By Renewing the Saint
“...and be transformed by the renewing of your mind...”
The idea in this phrase is a mind that is continually being renewed and is consistently being a vehicle to spiritual transformation. The word for transformation in this verse is translated “metamorphosis.” The idea is being changed from one form to another. Once we are born-again, God’s intention is to completely change us from who we are to who we will be.
This plan of transformation is accomplished through the vehicle of our minds. The direction of worship for every born-again person involves a daily renewing of the mind leading to spiritual transformation.
Worship, as a lifestyle, involves consistently allowing my mind to be washed with the Word of God. The washing – or renewing – begins making my life increasingly reflect the character and conduct of Jesus Christ.
Rather than being pressed and conformed into the mold of the world and its intentions, Christians are to be changed by Christ from the inside out. Being renewed by the Spirit of God from the inside out is part of God’s direction for worship.
In the 1950’s social psychologist Solomon Asch performed what is now a famous experiment on the social pressure of conformity people feel. Groups of 12 people were brought into a room, but 11 of them worked for his institute and 1 was an actual participant – thinking that everyone in the room was just like him. These groups of 12 were asked a series of simple questions, to which there was almost no incorrect answers by the one.
However, they were then shown four lines. One of those lines sat by itself, and the other 3 were varying lengths. Out of the 3 lines, one only matched the length of the first. The 11 members of the institute were told to answer incorrectly on this line question, but all answer the same. The one non-institute member in each group was then left with a dilemma.
They had to decide which two were the same length and publicly vote for their choice. Person after person after person (11 in all) voted for the wrong line—because they had all been told to ahead of time. The one individual who was in the dark could not imagine how in the world all these seemingly normal people could all choose the wrong line. When it was his turn to vote, he had to decide, “Do I go with what I know my senses are telling me, or do I go with the crowd?” Over 30% of those tested caved in to group pressure and changed their vote to agree with their peers.
We will either be conformed by this world system or we will be transformed. The world works from the outside and God works from the inside out. When we are renewing our minds, we are in the best possible position to see God work inside out on us. This is a direction of worship through us for our God.