by Mike Ratliff
1 Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ παραστῆσαι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν θυσίαν ζῶσαν ἁγίαν εὐάρεστον τῷ θεῷ, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν· 2 καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον. Romans 12:1-2 (NA28)
1 Therefore, I urge you brothers through the compassions of God to present your bodies as living, holy sacrifices, well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Colossians 3:16 (NASB) 2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may discern the will of God, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In our last post, The Believer’s Supreme Act of Spiritual Worship – Part 3, we looked at Romans 12:2a, which says, “And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind“. We learned that genuine believers give their souls to God at salvation and their bodies to to God as living, holy sacrifices as genuine acts of worship, as our priestly self-sacrifice and they give their minds to Him as the third element of our priestly self-sacrifice is giving our minds to God as an act of worship. In this post we will look at Romans 12:2b, which says, “that you may discern the will of God, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.” This implied fourth element of our priestly self-sacrifice is giving our wills to God as an act of worship.
It is an implied fourth element of presenting ourselves to God as living, holy sacrifices that is well pleasing to God because Paul is telling us that in this process of His Spirit through His Word renewing our minds we are submitting to God conforming our wills to the will of God.
The Greek construction makes that you may discern a purpose/result phrase. That means, when a believer’s mind is transformed, his thinking ability, moral reasons, and spiritual understanding are able to properly assess everything, and to accept only what conforms to the will of God, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.
In v1 we have the sacrifice of our bodies that are well pleasing to God. In v2 we have conforming to the will of God as well pleasing to Him. In both cases this the Greek adjective εὐάρεστον (euareston) the nominative case of εὐάρεστος (euarestos). Some Bible translations render this as “acceptable.” Paul is again borrowing from Old Testament sacrificial language to describe the kind of holy living that God approves, a “living sacrifice” that is morally and spiritually spotless and without blemish.
Perfect carries the idea of being completely, of something’s bing everything it should be. Our wills should desire only what God desire and lead us to do only what He wants us to din the way He wants us to do it–according to His will and by His power. Our imperfect will must always be subject to His perfect will. I confess that I pray for this to be a reality in my life every day, but, of course, I am a work in progress as I am sure you are as well. So, let us continue to submit to the transforming process and become conformed to the will of God more and more as He changes us.
A transformed mind produces and transformed will, by which we become eager and able, with the Spirit’s help, to lay aside our own plans and to trustingly accept God’s, no matter what the cost. This continued yielding involves the strong desire to know God better and to comprehend and follow His purpose fo our lives.
The product of a transformed mind is a life that does the things God has declared to be righteous, fitting, and complete. That is the goal of the supreme act of spiritual worship.
Soli Deo Gloria!