In a new release “Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification” by Sinclair B. Ferguson (Banner of Truth), an exergue reads, “Christians are transformed by the renewing of their minds. They understand that in large measure how they think about the gospel will determine how they will live for God’s glory. They learn to allow the word of God to do its own work, informing and influencing the way they think in order to shape they way they live.”
Paul the apostle long ago wrote, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:1-2 ESV.
To offer yourself as a holy sacrifice you are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And for that to happen, that is, in order to life for the glory of Christ and his gospel daily above the alluring enticements of the world, we are to give ourselves in pursuing God and doing his will. This is the key for inner transformation.
Our minds do not naturally seek after the things of God. Therfore the renewal of the mind happens through a profound transformation of the inner self through the power of the Holy Spirit, who convicts of sin and washes through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The transformation and the renewing of the mind is not simply trying to avoid sin and worldly things. It is not an external, legalistic, nonconformist or ritualistic efforts to modify external behaviours but rather spiritual and moral. It works on the inside and then produces godly fruits on the outside.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17
It is often enticing to follow what the majority, the world does. But the world’s ideals are not always in sync with God’s ideals and our weak minds are easily swayed. As disciples of Christ our primary calling is to live for his glory so that people will know who God is and what he has done. Ask God for wisdom. Remember that transformation and renewal of mind is God’s work, not ours, and our obedience to his will is a response to who he is, what he has said and done, and his love for us. It is God’s grace that enables us to apply and obey his Word.