Knowing, Affection and Being - Introduction
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12: 1-2)
Christians submit to Christ as He is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. What does the Bible say about the areas where we are to submit to Christ and grow in our faith?
In Romans 12:1-2, we can see the various areas highlighted that Christians are to grow, in gratitude to God's grace. They are the area of knowing, the area of affection (or emotions), and the area of being, in no particular order of importance.
We are asked to grow in the area of knowing. In the words of our passage, we are commanded, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." We are therefore to renew our minds by accepting what Scripture says as true. We are not to conform to the world, which is to say that we are to reject anything and everything that the world says that contradicts what is written in Scripture. In rejecting what the world says, we accept what Scriptures says.
We are to grow in the area of our affections. We are to do what we are commanded to do as our "spiritual worship." Worship has reference to many things, but one thing that Christian worship has in mind is our affections. We are called to love God (Deut. 6:5, Mt. 22:37) with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength. Worship is to be done "in spirit and truth" (Jn. 4 :24). Our affections or emotions are to be oriented towards God. In this sense, we are to learn to love what God loves, and to hate what God hates.
Lastly, we are to grow in the area of being, and consequently doing. We are called here to be a "living sacrifice." A sacrifice is something placed on the alter devoted for the worship of God. From our affections we are to desire to be what God wants us to be, and devote ourselves fully to God.
[to be continued]