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Somethings in life are optional while other things are essential.

During this series titled “Great Imperatives for Effective Living” we will look at some of the essentials.

We will then change our focus a bit to Paul’s letter to the Philippians and “Great Imperatives for Christian Living.”

Today we are discussing An Imperative Regarding the Negative and the Positive.

For those that are unsure what an imperative is, it means, an essential or urgent thing.


Romans 12:2 (AMP)

2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

Scripture Reading

Romans 12:1-2 (AMP)


Let us rejoice that we find ourselves in 2021 with all of its opportunities for ministry to others and service to our Lord.

So that we might do a better job for our Lord, ourselves, and others, we are going to look at some of the great imperatives found in the writings of the apostle Paul as he wrote to the churches that were dear to his heart.

Paul’s great challenge to the church at Rome provides us with an appropriate imperative with which to begin the new year.

The imperatives in our text require that we give careful attention to the forces at work that affect our lives both negatively and positively.

The negative imperative in our text calls attention to a great danger that we all face, the peril of being contaminated by the environment in which we live.

The positive imperative calls upon us to experience an inward spiritual transformation that produces a radical change in our conduct in the midst of this compromising environment in which we live.

  1. The bold challenge to full commitment.

Romans 12:1 (AMP)

Dedicated Service

12 Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

Paul issues a challenge to all disciples of Jesus to present their bodies  as a living sacrifice in service to God and others.

This bold challenge is translated further on as “With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give Him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable to Him.”

This is a pivotal verse.

That which precedes is doctrinal, and that which follows is practical.

The first portion of the book deals with our beliefs, the balance of the book deals with the expression of those beliefs in behaviour.

2. An imperative regarding a great peril.

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world.”

This means “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own gold.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP)

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

We live in a world system that is under the dominion of the evil one, look at 1 John 5:19 (AMP)

19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts].

The sinful world in which we live is not passive and unconcerned.

Evil is aggressive, and we must put forth an effort to prevail against the squeezing, conforming power of the world system in which we live.

God calls us to be different.

We are to be dead to sin and alive to God.

We must not permit either our evil nature within or the evil world around us to dominate us.

We are to conduct ourselves as beloved children of God, walking in the light rather than in darkness.

Paul told the Colossians to put to death that which was earthy and evil in their nature and in turn put on the new nature and live as God;s chosen ones.

3. An imperative regarding an exciting possibility.

Romans 12:2 also says, “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

Paul uses a Greek word here with which people today are familiar.

The word “metamorphosis”, and it means to change the nature.

Paul was urging his readers to experience a remarkable transformation that is possible by a renewal of the mind that comes when one is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit using the Scriptures and a responsive heart to bring inward mental and spiritual transformation that is manifested outwardly in a change in one’s conduct.

If you would change your conduct, you must change your creed.

If you wold change your behaviour, you must first change all of your beliefs.

If you would become truly Christian in your conduct, you must become Christlike in your thinking.

Only by a revolutionary change in your thoughts can you experience a revolutionary change in your conduct.

The call to repentance is in reality a call to complete change in thought patterns and decision making processes with reference to God, to sin, to self, to things, and to others.

How much change took place in your thinking about God, yourself, others, and things during the past year?

Paul challenged the Philippine Christians to have the mind of Christ.

Only as we let the Holy Spirit change our thinking and cause us to think like Christ can we experience the transformation that needs to take place in our lives.


The glorious end result of refusing to be conformed to the world and of experiencing inward mental and spiritual transformation is to prove in our own experience that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect.

You can never really know that God’s will is best for you and others until you make this complete commitment of yourself to God’s will as He reveals it to you.

So with eyes wide open to the mercies of God, present yourself to Him.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings


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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia


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