Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

A Transformed Individual

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2)

The apostle’s exhortation impacts every aspect of our lives. We are to be transformed by our faith. As our mind’s are renewed through our acceptance of God’s perfect will, we become better citizens, parents, children, friends, husbands and wives. In the context of the chapter, there are several indications of the character of such a transformed life:

  • A transformed individual will not “think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but think soberly” (vs. 3). Pride is the predominant characteristic of the worldly. But, our Lord was humble, and Christ’s example is one that he will emulate (cf. Philippians 2:5-7).
  • A transformed individual will be a good teammate as he seeks to do God’s will in the church (vs. 4-8). Rather than a solitary approach to faith (as some prefer), he will work with other Christians, using the gifts and talents granted him by God.
    A transformed individual will express love to others with sincerity (vs. 9). His professions of affection will be genuine, not counterfeit. His praise will be heartfelt, not mere flattery. His expressions of concern will be for the souls of his brethren.
  • A transformed individual will cling to good, and hate evil (vs. 9). A faithful Christian has antipathy for the world and all that is in it (1 John 2:16). He prefers to practice righteousness, and follows James’ directive to “keep oneself unspotted from the world” (1:27). God’s grace teaches him to “live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12).
  • A transformed individual will give preference to others (vs. 10). This is a result of the directive of love, and is a characteristic of God, not of the world. God sent His Son because He concerned Himself with man’s redemption. Jesus came for the same reason. A faithful Christian is selfless rather than selfish.
  • A transformed individual is fervent and diligent in his service to the Lord (vs. 11). Apathy is never a problem, because he realizes the nature of God’s gift of grace. He, like Paul, says, “So, as much as is in me, I am ready…” (cf. Romans 1:15). He rejoices in the promise of the Lord, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). As such, he does not “grow weary in doing good” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:13).
  • A transformed individual rejoices in hope (vs. 12). He recognizes that what matters is the life to come, and is grateful for the promise, by Christ’s sacrifice, of access to “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (cf. 2 Peter 1:11).
    A transformed individual patiently endures (vs. 12). Like Job, he is willing to take whatever life dishes out, knowing that this world is not his home. He is a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth (cf. Hebrews 11:13).
  • A transformed individual prays constantly (vs. 12). He craves that communion with his God, and prays “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
  • A transformed individual is hospitable and benevolent (vs. 13). He is aware of the suffering that is present in the world, and loves his fellow man. Therefore, he is quick to offer what he has to others.
  • A transformed individual reacts righteously in the face of persecution (vs. 14). He is empathetic when others suffer, and enthusiastic when they are honored (vs. 15). He does not elevate his opinion, but seeks unanimity in thought. He prefers the company of the humble (vs. 16). He practices the golden rule, and his life is a life of goodness (vs. 17). He is a peacemaker, and resists the urge to react with vengeance toward others (vss. 18-20). He recognizes the simplest of truths, that good is stronger than evil. As such, he always does what is right, even when he himself has been mistreated (vs. 21).

The text shows that a steadfast child of God exhibits his faith in every part of his life. It permeates his thinking and morals. It is who he is, as a transformed (born again) Christian. We must resist the tendency to separate our faith from the remainder of our lives. We must be Christians, not just on Sunday, but every day!