Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Looking at Romans 12:1-2; Transformation not reformation

I have been saying for a while now that Romans 5:1, and in reality the entire fifth chapter of Romans is very important in the transformation process. An understanding of Romans five allows the saint to understand the way in which, resting in Jesus, entering the Sabbath Rest (Hebrews 4) and peace with Father God (Romans 5:1) work together to transform the saint.

Let’s look at transformation in relationship to reformation. Transformation is something that is done to the one being transformed. Reformation is done by the person being reformed. Transformation is a force outside oneself and reformation is a force within. I believe that currently evangelical doctrine focuses on reformation while using the term transformation.  Reformation is not what the Apostle Paul meant when he used the word metamorphoo. It is interesting that he used the word in 2Cor 3:18. He says in that verse that we are being transformed by the Spirit of the Lord. So then, the changing is from an outside force which is the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ. This is why read and do is not successful in real, true transformation. Some may be able to really control the flesh, but even then they are not being transformed into a new mind set.

Can I just say it? It is the love of God (manifested by His unconditional grace) that is the transforming power. That is precisely why Paul says that the preaching of the cross (in other words the gospel) is the power of God (1Cor 1:18.) This is precisely why Paul said that he was determined to know nothing among the Corinthians except Jesus Christ crucified (in other words the gospel.) This is the reason that the gospel must always be the focus of our instruction. When you look into the book of Hebrews, the sixth chapter, where the author speaks of going on to maturity (meat) you see that the meat is the Melchezidek Priesthood, the priesthood of believers, and the New Covenant. Gentiles cannot be the people of God except for the New Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, a Gentile had to be circumcised and live the law of Moses (Exodus 12:48-49.) In other words, he/she had to become a Jew. Therefore we should realize that we are under the New Covenant (Matt 26:28; 1Cor 11:25.) This fact changes things drastically, and is why Jesus and his followers defined the word of God/word of truth as the gospel. We can never just study scripture without applying a New Covenant, gospel focus.

The writer of Hebrews equates the Exodus, and the Promise land with the journey from being lost to being saved (Hebrews 3&4.) We are on a pilgrimage to enter into the Sabbath Rest, and the giants are those things that prevent us from entering the rest. The chief among the giants is the demon of religion. The demon of religion tries to get people to focus on reformation instead of transformation.

So let’s bring this back to Romans 12:1-2. Paul begs (beseeches) the Romans by what? The mercies of God… let me say that again, Paul begs (beseeches) the Romans by what? By the mercies of God (the gospel.) Paul writes all about imputed righteousness, being made right in God’s sight, how faith is obedience, and on and on From Romans 3:21 all the way through Romans 8:39. He ends the thought by asking who can separate us from the love of God. Romans 9,10,&11 explain why the Jews did not receive the gospel and the Gentiles did. Then, he winds up and begins Romans 12:1-2. It should be completely obvious that when Paul says that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind… the renewing is to the mercies of God the gospel. This is why Romans chapter five is so important in the transformation process.

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