Friday, March 23, 2012

Transformation begins with thinking, not with doing

After his exposition of the gospel in Romans 1-11, Paul begins to discuss the application of that gospel in chapter 12 by telling us to be transformed. But just how are we to be transformed? When we hear the word transformation, perhaps our first inclination is to think of the way we live, of doing the right things. We may tend to think of the Christian life as a series of observable do's and don'ts. Those things are indeed important, and Scripture has much to say about them. But the first thing on Paul's mind when he begins to think about the transformation of our Christian lives is the renewal of the mind. This means the that the way we think has much to do with the way we live. (Oliphint, K. Scott. The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2003. Print. 92)

For many years I disregarded the life of the mind and its massive influence on how I lived as a Christian. As I look back, I find it somewhat disheartening that I could overlook so much Scriptural instruction that pointed to the importance of the mind for the Christian life.

The Christian walk is certainly more than an intellectual exercise, but it is not less than a pursuit which relies on our mind and the renewal and redemption of that part of our being.

Not only is a transformed mind essential for transformation, but it is the first step in the process according to the Apostle to the Gentiles.

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