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So, You Think You Play A Part In Your Own Spiritual Transformation? Hmm…

altered-states-originalAn interesting comment from another blog post sparked this one.  That post was titled, “Being Transformed by the Renewing of my Mind, I think…” and can be read here.   To be perfectly clear, the following is not about salvation.  It concerns what happens afterwards.  It concerns moving, or being transformed from what we were to what we’re becoming. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

Paul the Apostle said this to the church at Rome:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

The commenter reminded me that the transformation is directly tied to the “offering of our bodies as a living sacrifice.”  My first inclination is to agree, and generally to also agree with the concept that we participate in our own spiritual transformation.  Again, I am not talking about salvation.  I am talking about the renewal that comes afterwards.  

Once thing about the Romans passage which calls into question this concept, is that the verb “be transformed,” is not an active verb.  It is a passive or middle imperative.  In others words, it is something that happens to us versus happening with us.  I still think the case can be made for active participation in our own spiritual transformation, just not conclusively with these verse.

None the less, Do you think you play a part in your own spiritual transformation?

What part? 

 

 

 

 

 

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    1. Lisa Robinson February 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      One commenter, ha! Yep the verb tense is important and suggests an action being done to us. BUT, as I said in the last post it follows from an (active?) imperative in vs 1 in response to everything Paul said in chapters 1-11. Is it God? yes. Is it us? yes. One passage that I think succinctly summarizes this process is Philippians 2:12-13. Work out your salvation for it is God who is at work in us both to will and work for his good pleasure. We are unable to work anything out but for God at work in us. So how does that fit with transformation? Seems like it occurs the same way, through the volitional submission to God who is at work transforming.

    2. Leah Randall February 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      I agree with Lisa. To the extent that we yield to the Transformer, yes, we each play a role in our transformation…or a role in hindering it. To “deny oneself daily” is an “action”, an intention. His life in me transforms me, but only to the extent that I am willing to lay down my own. To think that my own “intention” to transform MYSELF is the “renewing of my mind” called for here borders on cleaning up the outside of the cup, while the deeper inner transformation is hindered by my “self-righteous” efforts.

    3. Tom Schultz February 16, 2013 at 6:44 am #

      “I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew…twas not so much that I on Thee took hold, as Thou, dear Lord, on me.”
      To me the process of sanctification will look about the same.
      Phliippians 1:6(NET) For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

    4. Laurie Norris February 16, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      We can’t comfort ourselves and when we try and comfort one another we risk becoming enemies of the cross. I like Phillipians 2 for what we can do.

    5. David Woods February 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      I think there are way too many commandments in the OT, and in the NT, for us to go around thinking we don’t have a part to play here. Why give us commandments if obeying them were useless and fruitless?

      I think Rev. 3:5 has a good bit to say about this.

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