Romans 12:2 – 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.
Many times we struggle with knowing what God’s will is for our life. Is it God’s will for me to take up this job? Is it God’s will that I marry this person? Is it God’s will that I start this business? And there are plenty of other situations where you are trying to find out God’s will for you.
But God’s word commands us not to conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. If we could do this, then we would KNOW the good and perfect will of God.
What does it mean to be transformed by the renewing of your mind? How do we go about doing it?
Friends, I encourage you to read through the book of Romans right from the beginning right up until chapter 11. In short, this is what the book of Romans teaches.
- The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us from ALL unrighteousness. Past, present, and future. We are now flawless and spotless in the sight of God. You might FEEL unrighteous, but the truth is that Jesus has cleansed you from all unrighteousness. We walk not by feelings, but by faith in the word of God. If He said we are righteous, then we are indeed righteous despite what our feelings say.
- There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You might feel guilty because you did something you shouldn’t have, but the truth is that there is now no condemnation for you if you are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because the blood of Christ Jesus has cleansed you from all unrighteousness. Maybe something wrong that you did in the past is bothering you today and you still feel condemned. I urge you to be led by the Spirit and not by your senses. Your senses accuse you and tell you that you are guilty, but the Spirit is telling you through God’s word that there is now no condemnation. Who are you going to believe? Your senses or the word of God?
- We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This is not by our efforts to live a righteous life but is a gift of God through Christ our Lord. Just as through one man’s sin (Adam) we all (the entire human race) became sinners, so also through one man’s obedience (Jesus Christ’s), we all (those who believe) became righteous. This is nothing for us to boast about, but everything to praise the Lord about and worship Him for. What an amazing gift!! When we say we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we are in effect saying, we have the same nature as that of God in us.
- Sin has no dominion over us because we are not under the law but under the grace and favor of God. You say, brother, but I continue sinning. I still lie and steal sometimes. I watch movies or videos I shouldn’t be watching. I cheated on my spouse, etc. You see! This is exactly why you need to renew your mind. Your senses accuse you and tell you that sin in fact HAS dominion over you, but God’s word says the contrary. Which do you choose to believe? What you believe determines your actions and your actions build habits and habits build your character. Change what you believe and everything else will change eventually.
Soon after the first eleven chapters of Romans teaches us all of the above, chapter 12 starts off with “Therefore”. In other words, seeing all that God did for us on our behalf, therefore….live like this. And the very first instruction is for us to renew our minds. So how do we renew our minds exactly?
By default, through tradition, culture, and worldliness; our minds have been conditioned to think that God is pure, holy, just, perfect and someone to be feared and worshipped. This is of course true. But we have also been conditioned to think that we are mere men, sinful, imperfect, and unworthy to approach a holy God. We even hear it often said, “nobody is perfect.” This is true too, but NOT for us who believe in Jesus Christ. With this mindset, we try to work out our faith in God which is a perfect recipe for failure.
The fact is that Jesus’ finished work on the cross has changed everything for us who believe. We are NEW creations in Christ. The bible teaches us in various places to consider ourselves dead to our old selves because we are indeed NEW creations in Christ Jesus.
Everything this world has taught us and everything our minds have been conditioned to think and believe as natural is a sharp contrast to what God’s word says about us.
- Our mind says we are imperfect, unholy, and guilty. But the word of God says, you are perfect and you are righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for you.
- Our mind says we cannot approach Almighty God and ask Him for anything unless we are living a “perfect” and “holy” life, but the word of God says “You are forgiven. Enter into His presence with boldness”. The veil that separated man from God was torn when Jesus died, making our way clear into God’s awesome presence.
Ephesians 3:12 – Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
- Our mind says we are sick because this sickness runs in the family and is hereditary or because of something wrong that we did, but the word of God says “By His stripes we were healed”. Isaiah 53:5
- Our mind says nobody loves me or understands me, I am lonely and on my own. But the word of God says “I will never ever leave you nor forsake you”. Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5
- Our mind says that the devil is wreaking havoc in my family, but the word of God says He that is in me is mightier than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
- Our mind says I am weak and cannot overcome the devil’s vicious attacks and my addictions, but the word of God says “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome ALL the power of the enemy”. Luke 10:19
I am sure you get the point. There is a sharp contrast between how God views you as His children and how you view yourselves. And it has got to do with what you believe.
What you believe and allow your thoughts to dwell on will determine your actions. Your consistent actions will then form into a habit and your habits will determine who you become as a person. Change what you believe, and it will change your actions and therefore your habits and you will end up as someone living that abundant life Jesus promised to give you. “He said I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly”. John 10:10
So renewing your mind is to rewire your thinking by repeatedly telling yourself what the word of God says about you. This is called “meditating on the Word of God”. Tell yourselves:
- I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus
- There is now no condemnation for me because I am in Christ Jesus
- Sin has no dominion over me because I am not under law but under grace
- I am a child of God, a citizen of heaven, and am an ambassador for Christ
- I am not of this world
- In my Father’s kingdom, there is no sin, no sickness, no sorrow, and no poverty.
- I am a joint heir with Christ in all these things and therefore I am a success. I “cannot” be a failure because I am a joint heir with Christ Jesus Himself.
- I am born of the Word of God and therefore am born of God. I have the very life of God in me.
- When Jesus died, I died. When He rose again, I rose again. When He ascended to heaven, I ascended to heaven. When He was seated at the right hand of God, I was seated along with Him in the heavenly places.
These are the truths. What your mind has been telling you is not true and is of this world. This world may consider them true because of what they “see” and “feel”, but not for you because you are a child of God and you live by the word of God. When you keep reminding yourselves of these truths over and over again every day, eventually that’s who you will become and it will begin to manifest in your life. Try repeating them out right now. Don’t you feel alive? Don’t you feel full of life? That is the Holy Spirit in you witnessing to the truth.
We know that we are spirit, soul, and body. The spirit needs to be continually fed….so that it affects the mind….which in turn affects the body. Before being born again in Christ, our spirits were dead due to sin. Our mind got its information from the physical senses. There was no room for faith in the unseen. Hence when situations and circumstances got challenging, the mind is stressed and this shows in our bodies through sicknesses, looking old prematurely, headaches, pains, and diseases. Whatever the state of your mind, it is made manifest in your body.
Likewise, now that your Spirit is made alive and you feed on God’s word and good teachings, your mind is renewed, and this will show on your body as well. Faith begins to operate…you become much calmer in the midst of a storm in your life.
When you begin to confess the same thing God’s word says about you, you begin to renew (re-wire) your mind and when you do this, you will always KNOW the good and perfect will of God in all situations. Learn to speak out God’s word. Only say what God says about you in the word.
2 Cor 10:4-5 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
How do you know the thoughts that are exalting themselves against the knowledge of God? Anything that steals your peace steals your joy, steals your assurance and confidence, or makes you feel condemned and guilty, these are thoughts exalting themselves against the knowledge of God. It is time to put to death these thoughts and bring them to the obedience of God’s Word. It is time to remind yourself who you are once again.
This obviously does not mean that we can go about doing whatever we like to fulfill our sensual pleasures and then say “I am a child of God”. This also does not mean that we will never get sick or never have any problems or challenges in life. The emphasis is on renewing your mind so that you begin to think as per God’s Word and not as per what this world considers normal. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit within you who convicts you of wrongful deeds. Our goal should not be to seek comfort and pleasure and ease in this world but to see the lost saved and look fervently for the heavenly Kingdom to come. That is a vital part of the renewing of your mind too.
There are many other verses in the word of God which reiterate what I just said about who we are in Christ.
Colossians 1:13 says “we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.”
John 8:31-32 – If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples. And you will know the truth, and THE TRUTH will set you free.
2 Cor 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 from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Cor 5: 14-17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. He IS already a new creation. It doesn’t say “he will become”…
The word transformed in the original Greek scripture is “metamorphoo” which is where we get metamorphosis from). A radical transformation of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly is called metamorphosis.
Other places where the word “transformed” is used
Matt 17:2 – The same word is used to illustrate Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain
1 Cor 15:51 – 54 – Here talking about our rapture and our bodies being transformed, Paul says “We will not all die, but we will all be transformed”
Gal 6:15 – It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
So friends, if you wish for your life to be transformed, if you wish to experience that abundant life, and if you wish to experience the joy of walking with the Lord every day and being able to hear His voice and being led by the Holy Spirit, then RENEW your minds. Change the way you think. Start thinking of yourselves as the way God thinks about you.