Apostolic injunctions can be missed if we read too quickly. These are not offered as suggestions;
instead, they are “a statement of what to do that must be obeyed by those concerned” (Merriam-Webster
Dictionary). Even the English language conspires to side-track or de-rail altogether our verbal intentions
sometimes. Take, for instance, Paul’s injunction to the church in Romans 12:1-2.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Now try it as read from The Message translation. “So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it
before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t
become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.
You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of
you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG).
Spiritual nonconformity, the influence of spirituality upon character, and the unseen hand of God
providing guidance in His will cannot do otherwise but take you down a different path than that taken by the
world. There is a great need for the presence of God to have a free course in our lives. The need for knowing
His will―discerning His will―is so great among some folks today …, especially new believers. I have met
some who, shockingly, think there are three choices: God’s good will, His acceptable will, and His perfect will.
Biblical accuracy would have us understand that God has one will that is always good, acceptable, and perfect.
Dr. A.T. Schofield, a nerve specialist, wrote: “Some years ago, I heard a statement that I shall never
forget. It is this: The mind casts a shadow just like the body. This is true, as we all know. As we pass through
this world, our mind, our personality, unknown to ourselves, and without an effort or desire, is ever casting
shadows for good or evil on all whom we meet.” Indeed, everyone should seriously consider the power of
personal influence we have upon others and live in such a way that it is for good and not evil. Should there be
any fragment of worldliness, negativism toward the ministry, unwillingness to submit to the injunctions of
scripture (there’s that word again), if there be any hindrance or obstruction to the free-flowing spirit of the Holy
Ghost within us, then it must be removed from our lives that the influence of it not become a stumbling-stone to
The apostle Paul put it this way: “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind.” The power of thought over character and body is one of the so-called discoveries of this age. But
it is an old doctrine, as is seen in verse 2: spiritual transformation by the mind. The influence of the mind upon
character is thus shown clearly by this scripture. When you seek the power of Holy Spirit influence, it will help you
to resist the pressures of this day to be squeezed into the mold of this world. And let the church say, Amen!
The foundation of all transformation of character and conduct is laid deep in a renewed mind. This is an
outward transformation brought about by an inward change. A renewed mind means a mind that is moved upon
by the Holy Spirit of God, which has produced a shift in life priorities, a new set of views, and a new set of
convictions. Is there not a very close connection between verses 1 and 2? Entire consecration leads to a
renewing of the mind and spiritual transformation.
Because of God’s mercy, Brothers and Sisters, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing
to God—this is your true and proper worship.