All of the letters Paul wrote follow the same basic outline. The first part of each letter focuses on important doctrines: the gospel. The second part of each letter then explains how those doctrines can and should shape how we live every day: gospel transformation.
When it comes to Romans, the first eleven chapters are Paul’s explanation of the gospel, while the final five chapters center on how that gospel changes us. Romans 12:1-2 is the hinge linking these two sections together.
Paul urges believers to keep in mind the mercies of God. God’s grace, mercy, and kindness led Him to provide Jesus to pay our penalty for sin so that we might be adopted into God’s family. Then Paul helps us look forward by summarizing the impact the gospel should have on us. We are to be living sacrifices that please God. How can we do that? The answer is in Romans 12:2. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. A renewed mind transformed by the Holy Spirit will help us see what pleases God, what His will is.
God wants us to show friendship and love to one another. As believers, we all belong to Jesus. His death and resurrection bring us together. The Holy Spirit changes the way we think and live so we can love one another as God has loved us.
The gospel first changes the heart and mind. Then, as a result, the gospel changes how a person lives. This is how we please and glorify God. As you share with your kids this week, remind them of how important gospel transformation is. Help them to see that they cannot please God by their own effort—and God doesn’t want them to try.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
Help your kids understand what it means to rest in the gospel—in who they have been made in Christ Jesus—and how to allow the Holy Spirit to work in their minds, hearts, and their actions. Share that one of the ways God transforms our minds is by us reading His Word, and encourage them to spend time reading the Bible this week.