Going through the Book of Romans has made me feel like I have never read Romans before. With every chapter, I find myself encouraged, my faith built up, and hope filling my heart.
Romans 12:2 is a verse which we are well acquainted. I want to suggest for you to read it in a familiar version, and then read it in one you may not usually read.
Paul exhorts us to not be “conformed” to this world. Conformed, according to the dictionary, means “to act in harmony or accordance with the standards, attitudes, or practices.”
We are to be “transformed” – “to undergo a change in form, appearance, or character.” In other words, we are to look more like Jesus.
We are not to copy the habits, patterns, behaviors, and thinking of the world so that we assimilate into society.
We are to be transformed so that our minds are renewed, our thinking is godly, and we stand apart from the world.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” (The Message)
Conformed is from the outside and permeates in. Transformed is from the inside out.
For transformation to take place in our lives, we need to be in God’s Word, letting it have effect on us, and asking the Lord for discernment.
“We need to be able to recognize truth and quickly spot lies. We need to be able to discern resources, books, ideas, doctrine, and even teachers. We must learn that not everything that looks good is biblically sound.”
(from Romans: The Gospel-Centered Life by The Daily Grace Co., page 107)
The study directs us to read Colossians 3:1-3. How do these verses help you understand why it is important for us not to be conformed to the world or the age in which we live?
Again, read the Colossians passage in an unfamiliar version. It’s eye-opening. May we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, stay alert to the things we see and hear and absorb, and see things from God’s perspective -Â from His truth.
In Romans 12:9-12, we find Paul telling us just how the gospel should change us. There is fruit that should be evident in our lives because we are believers:
- Don’t just pretend to love others.
- Really love them.
- Hate what is wrong.
- Hold tightly to what is good.
- Love each other with genuine affection.
- Take delight in honoring each other.
- Never be lazy,.
- Work hard.
- Serve the Lord enthusiastically.
- Rejoice in our confident hope.
- Patient in trouble.
- Praying always.
“We are called to live in light of the gospel. This is the result of a mind that has been transformed by the gospel AND is rooted in the Word of God.”
(from Romans: The Gospel-Centered Life by The Daily Grace Co., page 115)
Let’s commit to working on these areas so that we grow and become a steadfast people.
As we are transformed and not conformed,
we become a people who areÂ
fruit bearing and steadfast in the faith.