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Soul Piercing (Romans 12:1-2)
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2 “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(rational) 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.”
The apostle Paul exhorts us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God which he says is our rational worship. Some translations read spiritual. However, the term here is refering to rational sanctification which is not simply intellectual but is rather the perfect balance of intellect and affection. Philosopher and Theologian, JP Moreland, argues that the mind is the soul’s primary vehicle for making contact with God and it plays a fundamental role in the process of human maturation and change, including spiritual transformation. In thought, the mind’s structure conforms to the order of the object of thought. Since this is so, and since truth dwells in the mind, truth itself is powerful and rationality is valuable as a means for avoiding error. Therefore, God desires a life of intellectual growth and study for his children. The key to change or sanctification in Christ is the formation of a new perspective, the development of fresh insights that are in closer agreement with truth than falsehood. True knowledge is a powerful factor in the transformation of the self and the control of the body and its habits for a healthy life in the Kingdom of the Living God.
How are we to not conform to the world? We must renew our mind! We must think accurately. We must have beliefs that are not false. The word for “mind” in the original text refers to the human faculty of understanding- the intellect or reason. We keep from conforming to the world by thinking accurately about God and His revelation. God is the essence of Truth- the source of reason and rationality. His desire for us is to have beliefs that are true. To think His thoughts. The world system (any worldview or set of beliefs that does not conform to the Truth as the Living God reveals it) is false and ultimately leads our thoughts into self-destruction. Non-Christian worldviews and philosophical systems have within them beliefs that are as a system false and it is our joy as worshippers of the Truth to discern truth from error. Our goal as humans who follow Christ and desire to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Living God must make every effort to grow in our understanding of God and His creation so as to think thoughts that are actually true and correspond to His reality. This may be the very central part of sanctification- the conforming of our thoughts to reflect the glory of the only wise God. If our thoughts are true about God then this undoubtedly will affect our behaviour. If we truly believe that God is (in reality) the perfect and infinite source of all that is true, and good, and beautiful, then we will have no other desire but to conform our whole being and practice of life to love and obey His life giving will.
Prayer: Father, You are the Reason, the Purpose for my life. My only desire is to know you more. To know the Truth. To know the Truth so as to be transformed more and more into the likeness of the Logos, Christ my King. Lord, I am fallen and am bent to think things that are false. I need you to clean out the cob webs of my mental attic and help me to renew my mind regularly. I want my thoughts to glorify you. Lord please help me to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Your will. Help my intellect to grow but not it alone, for I desire to be filled with love and grace and peace and genuine tender affection for You and all of Your creatures. Father, give me a love for all humanity (my fellow image bearers) but especially a love for those indwelt by your very presence (my brothers and sisters in Christ). I want my life to be a reflection of You- the God of truth and love. In Jesus name, Amen.