Sunday, June 6, 2010


“Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, then you will know what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Rom. 12:2)

                I have often said that there are really only two sermons in the Bible.  The first is, “all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus,” and the second, “now act like it.”  I think back to the admonition of my father when I went on my first date.  I did not get a lecture on opening doors, kissing, or reckless behavior.  He simply said, “You are a Surles.  Act like it.”  And that is the foundation of morality in the Scriptures.  “You are a child of the Living God, paid for on the cross.  Now act like it.”

                For the last two days, I have been writing about the glorious inheritance that God has in store for us and how that inheritance cannot be taken away.  And in the words of my father, “Now act like it.”  And that is not something we do naturally when we are born again.  Our actions are a conscious reflection upon the glory of God.  Paul says it over and over.  Our behavior is a commitment of our minds to the glory of God.  In fact, Paul opens the Book of Romans with a clear argument that a mind not focused on the glorification and truth of God, will result in all manners of sin, including idolatry, homosexuality, murder, and maybe worst of all, “approving of those who do those things.”  We are a culture who has turned its back on God and we see clearly the results outlined by the Apostle.

                Paul makes clear that Christian living is a mindset.  And mindsets don’t come easy.  You cannot think about God for an hour on Sunday mornings (when it’s convenient) and expect to have a Christian mindset.  A mindset  is an overt action on our part, to be daily renewed in the things of God.  Just as a mind turned away from God results in all sorts of sin, so too does a mind turned toward God result in all kinds of positive behavior.  Just as not glorifying God and denying His truth results in all manner of sins, conversely a mindset on God results in love, loving good and hating evil, community of saints, and all manner of things pleasing to God.  We see that in Romans 12 (after Paul launches into a glorious doxology of God), we see it in Philippians 1, and we see it in Col. 3. 

                It begins with glorifying God; then a mindset on the things of God; and the result is Christian living that is pleasing to God.  And the power of Christianity is being lost because we want to “feel” our way into salvation.  We want to let our ethics come naturally because we are saved.  But Paul would have none of that.  He said we must not be conformed to the patterns of the world (where feelings are more important than thoughts based on truth; where pleasure is more important that striving for goodness; etc.) but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.  That means reading, studying, praying, meditating on the reality of renewal of a godly mindset.

                There is an anti-intellectual movement in Christianity that has no correlation to New Testament Christianity.  It says that God does all the work and we sit back and let Him move through us.  We pray for healing, better circumstances, better lives, and ignore the fact that Paul never once prayed for those things.  He prayed that his congregations would receive wisdom, knowledge, power, obedience, but there is not one prayer for healing in all of his letters.  That is because Paul knew that if the churches were not working to dig deeper in the Scriptures, they would drift away from the truth, and thus drift away from God.  And a church apart from God has no power of healing strength for its people.

                Are you having trouble figuring out what God’s will for your life is?  Whatever decisions face you -- a spouse, a job, a move, an education, or even a major life change – do you feel God is not speaking to you.  If not, maybe it is because you have let your mindset become mushy and filled with feelings, emotions, and popular opinions instead of renewing your mind day by day in the deeper things of God.  I challenge you to throw away your “Daily Breads” and “Upper Rooms.”  Throw away the popular Christian authors and start digging deep to renew your minds.  Don’t scan Scripture but rip each sentence apart; pull out your dusty concordance, find good evangelical commentaries, read authors who had to sacrifice deeply and who in turn lived to renew their minds, read about the true Christian martyrs.  Then God’s promise will be true – “You will know what God’s will is – His good pleasing and perfect will.”

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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