Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, September 22, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,
Life In The Body part 2 – Romans, part 177
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Yesterday we studied Romans 12:1 in which Paul implored us to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” Today, in verse 2, we are instructed in the “renewing of your mind” which Paul calls our transformation. He makes this mind transformation a “compare and contrast” with the ways of this world. And there is a purpose, so that we “may discern what is the will of God.”
Paul even offers help to those who may be reading up to this point and still have questions in their hearts concerning the will of God. Paul tells us that the will of God is “what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We’re going to see that they all point to the Law of God (Torah). The will of God is the Law of God (and I’m not being legalistic to say that).
Good: 1Timothy 1:8 But we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately. Read the following verses of 1 Timothy. They describe the worst of Law breaking. Paul goes into great detail about what is unacceptable in the kingdom of God. The opposite of evil is good.
Acceptable: The Greek word for “acceptable” is “Euarestos.” It also can mean “well pleasing.” It is used for the first time in Romans 12:1 that presenting our bodies to God as a living sacrifice is will pleasing to Him. Now in this next verse, presenting our minds is well pleasing to Him. Paul uses the same word nine times in total. Notably, here in Hebrews 13:20a Now may the God of shalom,… 21 make you complete in every good thing to do His will, accomplishing in us what is pleasing in His sight.
Perfect: Psalm 19:8 The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Adonai is trustworthy, making the simple wise. Doing the will of God leads us to perfection. Not because we are, but because He is. Paul didn’t invent this, he’s building on Yeshua’s teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:48 “Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
One last word as we wrap this up for the week. How do we renew our minds? In the same way Yeshua prepares His Bride… Ephesians 5:26 to make her holy, having cleansed her by immersion in the word. Spend time in the word. Read it, study it, meditate upon it.
Rabbi Trail: Yesterday AT&T offered me 350 channels of television programming for $135/month. What do any of those 350 channels have that anyone wants or needs to be more like Yeshua? Really! I should pay them so they can help me be more like this world and less like Yeshua? I don’t think so. Shabbat Shalom.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 22 Sep 2023 7th of Tishrei, 5784
De 32:29-39 Zec 6-7 2 Ch 28 Rev 13 (Ac 20)