The idea of living sacrificially leads us to verse 2, where Paul addresses our tendency to conform to the world, to follow that which our culture says we should do, have, and be. Paul reminds us that we do not belong to the world and commands us to not be conformed but to be transformed and made new. To not “conform” means to “not be like” or “copy,” it means to rebel against our culture. Again we see a direct command by Paul urging believers to be different from non believers, not to fall into the temptations of the world. Paul calls all believers to be transformed/changed. This verb too, calls for an action, a command to action. It is translated from the Greek word (metamorphousthe) that means metamorphosis, a total change from the inside out. The Bible teaches us that “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, [already] has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph.1:3). We must stop seeking fulfillment and wisdom in worldly knowledge, instead focus on the gift of the Holy Spirit and use our minds and our hearts to draw closer to God and further from the world. The more we do that, the clearer God’s Word becomes, allowing us to discern His good and perfect will for our lives.
Romans 12:1-2, Paul addresses our need to turn from the world and to honor and obey God for all the things He has done for us. He pleads with the believers to live sacrificially as Christ did in a manner of true worship of the Father. The transformed life is a life denying self, taking up our cross and following Christ which is the exact opposite of the life conformed to the world. A transformed life is a constant work; it is an ongoing process where we never really arrive, but are always working towards the goal. Our sinful nature does not allow us to stay transformed, so it is something that we must do daily. Live for daily transformation so that we can be intentional in living for Christ.
It is my prayer that we will understand Paul’s plea and that this plea will awaken in all of us a desire to live sacrificial lives, where we put the will of God in first place; with the needs of others and the need to further the Kingdom of Christ in the forefront of our minds. It is my prayer that we will all seek to live transformed lives, lives of self denial in true worship of God.