Friday, October 17, 2008

Be Transformed!

I love to take a verse from the Bible that I know I should understand better and break it down with a word study. I decided to do Romans 12:2 which reads:
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.

I took several words from the verse that I wanted clarification on. Below is a simple breakdown of my discoveries.

Conformed. Do not be conformed to this world. This word means to correspond in form or character, be similar, be in accord or agreement with. So that's a pretty easy one. Christians should be distinguishable from the world.

Transformed. But be transformed. The definitions for this word are fascinating and are: To change the appearance or form of, to change the nature, function or condition of or convert; to subject to the action of a transformer and, my favorite... to subject (a cell) to transformation!
The use of this word in relation to "renewing the mind" indicates that the word applies to the whole man. It is for this reason that I conclude that even though some of the definitions for this word seemingly apply to mathematics, electricity or genetics that they belong as one for a complete understanding into the depths of the word's powerful meaning to our body, spirit and soul. To subject our very cells to transformation! Wow-whee!

Renewing. By the renewing of your mind. To make new or as if new again; restore. To replenish, to bring into being again or reestablish. To become new again. To start over. Isn't that powerful?
Referencing Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, I find that the term here does not refer to the intellect alone but to the entire spirit and soul. He says, "Let it (the renewing) not be a mere external conformity, but let it have its seat in the spirit. All external changes, if the mind was not changed, would be hypocrisy. Christianity seeks to reign in the soul; and having its seat there, the external conduct and habits will be regulated accordingly."

Prove. That you may prove what is. To establish the truth or genuineness of. To give demonstration of by action.
How are we to know the will of God if we are not seeking with a renewed mind? Again, Barnes... "Having a disposition to obey Him, the mind will be prepared to understand His precepts. There will be a correspondence between the feelings of the heart and His will; a nice tact or taste, which will admit His laws and see the propriety and beauty of His commands."

That good and acceptable and perfect will of God. This part of the verse is talking about being able to ascertain or find out what is good and pleasing to God and to walk it out consistently in our daily lives.

I am always amazed at just how great the reward is when diligence is applied to seeking God's truth. There is no greater reward than that of getting to know Him better! Just look at the richness of this one verse. How privileged we are to have His words at our fingertips.

Action item - Read Ephesians 4 (entire chapter) for instruction on how to renew.

Father, abide with us and remove our appetites for vain and worldly things. We surrender to the transformations your will has designed for us. Reestablish us. Give us a thirst for obedience and a hunger for your Holy Word. May the refining of your children be a pleasing aroma delivered daily to your Holy throne. Gather us to you.

Albert Barnes' notes on the New Testament and other commentaries can be found at I also highly recommend the free Bible study software program called e-sword.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
I Corinthians 2:12


  1. I love this kind of thing too. And I'm partial to looking up the words in the original Greek and Hebrew. What can I say? I love words. I love the deeper meanings.

  2. I know! It seems there is no end to the levels of understanding within the Bible... If I keep seeking I keep finding!
    Thank you for taking the time to comment :)