“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
What does it mean to present our bodies to God as a sacrifice?
If we sacrifice our bodies to God, then they are committed to Him. We can no longer do what we desire with our bodies because they are committed to Him. It is a daily commitment, not a single act.
The word transformed in the Greek is: metamorphoo. It is where we get the word metamorphosis. The concept is the altering of the form into another. Think about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Paul here uses the passive voice here, indicating that it is something that we allow to happen as opposed to something we can do ourselves. This happens to us when we submit to God power and grace. This transformation happens as we submit ourselves to Christ, it is not accomplished by our works for Him.
Why do we not see this transformation in our lives as much as we should? It may be because we have a lack of the proper motivation:
Paul presents transformation based on God’s mercies which are:
- freedom from sin (Romans 6:16-18)
- gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23)
- peace with God (Romans 5:1)
- access to the grace of God (Romans 5:2)
- saving from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9)
The process of transformation happens as we renew our mind. Unless there is a renewing of the mind, our conversion will be superficial. Renewing of the mind happens when we:
- Set our minds on things above (Colossians 1:1-2)
- Set our minds on things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5)
- Feed our minds with the Word of God, prayer, fellowship, etc (Acts 2:42)
Modern studies reflect the concept of the renewing of the mind. There has been widely published secular articles reflecting that we become what we think, we can obtain positive attitudes and behavior by filling our minds with positive mental images. In addition to the secular thinking, we (believers) have access to the power of God!
What hinders most Christians in this transformation?
If we what we input into our lives has an impact of our transformation, then we need to ponder what we are putting in. Are we putting in images and thoughts that are positive (from God’s perspective) or negative? If what we think has an impact of transformation, are we thinking of Godly things (Philippians 4:8)?
God has completely done his part. He has provided us a sacrifice for our sins (His Son), and promised to us that He will forgive our sins if we repent and commit our lives through Christ. Since the transformation is ongoing, the ball is in our court – so to speak. It is up to us to allow the transformation by maintaining a throttle of what we allow into our minds.