Renewal of the Mind (1)
A Sermon on Romans 12:1-2
1Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
1I 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. 2And 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.
Tackling individual sin in the Christian life is typically how evangelicals think of growth or sanctification. They often believe that by approaching sin in piecemeal manner that they will have overall victory in their lives. The trouble, of course, is once they gain victory over an individual sin there is always another temptation lurking. As a result, the Christian falls right back into besetting sin. Rather than dealing with individual sin in this manner, the apostle Paul calls to something more profound. The doctrine of sanctification is much more comprehensive than this. In this sermon on Romans 12:1–2 titled “Renewal of the Mind (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds in this message that sanctification concerns the whole outlook on life. The Christian will view their entire lives differently. They will also think differently about themselves and the world and thus act differently in this world. Instead of adding a list of dos and don’ts, Paul commands believers to be wholly transformed by the renewal of the mind. Dr. Lloyd-Jones belabors this important point because this is essential to Christian teaching; it is the difference between legalism and Christianity. Legalism begins with lists of behavior and calls people to perform the list. Christianity begins with who the person is in Christ and then moves to right behavior. The difference is subtle but important for being conformed to the image of the Son and avoiding hypocrisy.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.