Additional thought for today 2 February: Transformed Christians Let evil not defeat you

In the first letter of Paul to the Romans the apostle argued that Gentiles are futile in their thinking and ignorant of the way things really are. Those without faith in God enjoy their life keeping themselves busy with worldly things and are often not concerned about their behaviour opposite others and how they react to those who do evil against them.

The reformed Saul of Tarsus, Paul, has felt how a man under Christ comes to be changed or transformed. A person under Christ Jesus has received a transformation in his mind and others should be able to see that change in the way we think about everything in life and most important also in the way we act in life!

For example: this new way of thinking includes how people relate to one another. Instead of trying to use people to get ahead in the pursuit of honour and shame, people ought to serve one another in sincerity of love. Instead of seeking revenge, we ought to pray for our enemies. But the one who is in Christ has been enlightened, renewed so that they can “think about how they think,” renewing their minds in Christ Jesus.

Being “transformed by the renewal of our minds.”

The verb μεταμορφόω refers to both outward physical changes (such as the transfiguration, Matthew 17:2) and inward spiritual changes (BDAG) giving the idea we do have to think with humility. When we look at the Nazarene master teacher we can see how he lowered himself. ὑπερφρονέω can be used in a positive sense of “excel in intelligence” but can also be used in a negative sense “to be haughty” (BDAG). The noun σωφρονέω has the sense of reasonable, sensible action and is used by the letterwriter in 2 Corinthians 5:13 with the sense of “be in my right mind.” Those who are in Christ are requested to think in the right mind, not being bounded to the lust of the body, not to a vengeance of mind. The apostle asks the Romans (and us) to have an inward spiritual change of the believer by the power of the Spirit. The verb is a passive imperative, suggesting that it is God who does the actual transforming of our minds so that we begin to think differently (Kruse, Romans, 464). We should not copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform us into a new person by changing the way we think. Then we will learn to know God’s will for us, being able to determine what God really wants, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

The difficulty for man is that he has to present himself before the Body of Christ a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, having no other gods in front of Him. Lots of people loving all the human rituals and human feasts, may find it difficult to come to hold only to those feasts of God. When you look back at the Scripture you shall find that the words in the text seem to point back to the focus on living one’s life in respect of God. And that God is the God of Israel, an eternal Spirit Who is One and not two or three. Most people do like to be in line with those around them and when the majority loves the Trinity and the churches which offer all such very attractive rites and festivals for their kids, they are won by them.

As God’s messenger the apostle Paul gives God’s warning:

Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others. {Romans 12:3-5 Living Bible}

We should think sensibly recognising there may be many denominations in Christendom and in Christianity, having many parts in one body which should belong to Jesus Christ, the son of God. Being many, all those in Christ should be all one body. That body should be one of generous love. Your love must be real. You also have to hate what is evil and to hold on to what is good. In the community of lovers of God and lovers of Christ we should share not only the same hope but also share the agape love, loving each other like brothers and sisters, even giving the others more honour than you want for yourself. (Romans 12:10)

That love for others should have us doing our best to bring peace to those around us. And when there are people who would like to harm us we always should remember:

 Do not let evil defeat you. Defeat evil by doing good.

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Preceding

Memorizing wonderfully 2 Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Today’s thought “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” (February 2)

A voice and a Word given for wisdom

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  5. Glory of God appearing in our character
  6. Summer time to spend some more time at the growing process of your faith
  7. Why God permits evil
  8. Our life depending on faith
  9. Faith and trial
  10. To will being present in us but to do it not always evident
  11. Preventing conflicts and war

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