“…Be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:2)
Yesterday, we talked about being transformed – how that transformation is concurrent with our renewed thinking. We need to be really clear about this… the apostle is not saying that we are committing ourselves to a lengthy process of renewal and transformation – he is telling us that whenever we align our thinking with who and what God says we are (because of Jesus’ work) in that moment we are transformed. Renewal is not a process – renewal brings an emergence.
As the butterfly emerges from the cocoon as a different type of creature – so we who used to think and act in accord with this world, and its patterns of thinking, emerge as totally different creatures – with totally different capabilities.
We may, quite literally, see it from a different perspective, with different terms… we are (what the Bible calls) born again. Through belief in Christ, we are birthed into a new kind of reality, with different ways of moving, acting, and interacting. Just as the newborn child emerges from one reality (the dark, warm, comfort of the womb) into the new reality of the physical world – so is the parallel with the new birth in Christ.
But here is the thing about birth… As human beings, we were not conceived to stay in the womb – we were conceived to emerge from the womb and live life as a human being. The same is true with spiritual emergence. God did not conceive of us so that we could remain in the “patterns of this world” – we were meant to emerge from the “cocoon” of this world… and BE what God originally conceived us to be.
But we will not live a transformed life until we escape the whole notion that we are a “work in progress.” That we are still in the “cocoon” – in the continual process of being transformed into what God desires for us.
The truth is: How we think matters as much as what we think – and our thinking must align with what God has done for us. Our transformation becomes a reality when we see that Christ’s work is a completed work.
Notice the apostle’s terminology… “BE transformed by the renewal of your mind.” He did not say… “commit to being transformed…” He is speaking of a new way of existing. A new way of living. A new way of BEing.
Not process. Provision. God’s work, applied to our lives. Instantly – when we set our minds upon what Jesus has done to make us new. We ARE new creations… we are NOT becoming new creations…
This is so difficult for most Christians to see – but to be born again means that we are of new stuff now. The old has gone… the new has come. The transformation has already taken place.
Now… we just need to learn how to live in that transformed life. Just as the newborn baby needs to grow into all that it means to live life outside of the womb, so we must all grow into what we Christ has made us to be.