of your mind: This is the opposite of being conformed to this world. The battle ground between conforming to the world and being transformed is within the mind of the believer. Christians must think differently.
i. “I don’t want to be conformed to this world. I want to be transformed. How do I do it?” By the renewing of your mind. The problem with many Christians is they live based on feeling, or they are only concerned about doing.
ii. The life based on feeling says, “How do I feel today? How do I feel about my job? How do I feel about my wife? How do I feel about worship? How do I feel about the preacher?” This life by feeling will never know the transforming power of God, because it ignores therenewing of the mind.
iii. The life based on doing says, “Don’t give me your theology. Just tell me what to do. Give me the four points for this and the seven keys for that.” This life of doing will never know the transforming power of God, because it ignores the renewing of the mind.
iv. God is never against feeling and doing. He is a God of powerful and passionate feeling, and He commands us to be doers. Yet feelings and doing are completely insufficient foundations for the Christian life. The first questions cannot be “How do I feel?” or “What do I do?” Rather, it must be “What is true here? What does God’s Word say?”(David Guzik)
• By the renewing of your mind – (focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes)
o This is the ancient Greek word metamorphoo – describing a metamorphosis. The same word is used to describe Jesus in His transfiguration (Mark 9:2-3). This is a glorious transformation!
o i. The only other place Paul uses this word for transformed is in2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. For Paul, this transformation and renewing of our minds takes place as we behold the face of God, spending time in His glory. (David Guzik)
• So that you may prove (for yourselves) what the will of God is – good and acceptable and perfect (in His plan and purpose for you)
o Prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God: As we are transformed on the inside, the proof is evident on the outside, as others can see what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is through our life.
i. Paul here explains how to live out the will of God:
– Keep in mind the rich mercy of God to you – past, present, and future (by the mercies of God)
– As an act of intelligent worship, decide to yield your entire self to Him (present your bodies a living sacrifice)
– Resist conformity to the thoughts and actions of this world (do not be conformed)
– By focus on God’s Word and fellowship with Him, be transformed by the renewing of your mind
ii. Then, your life will be in the will of God. Your life will prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
iii. You may know what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is, but you can’t prove it in your life apart from the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. (David Guzik)
What is the result of forgiveness? It is that transformed mindset – one that focuses on what God wants, and seeking what God wants, and desiring what God wants. It is a complete turn-around from our human, natural desires – wanting what WE want, when we want it.
A – Wow….what do I do with all this? After reading in multiple versions, and a few commentaries (see notes above), I began to see a progression….
• Realize what God has done for me
• Decide to give myself to Him – my whole self
• Decide not to let the world influence me (squeeze me into its mold)
• Allow God to transform my mind – by spending time with Him – how else can He influence me?
• Live my life according to His will – knowing His will also means spending time with Him and His word!
This is a heavy, serious, assignment! I remember in my youth or young adult years, someone saying, “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep trying to crawl off the altar!” So true…. In my life. In presenting myself to God as a LIVING SACRIFICE, I have to keep making that decision, over and over again. It is not once and done. It is living. It is continual. It is a decision that I must make, at each turn of my life. And, if I would STOP and THINK and DECIDE – that would be much easier! How many times do I just go on – and not really THINK of what God would want me to do? It would TOTALLY change my mindset and actions!!
P – Father God, I ask forgiveness right here, right now, for the times that I just go through my day, not really thinking of what YOU would have me do. It is SO much easier! But, Father, that is not what You want. You want me. You desire my WHOLE self. My body. My spirit. My mind. My soul. My whole self. Father, today, I bring my tarnished, tattered self to You, crawling on the altar, asking You to burn within me. Bring new life to me. Transform me. Transform my mind. Give me the desire to seek You, to serve You, to bring others to You. Bring me beyond being a Christian woman who serves You to being a woman after Your heart. Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Take my Life (Chris Tomlin) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agROj9nTQP4
Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee
Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as You choose
Here am I, all of me, take my life, it’s all for Thee
Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love, my Lord I pour at Your feet, it’s treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee