I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
Has your pastor ever said, “When you see the word ‘therefore’ in the Bible, you must always inquire, ‘What is it there for?’ ” Mine says it every single time it appears in a Bible teaching; so it’s been drilled into me, therefore the Romans 12:1 verse is no exception to the rule.
Total sacrificial submission is a strong tenet and it necessitates thoughtful consideration as to why Paul proposes it, otherwise we might regard it as mere legalistic compliance to a seemingly over demanding God. It’s for this reason that the Apostle Paul took the previous eleven chapters of this awesome Book to present the doctrine that would support such a radical application. If I could be so bold as to summarize: it is because of our Father’s ceaseless love, evident in His perfect grace and mercy, providing His Son Jesus as a propitiation for our sins, resulting in our being seen as if we have never transgressed, securing by faith our salvation and eternal position with Him in His Heavenly realm we therefore might present ourselves as living sacrifices. In consideration of these truths, it is only reasonable.
Anybody ever told you that as a Christian you are being brainwashed? You know how I reply to that? I say, “I needed my brain washed!” After years of conforming to a corrupt and selfish world, I needed the Lord to come in and scrub away the filth. Believers can say with full confidence that they are not giving up anything worthwhile when they willingly commit to Christian service.
The actual word ‘transformed’ is only used in three places in the Bible: here in Romans and in Matthew 17 where Jesus was transfigured on the Mount of Transfiguration and again 2 Corinthians 3. The Greek root of the word is where we get our modern day word metamorphosis. In these passages it essentially means the same thing every time: to be changed from one thing to another; like a caterpillar is changed into a butterfly. What are we being changed into? The glory of the Lord; living reflections of our Savior!
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. 2 Corinthians 3:18
How Are We Transformed?
The answer to that question is multifaceted, but suffice it to say, it is by pouring ourselves into God’s word—His love letter to His children. Does it not make perfect sense? John 1:1 records that the Word and Jesus are the same therefore it is only reasonable that if we desire to know Him for the purpose of becoming like Him, that we go to Him in His Word. Jesus said of Himself…
’Behold, I have come– In the volume of the book it is written of Me– To do Your will, O God.’ Hebrews 10:7