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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" (Philippians 1:6).

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 for God.

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" (Romans 12:2). 

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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