Paul was more than just encouraging his fellow Believers here…he was beseeching and imploring them to take that decisive and dedicated step called sanctification. Why? When we first become a Christian we tend to hold on to parts of us that are comfortable, easy, or allow us to cope. But as we journey along with the Lord, He starts to demand we separate ourselves from those things. This process can be painful, but necessary for us to fully become God’s. Holiness or sanctification is being totally His…with nothing withheld…and Paul recognized that this was not only God’s Will but the very least thing we could do in view of the Lord’s sacrifice for us. (I Corinthians 6:20)
You are the work of God’s hands…lovingly created with unique abilities, gifts, talents, and passions. When God made you, He had the eye of an artist and the soul of a poet as He formed you…for you are truly a work of art to behold. There is no one like you, for you are God’s workmanship…created to be like Him in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24)…and eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:14)
Everyday your character is being shaped… by the world or by God. We allow generational chains of bondage to influence how we think…molding us into people we don’t want to become. We allow the world’s dominance to sway how we behave around others…even when it’s contrary to how we really feel inside. Spiritual renewal of your mind is a determined process you must undertake yourself. It’s an evaluation of God’s Will – His good and well-pleasing Will for your life – as you allow your character to undergo a metamorphosis, a regeneration of how you think. Don’t be squeezed into the world’s mold for you. Decide today what’s going to be shaping your mind…the world or God.
Earlier in this chapter Paul asks the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35) His answer here is – no one or thing can possibly come between us and Jesus. No rule or force of man…no point in time…no act of good or evil can ever cut the tie we have with our Lord. The bottom line is, there is nothing in creation that can keep us apart from God…for the entirety of creation is under His authority.
These scriptures beg the question…”What are You asking of me Lord?” Foremost, Jesus is asking for commitment. Not just lip service, or Sunday only acknowledgement… No, He’s asking for sold-out, unwavering determination to follow Him no matter the cost. Jesus is also asking for conviction. That’s a gut belief that He died on the Cross and rose again for me so that I may have eternal life. Then too, Jesus is asking for conformity. He wants me to become more like Him. Finally, Jesus is asking that I give up control. Now this is probably the most frightening but the most freeing request of His…For to go deeper with Jesus means releasing command of myself and trusting Him more.
To know the Lord Jesus Christ…is to live for Him. And in knowing Him…we will become more and more like Him, for we conform ourselves to His image. Knowing the Lord though is a life long journey of dying daily to our old self and deliberately becoming more like Him. But in the end, when people look at us, they won’t see us…they’ll only see Jesus.