|artwork by Kimberly Simmons|
NASB: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Amplified: Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
Phillips: With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
Wuest: I therefore beg of you, please, brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, by a once-for-all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well-pleasing, your rational, sacred service, [rational, in that this service is performed by the exercise of the mind]. And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.
Pastor John Stott explains how metámorphoo takes place, noting that, "Although Paul does not here tell us how our mind becomes renewed, we know from his other writings that it is by a combination of the Spirit and the Word of God. Certainly regeneration by the Holy Spirit involves the renewal of every part of our humanness, which has been tainted and twisted by the fall, and this includes our mind. But in addition, we need the Word of God, which is the Spirit’s sword, and which acts as an objective revelation of God’s will. Here then are the stages of Christian moral transformation: first our mind is renewed by the Word and Spirit of God; then we are able to discern and desire the will of God; and then we are increasingly transformed by it."
Pastor John Piper says it this way...“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The focus is not first on getting the outside of the cup cleaned up, but on getting the inside cleaned up. In other words, transformation and non-conformity on the outside must flow from a new mind. Be transformed in the renewing of your mind."
Pastor Harry Ironside said, “In Romans 12:2 we are commanded to be transformed by the renewing of our minds; that is, as the mind is occupied with Christ and the affections set on things above, we become like Him who has won our hearts for Himself. As we walk in loving obedience, we prove the blessedness of the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
Pastor Ray Stedman writes, “The only way to not be conformed is to seek Jesus first and as His presence and power become more experientially intimate in your life, the things of this fallen world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. The right order is the Spirit of Christ first, then the lusts of the flesh. The opposite of being conformed to this world is being transformed by the renewing of your mind. The battle ground between an evil conformity and a good transformation is within the mind of the believer. Note that transformed is the passive voice which indicates that this process is being performed by an outside force, the Holy Spirit and God's Word, not a change produced by our self effort. We must be (passive) transformed by God, trusting Him to do in and through us what only His Spirit can accomplish."
Previous word studies…
9 word studies from Romans Chapter Eight…