A Life Well-pleasing to God
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
In God’s sight the life that is good and well-pleasing to Him is a life striving toward perfection. See Matthew 5:48 and add Philippians 3:7-11. Paul doesn’t say, “Substitute one external habit for another.” He’s warning us against giving in to the appearance of worldliness we’re surrounded with. Do not be devoted to the world, but cultivate a spirit demonstrating union with Christ, attached to God, His kingdom, cause, His glory. ‘Renewing the mind’, although a work of the Spirit, the verb is in the imperative mood, and thus the believer is not released from responsibility. All external changes, if the mind remains unchanged, would be useless. Christianity seeks to reign in the soul; and external conduct, habits will be the fruit or evidence of it. A heart in love with the habits, patterns and behaviors of the world will not appreciate the goal of perfection for the Christian.
Our main duty as Christians is to be separated from the world; and this verse tells us how it’s done, by God working in us to give us the desire to be, live pleasing to Him, working our way toward perfection, without despair. In so doing we learn and do the will of God. We will not attain perfection in this life, but the aim or goal of our lives is nothing short of perfection. In God’s sight such a life is good and well-pleasing.