- Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform 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.
Is it possible to avoid worldly customs and still be proud ,arrogant, covetous, selfish and stubborn? If so , how does this apply to Romans 12:2?
Luke Shibu Podiyan
"Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habit.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."
- 12:1 Service (Gr. latreia, lit. "bow down") is better translated "worship" (see 1:9, 25; Heb. 9:14). This is the worship of God through the whole life of the Church, beginning with a renewed mind and integrity of heart (see John 4:23,24). In union with Christ, we are brought from worshiping the creature to worshiping the Creator in all we do. The worship is:
(1) Physical: Bodies suggest both the physical aspect of human nature and human nature generally - ourselves.
(2) Living: A contrast to the Old Covenant under which sacrifices were put to death. Under the New Covenant, to die is also to be resurrected. Sacrifice is not a final act but the first fruit, the foundation, for all other spiritual fruit.
(3) Virtuous (holy, acceptable): OT sacrifice was unacceptable and temporary. Animals are not substitutes for humanity or true holiness (Ps 50:13,14; 69:30,31).
(4) Reasonable, or "spiritual" (Gr. logike): Though worship of God has its logical side, it is more than this - even as Christ, the logos, possesses reason but is far more than reason. To be reasonable is to live according to Christ, with renewed hearts and minds.
12:2 Faithful relationship to God changes our relationship to the world.
(1) We renounce the pretenses of "this present evil age" (Gal. 1:4). Conformed to this world is to be identified with and shaped by the world's values and pleasures.
(2) We are transformed, starting with the inward man, the mind, by virtue, the keeping of God's commandments. Mind here is more than the rational faculty; it is the highest faculty of human nature: "the eyes of your heart" (Eph. 1:18, literal translation), by which one sees and comprehends God.
Source: Orthodox Study Bible
George C. Thomas, Kuwait
- Dear Mr. Shibu,
Your question is 'Is it possible to avoid worldly customs and still be proud ,arrogant, covetous, selfish and stubborn? If so , how does this apply to Romans 12:2?
In this connection the question that comes to my mind is 'how or why or with what internal motivation does one avoid the worldly customs?'
Is it a legalistic obedience to commandments or moral laws? Then it is very easy to become proud, arrogant etc. There are ample evidences in the New Testament- the young lawyer who approaches Jesus, the parable of the publican and the pharisee etc.
However, if one avoids some of the worldly customs because of a ' renewing of the mind' he has already surrendered to God and the inner transformation/ renewing of the mind has been brought about by God or the Holy Spirit acting in the person.
It is not possible to renew your mind without surrender to God and surrender is preceded by humility. i
It is most unlikely that the person would be proud, arrogant, covetous, selfish and stubborn. More reasons are to be found in St. Paul's list of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
An individual, if he or she surrenders to the will of God/ offers himself as a living sacrifice and is transformed, he or she passes from one kind of life to another where the norms and the values are a bit different. He bears the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are non compatible with the qualities of arrogance and avarice.
His surrender and his acts are not legalistic, but born of love.
This is a rather simplistic way of interpreting the passage, but it is what I, in my limited understanding, make of it.