Non Conformity

WEDNESDAY

NAU Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 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.

NIV Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.

KJV Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

How can we live holy and acceptable so that we can offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God? Paul tells us plainly in verse 2 of chapter 12 – do not conform to the world! While the encouragement in verse 1 is NOT a command, verse two has two commands – don’t be conformed…and be transformed (which we will examine tomorrow).

What does it mean to be conformed? The Greek means ‘to be shaped’ or ‘molded’. In other words we are not to allow the world to shape our thinking or actions.

What is the world? The Greek term translated as world means ‘age’. In order to understand the ‘world’, we must understand the Jewish concept of ‘age’. Their understanding included both time and influence. In Jewish thinking there are four ages – the Age of innocence when Adam and Eve lived in harmony with God; the present evil age (referenced in Galatians 1:4) that refers to the time from Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden to the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth – an age in which we are presently living; the time when the coming Kingdom of God is established on earth which Isaiah and Revelation tells us will last 1,000 years; and the eternal state which will come into existence after the millennial kingdom.

The present evil age is influenced by rebellion to God and His ways. Not only are we internally corrupted with sin (as Paul argues in Chapters 1-11) but the ‘age’ of rebellion encourages us to conform to its influences. Paul commands the justified sinner to stop allowing ourselves to be influenced by the rebellious age in which we live. We are not to be shaped by its influence and standards. Instead we are to be influenced by something else – which we will see tomorrow.

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