Last week we looked at the first part of Romans 12:2. We learned how the world is trying to squeeze us into its mold. God has another plan, which is to transform us by renewing our minds.
And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Encouraged to be Transformed
Paul encourages us to be transformed. While the world seeks to conform us from the outside, Paul wants the change to come from the inside. That’s the way God does it. He is always working from the inside out. He touches the inner things of our lives which transform the outer things of our lives.
The changes we are speaking about are not minor and they are not simply external. It is like the difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly. We are talking about serious change.
A caterpillar, which is limited to crawling on the earth, encases itself in a cocoon and begins the process of metamorphosis. Once the process is complete a butterfly emerges from the cocoon and within a short time flies into the heavens.
The transformation that takes place in the lives of believers is no less incredible. The ultimate goal of this transformation is the image of Christ.
Jesus Was Transformed
The Greek word metamorphoo is used three times in the New Testament. It is first used to describe what took place to Jesus when He was on the mountain with Peter, James, and John. We will look at the version of this event in Matthew 17:1-8:
Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
Jesus took the disciples up the mountain and was transfigured, or transformed, before their eyes. He changed from the person He was every day into the glorious Lord. This had to be a shocking event. The glory of Jesus shone so brightly that his face is described as shining like the sun. His glory was so great that it even affected his clothing making it brilliantly white.
The idea behind the word metamorphoo is the essence of an object, that which is the distinct character or nature of something. When the disciples saw Jesus shining in all of His glory, they were seeing the very essence of who He was. His glory was shining through.
There are two other events that clearly describe the radiance of the glory of God. The first is when Moses spent time with the Lord on the mountain in the wilderness. When Moses came off the mountain his face was shining from being in the presence of God (Exodus 3:29-35).
The shining was so bright that it disturbed the children of Israel and they were afraid to come near him. Moses had to wear a veil over his face to calm their fears.
A second time the glory of the Lord shone bright was in the confrontation Jesus had with Saul on the road to Damascus. Listen to the three descriptions of this event:
As he [Saul] was travelling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him (Acts 9:3).
But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me (Acts 22:6).
At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me (Acts 26:13).
The glory of Jesus is called a light, a very bright light, and a light brighter than the noonday sun. The resurrected glory of Jesus shone forth and it was so bright that it blinded Saul.
The idea of transformation definitely carries with a dramatic change in the object being transformed. The focus of this change being that of what one truly is in essence or being.
We Need to Be Transformed
Romans 12:2 commands us to be transformed. The idea is that the believers in Rome stop being outwardly crushed into the mold of the world becoming what they are not, but to be transformed into what they are in essence.
The transformation that Paul is seeking is one that works from the inside out. It is for you and me to become what we truly are in Christ. Paul not only shows us what we are to do, he tells how we are to do it.
Transformation takes place through the renewing of our minds. Things begin to radically change in our lives when we align our thinking to the truth of God’s word. We have seen the impact of ungodly beliefs in our lives in past posts. Now the focus is on God’s answer.
It is so vital that you allow the word of God to shape your life. A good practice is to see what God says about you. He knows you better than anyone on this earth. Once you know what God says, you are able to combat every lie that is contrary with the truth.
The Bible says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The truth of this verse is that when we trust in Christ and are in Him, we are righteous.
Your feelings scream out, “I don’t feel righteous. I feel sinful and dirty.” Who are you going to believe? Your feelings? Or God?
Every time you feel opposite of what God says you are you have a choice. You can choose to believe your feelings and remain overwhelmed and feeling separated from God. Or, you can state what God says and act accordingly.
I remember a time in my own life when I felt so guilty and worthless every time I did the slightest thing wrong. I would sense the Lord directing me to do something for Him and I would reject it. “How can I share Jesus when I just did ________?”
I would allow my guilty feelings dictate who I was rather than the truth of the word of God. I began to learn to get into the word of God and let that shape my understanding of who I was.
If you are struggling in an area of your life, the best thing you can do is to go to the Bible and see what it has to say about the issue. What insights does God give on who you are in Christ? What promises does God give you about the specific issue?
Saturate yourself in God’s word and promises and begin to choose to believe what He says. This begins the transformation. Once the reality of God’s word begins to shape your thoughts it will begin to change you life.
You will become who you really are. Remember that the transformation is into what you really are. It is the real you, not the perceived you.
We are Transformed into the Image of Christ
The third use of the word transformed reveals the ultimate goal of everything that God is doing in your life. He wants you to be like Jesus.
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 from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
This verse uses some of the same language as the event in Moses’ life on purpose. It wants you to think of how Moses, with an unveiled face, talked to God and his face was transformed by the glory of God.
We are also being transformed into the image of God. It is a process that continues forever. We become more and more like Him from glory to glory.
Every time you gain a new revelation of the truth of God you are transformed and become more like Jesus. The process is worked in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This verse helps us to see that when we are talking about getting our minds renewed, it is not a self-effort or positive confession of something we want for ourselves. It is finding out what God says about us and in the midst of reading and confessing that truth the Holy Spirit transforms our lives.
So we can see that the transformation comes about through teamwork. You, the word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit combine to bring about a transformation into the image of Christ.
Putting God’s Change into Practice
Paul tells us to be transformed so that we can prove what the will of God is. The idea is that we put into practice the things God says so that we can prove in our lives that what God says is trustworthy,
What Paul is encouraging you to do is to walk out the truth of what God says about you in His word by the power of the Holy Spirit so you can prove that God’s word it true. We will never experience the life of God without a walk of faith. We must put into practice what the Lord says about us.
When we do this we will begin to experience the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. God’s work in us will begin to work through us. Believing and acting (if you do not act you do not believe) upon God’s word will bring about powerful change in your life through the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you today to believe what God says about you and begin to walk in the reality of what He has declared. You will begin to see the work of the Holy Spirit in you life in a new way as you are changed into who you really are.
May God bless you as you live life as God intends it to be.
P.S. Have you experienced a “brain change” lately that has allowed to to experience His victory at a greater level? If so, leave a comment below.
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