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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

"BE YE TRANSFORMED" Rom 12:1&2

  In Romans chapter one through eleven, the Apostle Paul gives us one of the greatest dissertations in Scripture concerning manís relationship with God after the fall of Adam and the Christianís new relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Not once, in all eleven chapters, does Paul exhort us to "do" anything. The first eleven chapters are pure teaching.

  Then, in Rom. 12:1&2, Paul says "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God".

  "Therefore", means "on the basis of the previous eleven chapters of teaching". The English word "conformed" is the Greek word "schema", meaning, an outer transformation in appearance only. "World" in this verse is the Greek word "aion", or "age", meaning for us not to fashion ourselves according to the "age", or "time period" in which we live, and "transformed" is the Greek word "metamorphosis", meaning "an outer transformation due to an outworking of the inner nature".

  "Schema" is used in 2 Cor 11:13-15, where Satan and his false apostles are said to be "transformed" into angels of light and apparent ministers of righteousness. They look good on the surface, but underneath, their character has not changed.

  "Metamorphosis" is used in Matt 17:2, where Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration and He was "changed". Jesus showed an outer transformation due to the outworking of His inner nature, or Deity, and He shined like the sun. I imagine that if He had turned up the intensity too much, He would have melted that mountain! Also, in 2 Cor 3:18, we Christians are said to be in the process of being transformed (metamorphosis) by the Spirit of God.

  "Metamorphosis" is also our English scientific term for the life cycle of a butterfly. A butterfly worm, or caterpillar is going to become a butterfly, thatís his inner nature. All he has to do is grow up. An earthworm, on the other hand, will never be anything but an earthworm. All the earthworm will ever do is eat dirt and make mud.

  Dear Christian brothers and sisters, through the New Birth, we already have the nature of Jesus Christ Himself within each of us. Like the beautiful butterfly, all we have to do is "grow up", for that Christlike nature to shine through! Col 2:10 says that we are "complete in Him"!

  2 Pet 3:18 expanded from the Greek states, "Grow in the sphere of grace and into the full knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". As we grow, we find that we are more able to live above the "old nature" and are being "transformed by the renewing of our mind" into what God wants us to be, as our "new nature" shines through.

  Bob Jones