Date: March 22, 2020
Bible Text: Romans 12:2 | Pastor Stephan Bauer
Series: Growing Freer Series
Rom. 12:1-2 - 1Therefore, 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. 2Do 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.
I. People are Unknowingly Conformed to a Worldly Pattern of Thinking by Default (Rom. 12:1a).
conform - assuming a similar outward form by following the same pattern; being molded into the image of the mold
2 Cor. 10:3-5 - 3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
A. A spiritual stronghold is a belief or habitual pattern of thinking that is inconsistent with God’s truth (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
B. Strongholds are formed through our environment, from traumatic experiences, or by yielding to temptation.
II. Our Minds are Transformed as they are Brought into Alignment with the Truth of God’s Word (Rom. 12:2b).
transform (1828 Webster) - 1. To change the form of; to change the shape or appearance; to metamorphose; as a caterpillar transformed into a butterfly. 3. In theology, to change the natural disposition and temper of man from a state of enmity to God and his law, into the image of God, or into a disposition and temper conformed to the will of God
A. God intends believers to take personal responsibility for their mind’s transformation and spiritual maturity.
B. The renewing of the mind involves taking every thought captive and distinguishing truth from lies.
III. The Renewal of the Mind may be a Long-Term Process but it Produces Life-Giving Results (Rom. 12:2cd). Questions for further study and review: 1. Recall a time when thought or acted in an automatic way but “caught” yourself when you realized that what you thought or said or did was wrong. What was it? Why did you think, speak or act that way? Ow was it that you came to “catch” yourself? 2. Read Rom. 12:1-2. Why does the Apostle Paul begin with the word, therefore? 3. Explain point I above in your own words? What does it mean to be conformed? Give an example from your own life. 4. Read 2 Cor. 10:3-5. What is a stronghold? What is a mental stronghold? What is a spiritual stronghold? 5. Do you agree with point IB? Why or why not? Can you give some examples from your own life or others around you? What is the problem with a stronghold? 6. Read over Webster’s definition of transform. Explain this in your own words and give an example from your own life. 7. Read the subpoints of II above. What does this mean? How is this done? Can you give examples from your own life where you have overcome a stronghold? 8. Take time to reflect upon this week’s question: What lies have I believed about God and myself? Take the challenge this week (and ongoing) to take captive those thoughts, renounce them, and then
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