God’s Mercies & Our Minds

Why do we study the Bible? What is our motivation? What is our purpose?

In the first eleven chapters of his letter to the church at Rome, Paul proclaims the mercies of God in His Son Jesus. At the end of chapter 11, those mercies impel Paul to wonder and awe and praise. To understand our motivation for studying the Bible, go back and read those chapters. At the beginning of chapter 12, he makes his appeal to Christians because of those mercies.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1–2

Kent Hughes writes these verses are pivotal in Paul’s letter to the Romans.1 God’s mercies Paul has explained, now become the compelling reason for his appeal.

This passage can nourish us wherever we are in our spiritual pilgrimage. For those further along, it can serve as an affirmation and deepening of matters long settled. For those just beginning to seriously interact with the demands of Christ, it can be a spiritual benchmark….

What is the basis of commitment? The mercies of God and his love for us.

What is the character of our commitment? “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.”

What are the demands of commitment? There is the negative: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world” and the positive: be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

What is the effect of commitment? Knowing the will of God.2

And how are our minds renewed?

7The law of the LORD is perfect,
restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple.
8The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes.
9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
10They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7-11

In verse 7 of Psalm 19, David turns from God’s revelation of Himself in creation to God’s revelation in His Word. In 7–8, he describes what God’s Word is, and he tells us what God’s Word does. David defines the truth and power of God’s Word:

Perfectsurerightpure.

Restoring the soul—making wise the simplerejoicing the heartenlightening the eyes.

David begins to weave in a right attitude towards God and His Word as he continues to describe what God’s Word is and what it does in verses 9–11.

9The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

God’s mercies impelled Paul to wonder and awe and praise:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:33–36

Read Romans 1–11. Consider God’s mercies towards you, and be no longer conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind.

_________
Bee & Flowers: Public Domain, National Park Service.
1, 2R. Kent Hughes, Romans (Crossway Books, Wheaton IL: 1991) 211, 216.

Original content: Copyright ©2012 Iwana Carpenter

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This entry was posted in Bible, BIble Study, Christian Life, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, New Life, Psalm 19, Romans, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

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