These words apply to us to day. Paul is making an appeal to us.
Paul has already explained justification (more than not guilty, but righteous), adoption in Jesus. He asks us by the mercies of God to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
God wants more than just our body, but our entire being. He wants us. Our will is to be master over our body. That is contrary to modern thinking. We want to make our body a master over us. In Jesus its supposed to be the other way around.
It is to be a holy and acceptable act of service. Our problem is that we aren’t holy. We can bring a decision and a yielding to be holy. Our habits won’t change right away, but we can change our mind and bring that surrender and submission to God. As we do that we will be transformed.
The image of manhood that the world wants us to bow down to is not God’s image. We need to have a holy rebellion to tell the world to “shove it.” Husband, citizen, employee, athlete, etc. Conformity is not a thing of God, but of the world. We aren’t supposed to be cookie-cutter Christians. If you want to be a rebel, if you want to resist, don’t give into conformity. Conformity to the world is saying I want what the world wants to give me. Resisting is an exacting work. It takes effort to renew the mind. All you have to do to conform to the world is nothing. This is the don’t.
The do is to be transformed. Jesus has a mold, but it isn’t identical for all. In other words, we don’t need a software update, but a whole new operating system. Or, a thermometer responds to the environment. A thermostat reads the environment and changes it to what it is supposed to be. If you aren’t actively pursuing renewal of mind, you will be conformed and not transformed.
The problem is that we live by feeling, or are consumed with doing. “How do I feel about…” the life lived by feeling will not know being transformed. The live that is based on doing also ignores the renewing. Feeling and doing have an important place. God made us that way, but they are insufficient foundations for the Christian life. Paul doesn’t simply tell us to stop sinning. Romans 6.
The problems with only dealing with out feelings and actions and not renewal of mind. It doesn’t go deep enough. We compartmentalize.
How is it possible to renew the mind? It comes back to a love for God’s word. Reading, memorizing, meditating, etc. Pray for a love for the word. Philippians 4:8. Fill our minds with God’s word. By guarding our mental environment. By the fellowship and encouragement of others. Leads to transformation, metamorphosis.
We, as men, need to be called to a point of decision. Can’t live an undecided life. One way or the other, make a decision. Maybe a reverse alter call? Satan wants to keep us from making a decision either way. This is what we need to do.