SUBJ: The work in us that follows
after the presenting of ourselves as living sacrifices is the way of
true worship and praise unto God.
AIM: That we might sense and
experience an ongoing process of renewal and transformation that would
truly reflect growth as God’s dear children.
INTR: The first two verses of
Romans 12 are usually considered together and rightly so in that both
contribute inseparably to the whole work of the Spirit of God in us.
1. The first directs us into the true worship of God in consciously
presenting ourselves to God in full faith and confidence in Him through
Christ our Lord.
2. The second addresses a change in us which
complements the first and is visible to witnesses outwardly and
acceptable to God in the reflection of Christ in us.
3. In both cases
these things are stated as present mandates indicating that they are
ongoing and ever increasing.
The working of the Spirit in us is a radical change in our makeup and
clearly distinguishes us from the word and identifies us with Christ
Jesus our Lord. Note the “Be’s” below.
I. Be not conformed
John MacArthur wrote that conformed “refers to assuming an outward
expression that does not reflect what is real inside, a kind of
masquerade or act.”
1) The assumption here is that the people to whom
Paul wrote were regenerated people and
2) This is about participatory
rise and progress of the evidence of God in us.
2. Paul wrote
elsewhere of the character of the world: 1 And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the
power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of
disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times
past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and
of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
3. It is from this that we were delivered: Who gave
himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil
world, according to the will of God and our Father: Galatians 1:4.
To be conformed to the world is to act in any way that courts the favor
and acceptance of the world whether it be in religion, idolatry, and
their evil ways – outside of Christ, all is dominated by Satan.
Thus, we are taught to “shun the very appearance of evil.”
Transformed (a mandate and a method)
1. This is not be thought of as
the initial work of regeneration; it is the ongoing work of the Spirit
wherein we are being conformed to the image of Christ.
1) It is an
inward change and involves a conscious submission to the work of the
Spirit – “Be ye” is passive and we are to be yielded to it.
is incorporated into our experience.
2. The who is given us by the
renewing of our minds – the place where information is processed.
Consider: 1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your
affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2.
Affection here is “mind.”
2) We have the perfect pattern in Christ:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5
3) See further: 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not
as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your
own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.
3. Experience is always incorporated: But we are bound to give thanks
alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath
from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the
Spirit and belief of the truth: 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
order to be informed
1. There is no idea of validation here or that
we have to defend God or His precious Word.
2. It is rather that we
should experience for ourselves the truth and blessedness of those
things to which we are directed.
3. A precious Old Testament
reference: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the
LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk
humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8
1) All three things look to that which
has been set before us in our salvation and the example of Christ.
All these things are matters of faith and practice
3) All these
things are sources of joy, peace and assurance to our hearts.
God considers them good.
4. Thus, we are provided with the ability to
recognize and pursue that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:10 AND That ye may
approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without
offence till the day of Christ; Philippians 1:10.