The next step is to discuss true spirituality in relation to separation from ourselves in the internal world of ‘thought’. (read the opening line again..grasp the ‘main’ premise therein).
In Romans 1:22-29, we find an order established. Introductory to this passage we notice in verse 21: For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Here are those who knew God. We can think of it in terms of the original fall of Adam and Eve, or we can think of it in terms of those many, many times when a culture has known the true God and has deliberately turned away, as is the case in our own post-Christian world. We see that they knew God, but they became vain in their reasoning. This is the world of their thoughts. Then, in verse 22: Claiming to be wise, they became fools. This is an internal thing; the external is in verse 24: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. This is the result. Thus we see the order; first there was an idea in their thought-life, and then came the outward result of the idea.
In verse 25 we are told that they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature (created thing) rather than the Creator. Here is the inward rebellion, and immediately this brought external results as we saw in verse 24.
Look now at verse 28: And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind (that is, a mind void of judgement), to do what ought not to be done. Here again is the same order.
We can say two things about the external act: the external follows the internal, and the external is a product of the internal. Thoughts are first, and they produce the external. This is the order.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
Now this is in the external world. But notice this cannot be separated from verse 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.
There is indeed to be a presenting of our bodies, but this has meaning only on the basis of the understanding of the internal.
Paul speaks here of hot being conformed to this world. But that is not simply external. In contrast to this, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, and that is internal. (con’t tomorrow)
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc