This sermon is a companion to two previous sermons: Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 1) - Romans 12:2
Be Not Conformed to This World (Part 2) - Romans 12:2
Romans 12:1-2 reads, “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. 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.”
In Romans 12:1 God the Holy Spirit pleads with us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. Then in verse 2 God the Holy Spirit gives us two commands that we must obey if we are truly to present ourselves to live unto the Lord our God. The first of these two commands is found in the opening portion of the verse – “And be not conformed to this world.” The word “conformed” means “to be formed together,” that is – “to be made into the same form, or to be brought into agreement.” Brethren, we are not to have the same form as this present evil world; and we are not to be in agreement with this present evil world. We are not to think like this world thinks, feel like this world feels, behave like this world behaves, talk like this world talks, or look like this world looks. We are not to have the same philosophy, the same priorities, the same purposes, the same desires, the same interests, the same habits, or the activities that this world has. Brethren, we are not to make our decisions or have our mind set like this world does. We are to “be not conformed to this world.”
Yet the question might be asked – Why are we not to be conformed to this world, and how important is it to our Christian lives that we not be conformed unto this world? God’s holy Word reveals a great number of answers to this question. Already in the first two parts of this message (see above), we have considered six of these answers. We are to “be not conformed to this world” (1) because this world stands opposed to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, (2) because this world stands opposed to true Christianity and the true followers of Christ, (3) because this world is willfully without God, (4) because this world is under Satan’s deception, (5) because this world is following Satan’s direction, and (6) because this world is evil and wicked by nature.
Answer #7: We are not to be conformed unto this world because we have been delivered out of this world.
In Galatians 1:3-5 God’s Word declares, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins [Why?], that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, shed His own precious blood and sacrificed His own precious life upon the cross. Why? He “gave himself for our sins.” Yet why did He give Himself for our sins? According to Galatians 1:4, He “gave Himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.” Brethren, this present world’s system is an evil and wicked system by nature; and before our salvation through faith in Christ, we ourselves were a part of that system and were contributors to that system. We were the children of the devil and the children of disobedience. Yes, we needed salvation. We needed to be delivered from this present evil world, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ provided that deliverance through his death upon the cross. Certainly then, we should not return unto that from which our Lord has so sacrificially delivered us. Certainly then, we should not be conformed to this present evil world.
In like manner, in 2 Peter 1:2-4 God’s Word declares, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Brethren, the Lord our God has multiplied His grace to us. He has “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” He has given unto us all that we need to live a spiritually abundant life in true godliness and spiritual victory. He has “given unto us exceeding great and precious promises,” by which we may stand firm unto the end. He has given unto us new life in Christ Jesus, and thereby has made us partakers of His own divine nature. He has given unto us His own Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Even so, through all of these things, the Lord our God has caused us to escape, to be delivered from “the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Certainly then, we should not return unto that corruption. Certainly then, we should not live in that corruption. Certainly then, we should not be conformed to that corruption and to the world of that corruption.
Answer #8: We are not to be conformed unto this world because we are not of this world, but of the Lord our God.
In 1 John 4:4-6 the report is given, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” Brethren, we are of the Lord our God and have been delivered from this world. Again in 1 John 5:19-20 the report is given, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” Brethren, we are of the Lord our God and are in the Lord our God as the children of God. Even so, in John 15:19 our Lord Jesus Christ gave report unto His disciples, saying, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Brethren, we are not of this present evil world. Indeed, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has chosen us out of this present evil world.
Finally, in John 17:11-20 our Lord Jesus Christ prayed unto the Father, saying, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Let us take note herein of the phrase in verse 11, “But these are in the world.” Then let us take not herein of the phrase in verse 16, “They are not of the world.” Indeed, we are live in this world; but we are not of this world. As the children of God, we are of the Lord our God; and we are to behave like we are of the Lord our God. We are to be “followers of God as dear children.” (Ephesians 5:1) We are “light in the Lord,” and we are to “walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8) We are to “walk in the light, as he is in the light.” (1 John 1:7) We are not of the spiritual darkness of this present evil world. The Lord our God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness” and hath called us “into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) By our new spiritual nature in Christ, we are no longer of this present evil world. Certainly then, we should not behave like we are of this world. Certainly then, we should not be conformed unto this world.