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Mar 14, 2021

Renew Your Mind

Passage: Romans 12:1-2

Preacher: Jess Achenbach

Series: Romans

Category: Sanctification

Keywords: worship, mercy, grace, transformed, spiritual, god's will, mind, conform, renew, living sacrifice


If we want to live a transformed life, we need to stop conforming to the patterns of this world and worship daily in order to have a renewed mind and find out God's plan for our lives.


Romans 12:1-2 “1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer 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.”

The first 11 chapters of Romans deals primarily with doctrine that Paul is teaching to the Church in Rome.  Chapters 12-16 is more about the application of the doctrine that he just taught. So this morning we are looking at the very first couple of verses in Romans 12 the start of application.


Therefore:  We have to see what it is THERE FOR and it is easy to see, just flip your bible back a page and looking at previous chapter we see where Paul it talking about God’s mercy.  His message in chapter 11 is that the word is going out to all the gentiles to make the Israelites jealous and to see that God is giving his mercy out to not just them but to the whole world.   

The word “mercy” here in verse one is often translated compassion.  And you know that he is talking to Christians, not just because the letter was written to the church in Rome, but he states here BROTHERS, or in the most recent translation Brothers and Sisters.

All the way through the book of Romans we see Paul talking about the endless love and compassion that he is showing now to the Jews along with ALL of the world to see the clear way to salvation.  It is made super evident in this book alone that God grants His grace on us and it is only grace that leads to Salvation.  Here are just some of the verses in Romans up to this point mentioning GRACE.


Rom 1:5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles

Rom 3:24 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed

Rom 5:2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand

Rom 5:15how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Rom 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness

Rom 5:20. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

Rom 5:21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace

This is what he says in verse 32 in chapter 11.  32For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.



Because of the compassion that God has shown you, your gift of love back to Him should be obedience to him, as a living Sacrifice.

What would the folks be reading this letter during the first century thought of when they heard the word Sacrifice?  It would be connected to an animal killed, having its blood shed to a deity either the Jewish custom or one of the traditional gods of Rome.

Paul uses the imagery of the word sacrifice, but calls it a living sacrifice.


He is asking that we DIE to OURSELVES, and LIVE for HIM every single day.  The dying to ourselves part is putting off the desires of our hearts to sin, to serve ourselves, to fulfill our fleshly desires. 


Living for Him is to give back to Him fully who we are, this means all parts of us, our talents our time, our resources, our whole being. 

This is not just listening to Christian radio or wearing a cross necklace or donating clothes to the poor. It is also not the big actions, like moving to Burma and translating the bible, losing all of your loved ones along the way as we saw in the story of Adoniram Judson several weeks ago.


This last summer I shared that I had been praying for a friend’s salvation, the sudden death of one of his longtime close friends allowed for us to have a deep and meaningful conversation.  It was the second death of a close friend for him in a matter of months.  Friday, he shared how he had carried out the woods a third close friend after digging out his body fifteen feet down through the snow after a snowmobiling accident a couple weeks ago.  “I wish it had been me, it would have been easier”


A living sacrifice is something so much more, and way harder.  God is calling us to serve in everything we do, each small decision to be filtered through the Holy Spirit and Scripture so that we might have the right outcome in every circumstance.

Luke 16:10 says, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much”


God may or may not be asking us to die for him, instead, he might be asking for something much more potentially painful– to live for him!



Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever – Westminster Shorter Catechism

This is your spiritual act of worship: Some translations say, which is your spiritual service of worship.   

What normally comes to mind when we think about worship?  The 15 minutes of songs that we sing in church on Sunday, or perhaps you refer to the whole Sunday morning experience as the worship service. This is an example of corporate worship, something that we do together. 

The reference here is to personal worship, and we do that through our attitudes, acts and words throughout the week.


Isaiah 29:13, “13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”


Worshiping God is on par with glorifying God, and when we choose to follow His way over our own way, we are doing exactly that - glorifying God.  This is the conclusion that we come to at the end of verse one. 

Because God has shown us great mercy and grace, our response to that is to choose a life in Christ. Operating as he would in our own circumstances.


Now we get into the meat of the message.  So far we have instruction on “what we are to do (offer our bodies as a living sacrifice)” and “why we are to do that (Our obedience to Christ our act of worship because He saved us)”. The next verse is the “How we are to do it (the recipe to follow that helps us achieve the goal)”



                Saved at age 5

                Lived in a Christian bubble until College

                Moved to Alaska making bad decisions

                Encountered Christ through old missionary lady

                Began the sanctification process in earnest.








  1. Acknowledge the sinful patterns of the world.
    1. What patterns am I conforming to that are worldly?
      1. Our culture is changing daily and it is a constant struggle to not get caught up in the middle of what is now considered right and wrong. Look at moral issues: when I was a kid it was considered wrong to live with your significant other.  I feel like I remember when it was adjusted, if you watch television you can see the programing change throughout the years. 
      2. Abortion used to be considered taking the life of a child and now that practice is not just considered okay, but now is celebrated.
  • Are there moral issues that I am siding with the world on because it is easier to do that than stand up for what I know is right?
  1. Moral patterns that are taken to the point where it is elevated above God – Environment etc.
  1. What patterns of this world are we conforming to in our physical bodies; What are we:
    1. Eating/Not eating
    2. Smoking
  • Drinking
  1. Cutting
  • Patterns of this world in our minds. What are we:
    1. Listening to
    2. Watching on TV or the internet
  • Being angry about?
  1. Thinking about? What do you think about when you are alone?
  2. Talking about? Is our conversation glorifying to God.
  3. Holding a grudge?
  • Cheating on taxes or an employer?

James 1:19-24 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like

Romans 7:5-10

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.



                Transform from Worldly behavior requires repentance

  1. Repentance (to turn away) acknowledging the sin.
  2. Confess the sin.
  • Ask forgiveness.
  1. Turn away from the sin.
  2. Restore the wrong done


Renewing our mind is a constant action.  As sinners we are prone to sin, so we need to establish positive behaviors that will help us live lives that reflect who Christ has called us to be. 

Tools for renewing

  1. Scripture (Sword) – Being in the word, the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of GOD. We are told in John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
  2. Spirit – Listening to the Holy Spirit and being pliable to His promptings.I Corinthians 2:11-13 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
  3. Spending time in Prayer. In order to be renewed fully, we need to be renewed spiritually and physically. HALT  Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  If we look to our best example, Christ, what he did when he was exhausted was draw away and spend time in prayer.  We see all kinds of examples of this through the gospels.
  • Submission – to the body of believers. Being in a small group or other accountability setting where you are asked the hard questions. Church is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Stewardship – When we are obedient to Christ through our time, talents and treasures, we are in a refining process. Randy Alcorn puts it this way: “More often than not, when we think of good stewardship, we think of how we manage our finances and our faithfulness in paying God’s tithes and offerings. But as we’re beginning to see, it’s much more than that. In fact, it’s more than just the management of our time, our possessions, our environment, or our health. Stewardship is our obedient witness to God’s sovereignty. It’s what motivates the follower of Christ to move into action, doing deeds that manifest his belief in Him. Paul’s stewardship involved proclaiming that which was entrusted to him—the gospel truth.”

What is happening at Mosaic?  What Bible Studies are there for me to be in.  Small groups for me to join. Ways that I can practice stewardship of my abilities and gifts? Faith and faithfulness are linked.



How do we know what Gods will for our lives is?  Often, we want to know Gods will for a specific issue or direction in our life.  For example, who should I marry? Is now a good time to buy a house? Should I take the job offer on the other side of the country?  Where should I go to college? Knowing Gods will for your life requires patience. He often will reveal at step at a time what he wants us to do.  As we take a step of faith and continue to trust in him, he makes the way clear.

The main thing to remember is to follow the sequence set out for us in the two verses we looked at this morning.

To turn away from the patterns of the world and be transformed by His Spirit working within us.  With our mind renewed our vision of where and what He would have us do next are much clearer.


The final question we have to ask ourselves this morning is this:  Where do I need to renew my mind. Lord show me where you would have me conform to your ways and not the worlds ways.