Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23
Daily Bread #11
“… but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2 ESV).
“and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Eph. 4:23 ESV).
Metamorphosis is one of those words we remember speaking at an early age in science class. Many of us today are still mesmerized by a caterpillar changing from its green disgusting look to something of beauty and wonder, a butterfly. When speaking about the mind in Romans 12:2 as something that must undergo change, Paul uses a word from which we get the English “metamorphosis.” The idea in Romans 12 is that of a change that takes place in the mind by a renewal of that inward nature. Since “renew” means to make new again, the implication is that when we begin to exist, we had a fresh nature (inward person) that was not corrupted by the fallen world. Not too long after our existence, darkness got a hold of us and as a result we became corrupt (Eph. 4:22).
At the moment of our conversion from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, the renewal of our inward nature began. The change, however, is supernatural. That is to say, God begins to perform an operation that no human being could have done. When God’s Holy Spirit touches our spirit or comes inside us at conversion, we are made alive unto God (Rom. 6:1-11; 8:9-16). In Ephesians 4:23-24, Paul speaks of the “renewal of the mind” as an ongoing process. At the deepest level of our existence, we are being changed from glory to glory – we get better as we grow older in Christ (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:16).
The beautiful contrast of 2Corinthians 4:16 is that while the outward person is growing old and will eventually die, the inward person is being renewed day by day. Although God is the source of our spirit (Heb. 12:9), and the only one who can perform a renewal at the deepest level of our existence, He will not overpower us with His might against our will to be changed. But, unless we allow God to continue renewing our inward man, we will become stagnated and eventually die. In the covenant community of God, the Church, we have an imperative from Him on the continuing growth at the core of our being. We must be renewed by God daily or face spiritual death. Many have already died because they have resisted God in the past and continue to do so even today.
- When Israel came out of Egypt, it was God’s intention to bring them into the Promise Land. They resisted God, and all of them except for two died in the wilderness.
- Although God desires to save as many people as possible, quality will always take precedence over quantity for Him – God saved only eight people from a world of humanity that lived in the days of Noah, and only two out of hundreds of thousands that came out of Egypt (Gen. 7:7; Num. 14:30).
- Are we listening, are we listening, and are we listening? Unless God molds us (Eph. 4:23 24), He can’t take us.
3. Are we listening, are we listening, and are we listening? Unless God molds us (Eph. 4:23 24), He can’t take us.
The Beltway Church of Christ is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Prince George’s County, MD near Joint Base Andrews.