Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do not be conformed to this world

Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed~| to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God– what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.

        When someone accepts Christ as their Savior, Paul wrote that they “become a new creature” (2 Cor 5:17), which is true, at least inwardly. This new Spirit regenerated inner live in our soul from the abiding presence of the Spirit now seeks to “work out your salvation” (Phil 2:12) from the inside out.
      Paul had described the concept of salvation by faith and the undeserved grace and mercy of God that has been granted to the believer (Romans 1-11). On this basis (“therefore”) Paul “urged” (parakaleo, present tense: “continually exhorted”) his readers to “present [their] bodies” (paristano, aorist infinitive, “to place before” as a once and for all-time offering), which implies an imperative sense following the verb parakaleo, “to exhort” (Rom 12:1). Thus, the believer is commanded to give over the control and direction of their bodies as a “living sacrifice” to God as an act of “reasonable service” or “logical worship” (latreia, from which we get the liturgy of worship) as a logical response to God’s unconditional mercy and grace.
      What does this mean in a practical sense? Paul now explains the meaning of self-sacrificing worship as the believer commits himself “cease or stop being conformed to this present world.” The body is attracted to sin, but the mind makes the choices that mark our life’s direction.  We either commit ourselves to obedience to His commands or yield to sensual pleasures to live in disobedience and unholiness.


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