God’s Perfect Goal for You
C. S. Lewis said, “Our Lord . . . warned people to ‘count
the cost’ before becoming Christians. Make no mistake,’ He says, ‘if you let
me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is
what you are in for. Nothing less, or other than that. You have free will, and
if you choose, you may push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand
that I am going to see this job through… I will never rest, nor let you rest,
until you are literally perfect—until My Father can say without reservation that
He is well pleased with Me’” (Mere Christianity, pp. 157-58).
The apostle Paul wrote, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who
began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus"
What is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God? What is that “good
work”? Again the apostle wrote, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies
of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God,
which is your [rational] spiritual service of worship" (Romans 12:1). How do
you prove that is the will of God? The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:2,
"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 and
acceptable and perfect." In verse one the apostle states the goal positively
when he wrote, “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to
God which is your [rational] spiritual service of worship.” That is our
responsibility as Christians. It is a “once and for all” decision of commitment
of our lives to God and a daily renewal of that life-long determination to live
Paul also states the goal negatively in verse two. “Be not conformed to this
world.” We no longer want to use our bodies to fulfill sinful pleasures. We
now belong to God who purchased us in the death of His Son Jesus Christ. Christ
has ransomed us. The Christian’s body is God’s temple (I Cor. 6:19-20). We can
now glorify God with our bodies.
How do we experience such a daily transformation? “Be transformed by the
renewing of your mind.” It is interesting that Paul uses the same word here
that is translated “transfigured” in Matthew 17:2. Jesus was “transfigured” on
the mountainside. The word means to “change into another form.” It is an inner
change, a radical renovation. The transformation is invisible to the physical
eye; however, we do see the outward effects of that inward spiritual birth.
Robert Haldane observed, “There are degrees in this transformation, although
all Christians are transformed when they are born again, yet they ought to be
urged, as here, to a further degree of this transformation.”
This inner transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit. C. E. B. Canfield
brings out the force of the tense. “Stop allowing yourselves to be conformed…
continue to let yourselves be transformed …”
The renewing of the mind of the Christian is not something that takes place
in an instant, but is something that must be continually repeated. It is a
process which has to go on all the rest of the Christian’s life.
The Holy Spirit helps us look at life from a new perspective. The renewal is
an adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of
God. It stresses the continual operation of the indwelling Spirit and the
willing response on the part of the believer.
The world system of beliefs seeks to control our minds so we will conform to
its way of thinking about moral values, behavior, philosophy of life, etc. It
constantly seeks to squeeze us into its mold.
We are transformed in the renewing of our minds as the Holy Spirit applies
the Word of God over a lifetime. We have spent years under the influence of a
constant bombardment of a way of looking at life that is opposed to the
Christian way of life. The Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and reprograms our way
of thinking. His goal is that we will live to please God, and do His will which
is always “good and acceptable and perfect.”
I like the freshness of the NET Bible. "Do not be
conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good
and well-pleasing and perfect. Conduct in Humility"
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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