Redeemed People Transform Society

MEMORY SELECTION: “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.” —Romans 12:2

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Titus 3:1-11; I Peter 2:13-17

AMONG the prospects of the church, who are redeemed from all peoples and tongues during the Gospel Age, are that they will share in the privilege of transforming society and the human race to conform to the laws of the kingdom in the next age. But before this work can be done there is a great work of transforming that must first be done with the church.

Our memory selection refers to this work. The first verse of the 12th chapter of Romans states, “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.” This verse, together with the second (which is our memory selection), gives us an outline of the transforming works that must be done in the footstep followers of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul first indicates that it is only by “the mercies of God” that the church is privileged to enter into a covenant of sacrifice with him. “Mercies” carries the thought of divine favor or grace. In confirmation of this, Jesus states in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Apparently the apostle was addressing his remarks to consecrated brethren who were not fully carrying out the terms of their covenant, for he urges them to “present [yield] your bodies a living sacrifice.” Their covenant was to be buried in the likeness of Christ’s death; that is, to sacrifice the flesh and its interests in order that their material substance and strength of the flesh might be directed to the service of the Lord, the truth, and the brethren.

Such an offering is acceptable to God, because the blood of Christ has been applied on their behalf, and in God’s sight their fleshly weaknesses are covered by the merit of Christ. They are justified. The apostle says that they are holy and acceptable to God and that their sacrifice is a “reasonable service.” It is reasonable in view of the great things done for them—the enlightenment of mind which enabled them to discern some of God’s secrets with respect to his plan, the privilege of having fellowship with the Father and Son and brethren of like mind and spirit, the joy that is set before them, that is, the prospect of being an instrument in the Lord’s hands during the next age in bringing blessings to all the families of the earth.

Verse 2 of the 12th chapter of Romans, in a broad way, tells of the work that must be done in the hearts and minds of each and every one of the footstep followers of Jesus if they are to be partakers of the glories to follow. The admonition is, “Be not conformed to this world.” The thought is that Satan is the god of this world and that the consecrated, as children of Adam, have been subjects under his rule of sin and death; but having been called by the Lord and begotten of his Holy Spirit, they have been freed from sin and darkness.

The apostle, in II Corinthians 5:17, states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” In our memory selection he states the matter this way: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The thought of these texts is that the footstep follower of Jesus must learn to subordinate the carnal mind and supplant it with a mind that is dominated by spiritual concepts. This is accomplished by having spiritual concepts revealed to him through the Holy Spirit and study. Then, being aware of the proper conduct, he is given an opportunity to develop these principles, or characteristics, in meeting the experiences that he is permitted to have as he endeavors to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

The balance of the 12th chapter of Romans is devoted to enumerating many of the facets of a spiritual, or Christlike, mind, and with each there is some practical advice on how progress in growth can be made.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |