Phil Cox Phil Cox

Recent Columns


Home page
Recent Columns
Previous Series
Phil's background
Preaching engagements
Creation and science
Miscellaneous
Contact Phil

Links
Stubbington Baptist Church
Acorn Christian Healing Foundation
Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith

God's good, pleasing and perfect will

Romans 12v2

10th May 2019

We've been thinking about these words:

Romans 12v1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I hope we agree that:

  • We need to be transformed in our hearts, not just in our actions; in our beliefs, not just in our behaviour.
  • The process of being transformed and renewed never stops. It's a continual life-long process.

Here's out third principle regarding this transformation:

  • We can't transform ourselves; we need God to transform us.

Paul doesn't say "transform yourself", he says "be transformed". He doesn't say "renew your mind", he says "by the renewal of your mind". God does the renewing, and God does the transforming. Our role is to let him do it, to co-operate in our sanctification, to ask God to take away any ideas we have that are different from His ideas, and to choose to believe the Bible every time it says something that makes us uncomfortable.

Ask God to remove any idea that's unbiblical, anything that's selfish or impatient or grumpy or negative or immoral in any way, any idea that isn't godly, anything about my success, or my insecurities, or my self-image, that's not from God. "Lord, take it away, give me something better. Renew my mind".

If your church has a competent teaching programme, you will know pretty much everything you're supposed to believe. And we all claim to believe the things we're supposed to believe, but if we really believed it, we'd live differently. There's a spectrum of belief, from totally rejecting the word of God, to totally living the word of God, and most of us are around the middle, where we accept that all the Bible is true, but we're not living it out fully because we're not really convinced of it. We're convinced that we should be convinced, but we're not convinced.

What is God saying to you? What is God calling you to let go of mentally so you can be free to serve God?

What makes the average, born-again, evangelical, spirit-filled Christian miserable, is the tension between wanting to follow God and wanting to hold onto my ideas, my world view. If we will give up our ungodly ideas, if we will 100% embrace biblical ideas, we will become happy people, free people, joyful people. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And God promises that, if you do, you'll be able to test and approve what God's will is.

God's will is good, pleasing and perfect, but you can't test it except by trying to live it, and you can't live it if you don't believe in it. So be transformed by the renewing of your mind.