Consecrated and Transformed

Paul’s letter to the Romans contains no less than three statements that are epochal in nature, each punctuating a pivotal moment in the life of each believer.

1. Romans 5:1 the moment when you receive God’s free gift of grace
2. Romans 8:1-2 when you discover that your eternal destiny is secure
3. Romans 12:1-2 each of us stands at a pivotal moment in our own history, at the intersection of grace from heaven and grace to others

12:1-2 represent God’s all-important call to consecration and transformation. The first is about our bodies, the second is about our minds. Like a coach who encourages and challenges an athlete to reach a particular goal, Paul urges believers to consecrate themselves.
Consecration, in this particular context, is a radical separation from a secular worldview to adopt instead a Christlike purpose and way of life. This doesn’t happen automatically when someone comes to Christ. God gives the command that we are to obey with full cooperation. Even in this, though, He has not left us alone as evidenced by the phrase “by the mercies of God.”

Paul’s primary focus in the first verse is the use of our physical bodies which we are to “present.” The idea is to give over the use of something for a specific purpose. Our consecrated bodies are to be:
  • Living – a deliberate, ongoing sacrifice given again and again over a lifetime
  • Holy – an undefiled offering dedicated exclusively to the Lord and His purpose
  • Acceptable – a well-pleasing sacrifice that honors God’s character

The second part of Paul’s epochal statement penetrates the external world to confront the internal world of the mind. Jews focused all of their attention on the ethical behavior of a person, which is good in many ways. Yet, Jesus wasn’t satisfied with mere external, physical obedience, He called for His followers to have clean hearts first, then clean hands. That’s because both sin and righteousness begin in the mind.

Paul says “do not be conformed to this world.” We are to reject a grotesquely twisted version of God’s original creation. Unfortunately, we, in our natural state, are part and parcel of this fallen creation which is ruled by evil. God’s economy is the exact opposite, finding pleasure in goodness and selflessness. There is no middle ground between the two.

This is why we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. If we are to behave differently from the fallen world system, we must change. Unfortunately, we can’t change ourselves, so we must “be transformed.” This is another cooperative command.

As we respond through submission, the Lord does the transforming. We learn to view the world through the grid of Scripture, and we learn to respond as the Bible says. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture, trials, hardships, as well as fellowship with believers to renovate us from the inside out. Gradually and supernaturally, our mind begins to think as God thinks, desire what Jesus desires love what Jesus loves, and see things with the same perspective as He sees them.


1. Present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice
This is consecration. This is a radical separation from a secular worldview which begins with a decision to give our bodies over to a divine purpose. This has tangible, practical implication we must not ignore. It affects where we go, what we choose to feed our minds, how we treat our bodies, what influences we receive or reject, how we spend our time.

2. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
This is transformation. The ultimate objective is a transformed heart, a fundamentally different nature from the inside out. However, we can’t transform our own heart, only God can do that.

To what are you devoting your body? You have two excellent, yet painful, tools of analysis: your schedule and your financial records. Review them.

The consecrated life is the only life God will use and the only life He will transform.
Pastor Chris Williams
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