Matters of Faith: A Better View

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Romans 12:1-21 (v. 2)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans chapter 12 is not just a few words of inspiration and encouragement; it is a declaration of purpose that can be applied to every day of life. It presents a better view of transformation that raises the standard and challenges us to be better than we could ever be on our own. Isn’t that what most of us want?

We want a challenge that will take us beyond the mediocre to the magnificent? To get there, the questions we must ask ourselves are, “What is my commitment to transformation? Where will I find my spiritual inspiration? When should I seek spiritual encouragement? And how will I know that I have begun the process of spiritual transformation?”

I have encouraged reading chapter 12 of Romans to answer the what, where, when, and how of personal spiritual transformation. The chapter is broken up into three transformative sections: Be Living Sacrifices to God; Serve God with Spiritual Gifts; and Behave Like a Christian.

We are told to live holy, blameless lives. But our inability to live at that high of a level required sacrifices to be made to atone for our shortcomings, our sins. Presenting ourselves as living sacrifices is a personal expression of our understanding and willingness to fully engage God’s perfect will for His people. We are God’s people and stand accountable as living sacrifices, not the substitute sacrifice of an animal that was permitted in the Old Testament.
The strength and the knowledge needed to be living sacrifices is contained in the 66 books (Protestant Canon) of the Bible but summarized in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Think about the chapter as CliffsNotes for transformation.

To specifically answer the what, where, when, and how of personal spiritual transformation, the twelfth chapter of Romans must be read every day if the transformation process is to take place.

You will know the transformation is taking place when you begin loving people who you may not like, when you begin recognizing your gifts and talents and acknowledging they were graciously given by God for the benefit of humanity. You will know the transformation process is taking place as you begin realizing that others have been gifted, some more abundantly than you, but all for the edification of humanity if they are used for God’s glory. You will know the transformation process is taking place when you exercise your gifts and talents with cheerfulness.

Other indications of spiritual transformation is your treating enemies with kindness, when you begin overcoming evil with good.

You will know because the Lord’s transformation is not superficial! It is not for show! When the Lord transforms, the changes are real! They are from the inside out! They are permanent! They are unchangeable! They are irrevocable! This is transformation from a better view.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords).

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