2 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.
It is important to know the will of God and to do it. But we cannot do the will of God until we know it. We cannot know the will of God until we comply with the three things in verses one and two.
Present our bodies to the Lord, v.1
Be not conformed to the world, v.2a
Be transformed by the renewal of our mind, v.2b
We cannot fully fulfil “do not be conformed” until we comply with “be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
that [purpose] by testing [for approval] you may discern
Ascertaining the will of God—distinguishing it from our will—is a process. This takes a critical approval of values we may choose. The renewal of the mind enables the believer to distinguish what is the good, acceptable, and complete will of God. The renewed mind is bent on the will of God; it learns by experience what the will of God is.
what is the will of God,
We need to know three things about the nature of the will of God—that it is good, acceptable, and perfect.
The will of God is no mystery; it is simply what God has revealed about Himself in the Word of God. We can know what is in the Bible; however, knowing the will of God takes effort and study. It is impossible to do the will of God without knowing it.
what is good
The “good” here is intrinsic good. God’s will has a beneficial effect. It is “good” because knowing and doing the will of God brings spiritual growth. No matter how much people might oppose the will of God, it remains “good” because it accords with God’s nature.
God’s will is “acceptable” to Him because it also accords with His nature. If we walk in God’s will, it will please God. It pleases God that our lives were not and are not a waste.
1 Th 2:4, But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.
God is not well pleased until there is some transformation, some resemblance to the family of God. God has taken an oath that every single solitary Christian will ultimately be conformed into the image of Christ. He will not wait until eternity to do this. If we harden to this process, then God will step into our situation. He will make us malleable or discipline us.
Ro 8:29, For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
and perfect [complete].
The will of God is “perfect” or complete because it fleshes out a life oriented to God’s philosophy of life. Something “perfect” achieves its full destiny; it is complete. Mature believers know and apply the will of God to their lives.
We can know the mind and will of God for us.
When a person chooses to reject the world system but decides for the will of God instead, this shows that his or her life is yielded to God. A constantly yielded life produces a mature life centered in the will of God.