Lesson 7 -- second quarter 2005
April 17, 2005
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications
Probing Your Own Heart
Is your life becoming an example and a pattern of the beliefs and doctrines you profess and teach?
What is your response to these Scriptures?
Building on Some Foundational Concepts
Those who do not maintain full surrender will not experience full victory and fulfilled living.
Christianity has its paradoxes. You cannot experience victory unless you surrender. You cannot know fulfilment unless you are emptied of self. You cannot live unless you die. Romans 12:1 is a well-known verse (which is good and comes first) but it must become a widely-lived verse as well (which is better and comes next). This verse is a call to action. God wants our bodies and the service they can render to Him. So consciously and purposefully present your body to Him, committing yourself to using it in His service.
Nonconformity is not enough.
Perhaps the first part of verse two is even better known than verse one. The command to nonconformity to the world is compelling and unambiguous but if our obedience makes nonconformity the standard, we have failed to heed the full command. The command concludes with the Christian's standard and goal -- transformed living made possible by renewed minds that discover and then experience God's will.
"Transformity" has many expressions.
Romans 9-21 present in summary a wide range of Christian values, perspectives, and practices. Each of these must be studied and lived as the expressions of "transformity" which they are. These all are manifestations of "that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Thus, until we have experienced the transformation of a renewed mind, we cannot manifest these fruits of "transformity."
Questions and Responses
How do I present my body to God?
Just do it! Address yourself to God, literally giving Him your body to use in His program and kingdom. Then renew that presentation as often as necessary, which will probably be daily.
Having presented your body as a sacrifice to God, go about using it to glorify Him by pursuing His interests and accomplishing His purposes on earth. When you discover that you have become fleshly and self-centered in the use of your body, present it again to God.
This term translates the Greek word anupokritos (Strong's 505) which means "sincere." In the King James Version we also find it translated unfeigned (2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22) and without hypocrisy (James 3:17).
Three of its six New Testament appearances have to do with love, two with faith, and one with wisdom. That indicates that it is possible to fake these things. But don't do it! Be genuine and sincere! Genuine love, faith, and wisdom become part of our character as a result of that transformation and renewal which we experience at the hands of God.
How do I "be of the same mind one toward another"?
This does not mean thinking exactly like everybody else or even all other Christians. Rather it means be even-handed and just in your views of and attitudes toward people as persons. Avoid favoritism and bias. Be balanced and just in your relationships with people.
Why should I overcome evil with good?
Why not? How else would you overcome evil? When we try to overcome evil with evil, evil is obviously not defeated. Rather it wins! But when we do good in the face of evil and in the place of evil, good wins and we achieve genuine victory. Besides, remember that overcoming evil with good is one manifestation of "transformity," of a renewed mind, of "that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Why choose some other response to evil? Especially when this is our calling and inheritance -- "knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing" (1 Peter 3:9).
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