Do not judge and you will not be judged.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and it will be given to you.
Luke 6: 37-38

16 July 2016

Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds

A. God expects us to be radically transformed.

God expects that, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be radically changed. 
In Romans 12:2 he tells us, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your minds." This transformation is to be a metamorphosis, of a magnitude at least comparable to that by which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. He expects us to become totally different.

Scripture uses many different images to express the change that should occur:

We become "a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Cor 5:17). It is almost as if we become a new species. Scripture speaks of the "first Adam" who was earthly and fell into sin, and the "second Adam" (Jesus Christ) who was sinless and holy (Rom 5:12-19; 1 Cor 15:44-49).

We are "made new in the attitude of your minds" (Eph 4:23).

We "put off your old self" and "put on the new self" (Eph 4:22,24; Col 3:9-10).

We "live by the Spirit" and not by the flesh (Gal 5:16; Rom 8:13).

We become "instruments of righteousness" rather than "instruments of wickedness" (Rom 6:13).

We have "been buried with him through baptism into death" in order that "we may live a new life" (Rom 6:4).

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20).

We have "been set free from sin and have become slaves to God" (Rom 6:22). We are no longer "slaves to sin, which leads to death", but have become "slaves to ... obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Rom 6:16).

We are rescued ("translated" KJV) from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God's son (Col. 1:13). Our citizenship and our allegiance has been changed.

We have become adopted sons of God (John 1:12-13; Rom 8:15-16).
We are "born again" (John 3:3,5); born from above, of the spirit and not the flesh.

Each of these metaphors, in a different way, emphasizes the magnitude of the change that is expected. Each is dramatic and astonishing in itself; their cumulative effect is even more powerful. We are talking about a tremendous transformation. It should be visible to others, but its internal effect should be far greater than what others can perceive.
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