He notes that the word used is "metamorphoustai," a Greek word, and it contains the word "morphe," whihyc means "essence." The process involves the aforementioned sacrifice of the body, and it also involves a renewal of the mind, meaning that the inner self is changed by the process to become like Christ. This is discussed elsewhere in the scriptures, notably in Philippians chapter four.
John Piper writes that the aim of the passage cited is to make all life become "spiritual worship." The second verse offers Paul's answer to how we can accomplish this, and to do it we must be transformed, changing not just external behavior but how we think, a change effected by the renewal of the mind. Paul says this transformation will come about by testing whazt the individual believes is the will of God, menaing what is good and acceptable and perfect. Piper notes that there are two different meanings for the will of God in the Bible, making it necessary to discern which of the two meanings is intended here. Piper says the first is "God's will of decree" or "sovereign will," referring to His ability to control all that comes to pass. The second is God's will of command, meaning that God wills what he is commanding that we do. This is the will of god that we can disobey, inadvisable as that may be. Piper then considers which of these meanings is meant in Romans 12:2, and he states,
The answer surely is that Paul is referring to God's will of command. I say this for at least two reasons. One is that God does not intend for us to know most of his sovereign will ahead of time. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us" (Deuteronomy 29:29). If you want to know the future details of God's will of decree, you don't want a renewed mind, you want a crystal ball. This is not called transformation and obedience; it's called divination, soothsaying.
This passage has the same meaning for today's Christians as it had when the church was developing, and Paul is showing the follower what is needed to fulfill the will of God and to become more like Christ and so attain the proper status as a Christian. The requirement is no different today than it was in Paul's time, and the individual Christian still needs to demonstrate his or her understanding of what God wants and willingness to be what God wants. This passage provides an analysis of what this entails and how it is to be achieved. Any other view would be from one of the "false teachers" Paul warns the Romans against. Paul expresses in this short passage his deeper under=standing of the meaning of God's requirements for the Christian and of what Christ and his sacrifice means in transforming the life of the Christian for all time.
Paul expresses this meaning in his letter to the Romans, and analysts find links between what the writes in Romans and other passages in his writings and in the writings of others. The understanding of Christianity that Paul embodies in this passage is repeated elsewhere and can be seen as an important statement affecting Christian life through the ages.
Bryan, Christopher. A Preface to Romans: Notes on the Epistle in Its Literary and Cultural Setting. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Deffinbaugh, Bob. "Romans: The Righteousness of God." Bible.org (2005), http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2320.
Guroian, Vigen, "Moral Formation and Christian Worship," The Ecumenical Review 49(3)(1997), 372.
Home, J. David. "Challenge to Be Changed." December 1, 1996. http://www.horizonsnet.org/sermons/rom37.html.
Piper, John. Desiring God (2005). http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:yef2y6sgoDMJ:www.desiringgod.org/library/sermons/04/082204.html+%22Romans+12:1-2%22+meaning&hl=en.
Bob Deffinbaugh, "Romans: The Righteousness of God," Bible.org (2005), http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2320.
Christopher Bryan, A Preface to Romans: Notes on the Epistle in Its Literary and Cultural Setting (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 194.
Vigen Guroian, "Moral Formation and Christian Worship," The Ecumenical Review 49(3)(1997), 372.
J. David Home, "Challenge to Be Changed" (December 1, 1996), http://www.horizonsnet.org/sermons/rom37.html.
John Piper, Desiring God (2005), http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:yef2y6sgoDMJ:www.desiringgod.org/library/sermons/04/082204.html+%22Romans+12:1-2%22+meaning&hl=en.