“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Explanation and Commentary of Romans 12:2
The pattern of this world belongs to Satan, and it has ever since Adam fell to temptation. Because of this, we are born into sin, and so we sin, along with the rest of the world. The world, or “the dominion of darkness” has particular ways and goes round by certain means. Every Christian who is saved is saved out of that dominion, that pattern, and that way of thinking and doing things.
As followers of Jesus, we are taught that everything is exactly the opposite of what we once thought. Our renewed spirit is totally different and agrees with the ways of Heaven, but our flesh is not yet renewed, therefore it has embedded within it old habits that run according to the “elementary principles of the world.” In order for our old flesh to fall into line with our new spirit, and the Holy Spirit within us, our minds must be transformed by renewal.
Only then will God’s ways, higher than our own (Isa 55:9), truly begin to look as lovely as they are. The mind is renewed by intention and feeding it the truth.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Romans 12:2
#1 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world,”
“They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Pt 4:4). Several of the authors of the New Testament warn against the dangers of being of the world. We are rather called to be in the world, but not of it. Every Christian will be tested by this reality.
#2 “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
If your mind changes, you will change. Feed it with truth from the word. Change it by acting appropriately in the world. When you sin, confess and repent. When your mind changes, you are fundamentally a different and more Christlike person.
#3 “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is…”
Just as the spirit of a man knows the man, the Spirit of God is the only one to truly know God (1 Cor 2:11). With a renewed mind we have the Spirit of God and the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). The Christian with a renewed mind will know how to walk through life with an understanding of the will of God and will be able to obey him.
#4 “his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
New Christians sometimes admit that some parts of God’s will are not pleasing to them. They know his will is good, but they admit that they are not pleased with it, especially in those areas where the culture they were brought up in has an extremely different view. But the more mature Christian will begin to love all the ways of God and find them increasingly pleasing.
Bible Study on Romans 12:2
Expert Overview of Romans Ch. 5-16
Biblical Translations of Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
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.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
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.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.