WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 25, 2022
TOPIC: DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THE WORLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 New King James Version).
The life of a follower of Christ should be different from that of someone who is not yet saved. A Christian cannot continue to behave the way he used to before coming to Christ. When someone gives his life to Christ, he is a new creature and a change begins in his thoughts and attitudes. His life begins to change. Jesus told His disciples that although they were in the world, they were not of the world and the world would hate them because they didn’t belong to them. In other words, the non-believers would persecute them.
This is how John 15:18-19 puts what Jesus said: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (New King James Version).
Earlier in John 7:7, Jesus told His brothers who did not believe in Him, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (New King James version). The world (Greek: kosmos) in this scripture refers to “the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). The world is evil and will hate the children of God.
Just as Jesus was hated and persecuted because He was not of the world, Jesus said His disciples would also be hated and persecuted because a servant is not greater than his master (John 15:18-20). In John 17:14-17, Jesus also talked about His disciples being in the world but not of the world. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:14-17 New King James Version).
Please take note of the last sentence in that scripture: Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. After giving your life to Jesus, you need to be continually sanctified by the Word of God, His truth, if you’re not going to be influenced by the world. Remember that as a child of God, you’re in the world but not of the world. Sinners will try to influence you to join them in their sinful practices. “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent” (Proverbs 1:10 New King James Version). It is the truth of the Word of God that you study and meditate on that will renew and purify your mind and preserve you as you act on it.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome, urged them to, by the mercies of God, present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is their reasonable service (Romans 12:1). He continued: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (verse 2 New King James Version).
Take note of the phrase “do not be conformed to this world.” If it were not possible to be conformed to the world, Paul would not have said so. The Greek word translated as to be conformed is suschematizo. It means to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to) (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).
The church must not become like the world in mind and character. There must a difference. If there is no difference between the church and the world, it means that the church is not the real church but it is just pretending to be. If there is no difference between light and darkness, then that light is not the real light.
Jesus said to His followers, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14 New King James Version). He continued in verse 16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (New King James Version). There is always a difference between the genuine church and the world. The real church is not conformed to the world.
What does it mean not to be conformed to the world as the Bible says in Romans 12:2? “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 New Living Translation). The Contemporary English Version says, “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him” (Romans 12:2 ).
Also, the Weymouth New Testament puts it this way: “And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God’s will is–that will which is good and beautiful and perfect.”
As a Christian, remember that you’re in the world but not of the world. Therefore, don’t imitate the way of the world or be like them. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world. How will you be able to do this? Most Bible translations say not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. How will the transformation take place? However, the New Living Translation says, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” But how will God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think? Your mind will be renewed as you continually expose it to the Word of God. The Word of God will transform you. God’s truth will sanctify you.
The Greek word translated as transformed is metamorphoo, which means to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure (NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon). You must be transformed or changed by the renewing of your mind. Then you learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. God’s truth will set you free from the influences of this world. Don’t let the world change you to become like them. “Do not let the world around you squeeze you into its mould, but instead let yourself be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 J. B. Phillips). Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould!
As we interact with the people of the world, we must not forget that we (Christians) are citizens of heaven. We must not allow ourselves to be corrupted by worldly values and behaviour. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21 New King James Version).
We must be holy for God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Without holiness no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14b). Do not be conformed to the world. Don’t embrace their thoughts and attitudes or copy their behaviour and customs. Righteousness has no fellowship with lawlessness and light has no communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). Come out from among them and be separate (verse 17).
Do not be conformed to the world. “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]” (Romans 12:1-2 Amplified Bible).
Let your thoughts and attitudes be renewed (Ephesians 4:23). Your sanctification is the will of God. Therefore, abstain from all the sins the non-believers indulge in (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). You were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:20). Be obedient to God; don’t conform yourself to the lusts of the past but be holy in all your conduct (1 Peter 1:14-15). Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15). Do not be conformed to the world.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be conformed to this world or copy their behaviour and customs but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Father, sanctify me by Your truth; Your word is truth. Transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. I pray that Your church will not imitate the way of the world but win the world for Christ.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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