So what is our part in the renewing our minds/transformation process?  It is to pay careful attention to the mirror of God's Word.  As we renew our minds, reminding ourselves each day in God's Word of who we now are by virtue of the new birth, God's Spirit conforms and transforms us into Christ.  Like the ugly duckling, seeing the beautiful swan and not yet realizing it was himself in the reflection, we too ponder the image of the glory of God – Jesus Christ – in the miraculous mirror of His Word.  As you do so, the Spirit causes you to realize, "This is what you were meant to be."  God the Holy Spirit then does His miraculous work, from the inside out, from one glorious stage to the next, of transforming us, "metamorphosizing" us into the image of Christ.

Renewing your mind and speeding-up the transformation process can begin right here.  In the practical commands that follow in the rest of Romans (12:3ff.), it will not take a trained eye to see the image of the glory of the Lord – Jesus Christ – from one verse to the next.  As you ponder the image, and by the Spirit seek to obey the pattern, see if you don't witness immediate new "family resemblance" to your older Brother.  "Try it … you'll like it."

Personal Reflection:

At what stage are you in this Christian transformation?  Are you staying in the larvae stage?  Caterpillar?  Baby butterfly?  Full-grown butterfly? – where are you on the "conformity-to-Christ" growth chart?

Further Thoughts:

My son is reaching young adolescence.  He's at a time often characterized by rapid growth spurts.  He is fourteen, but just now beginning to get his twelve-year-old molars.  Though obviously his growth is accelerating, can you imagine if he got on the scales every day, or measured his height every hour.  Even during a rapid growth period, such measurements would be disappointing.  Even rapid physical growth is by nature relatively slow. 

Why would we think spiritual growth is any different?  Even if we're doing things basically right, as Paul has outlined in Romans – we're thinking right, presenting ourselves to God, walking by the Spirit, trusting God more, etc. – we could become discouraged that transformation into Christ-likeness is not quite as fast as we thought.

If experiencing the life, peace and joy Paul had promised, while hopefully occurring more frequently, is still not as constant as you would like, don't lose heart.  The Christian life is a process, a metamorphosis, from "one stage of glory to the next."  The larvae is not instantly a butterfly.

Group Questions:

1. Renewing our minds has a passive element and an active element.  What is meant by that?

2. The Holy Spirit does the renewing and transforming (Titus 3:5, 2 Cor 3:18).  What is our part in the process?

3. Can you give an example of how one might see Jesus in the Scriptures, even when He is not mentioned specifically?  Would "looking for Jesus" in the Scriptures change your approach to personal Bible study?  As you see Him, "the glory of the Lord," what will the Spirit do in your life (2 Cor 3:18)?

From "The Roman Road Revisited:  New Vistas on the Road to Resurrection Living."  © 2005 by Steve Elkins.  Used by permission of Allie Grace Books.  All rights reserved.

Steve Elkins has been a Young Life leader in East Dallas for over thirty years – serving as the Area Director for the past twenty, sharing the Good News of God's grace and training others in how to do so.  Steve has a BBA from SMU and a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary.  He is also the golf coach at Eastfield College.  Marci and he have three children:  Allie, Abbey and Austin.