On Christian Surrender and Transformation

Holiness consists of three things—separation from sin, dedication to God, [and] transformation into Christ’s image. James H. Aughey

True transformation does not happen from the outside in, but rather from the inside out. We do not get THE transformation through meditation, the latest self-help theory, or even plastic surgery. We are transformed by spiritual renewal through continuing encounters with the holiness of God,

Romans 12:1-2 sets out an Rx for Christian transformation: (i) Receive the mercy of God available through Christ; (ii) offer your body a living sacrifice to Him; (iii) refuse to let the world push you into its mold; (iv) renew your mind daily with Scripture; (v) trust God to transform you from within; and (vi) commit to fulfilling His good and acceptable and perfect will day by day.

Here are three different translations of Romans 12:1-2 that provide a picture of what transformation looks like in our everyday walk:

A Living Sacrifice to God

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (NLT)

Place Your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)

Place Your Life Before God

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs, but be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind by its new ideals and its new attitude, so that you may prove for yourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you. (AMPC)

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