Purified And Transformed
Acts 15:7-9: And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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.
Purifying our hearts is the work of God alone. Being transformed by the renewing of our minds is a command. It is our duty to obey. It is our job. There are several things we must do if we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We must study the Bible. When we have received Jesus, He lives within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We then have the Holy Spirit as an internal Teacher and Guide. He does not just teach us intellectually what we need to know, He guides us into actively obeying and living in the truth He gives us.
John 16:13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He also gives us external teachers and examples. Jesus is the first and best example and He wants to give us many others. In fact, He wants us all to become good examples for one another.
John 13:15: For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
1 Timothy 4:12: Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Ephesians 4:11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
We should want everything the Lord wants to give us. He gives us teachers. We are fools if we do not avail ourselves of them. Most of the teachers are the leaders in Biblical churches. There are some good Bible teachers on TV and radio but we do not see their lives. They are no substitute for living, breathing, problem-solving and question-answering Christian examples. If you do not regularly attend a Biblical church, you are NOT being transformed by the renewing of your mind. You were in the world before you received Jesus and you were conforming to it. If you are not part of a Biblical church, you have NOT presented your body unto God, you are NOT doing your reasonable service, and you are NOT proving the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God wants to tell us everything we need to know exactly when we need to know it. He does that for me through my Bible study AND through other faithful believers, namely pastors and teachers. One person studying the Bible alone is going to miss much Bible truth. If you are deliberately avoiding church, you are missing at least half and probably more than half of what God wants to teach you. You will be only half prepared for the problems that will arise in your life and only half prepared for the works God wants you to do.
Care to discuss Purified And Transformed with Ron?