What Does God Expect from You 2
24 July 2022 AM – Romans 12:2 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Romans 12:1, we learned that after all Christ has done for us, we ought to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. That sacrifice is costly and permanent, but it is not an end in itself. Because it is a living sacrifice, it impacts all that we do and say.
Transition: How are we to flesh out the “living sacrifice life” that is holy and acceptable unto God? To answer this question, the Apostle Paul gives us two commands and a reason.
1. Do not allow yourself to be conformed to this world
a. This is a personal command.
1) The grammar reveals that this is a negative passive command. The action is done to us, but we are commanded not to let it be done.
2) That requires an act of your will. You must choose not to allow it to happen to you.
For example, when you were a child, if your Mum sent you to the shops to buy milk, and she said, “Do not allow yourself to be distracted, get the milk and come right home.” You must not allow yourself to stop and talk with friends. In our verse, you must not allow yourself to be conformed to this world.
b. This is a particular command.
1) Because we have presented our bodies a living sacrifice unto God, we must not allow ourselves to be conformed to this world.
2) This world is the age in which we live. William MacDonald defines the word as “the society or system that man has built in order to make himself happy without God. It is a kingdom that is antagonistic to God.” Preceptaustin.org The world includes society’s music, dress styles, jewellery, pleasures, parties, language, media, entertainment, attitudes and lusts. Paul describes the world in Ephesians 2:2-3. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Peter describes it in 1 Peter 4:3. “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:”. Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Christ died to deliver us from this world. (Galatians 1:4).
3) God commands us not to allow ourselves to be conformed, moulded or fashioned after the pattern of this world. The media, advertisements and peer pressure are constantly trying to get you to conform to their ways. Our flesh does not like being different.
4) To obey this command, you must apply (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” The BIBLE, not media, fashions and trends, must be your standard. Look in your closet. Do any of your clothes reflect the sinful world rather than our holy God? Does all of your music reflect our holy God? Does your TV, video and Internet viewing always reflect our holy God and not the sinful world?
5) One commentator ask this probing question. Are you a thermometer—[always allowing yourself to adjust] to the temperature of the culture, or are you a thermostat—changing the climate of the culture? (Jon Courson’s Application Commentary, edited, www.preceptaustin.org/romans_122)
Do not allow yourself to be conformed to this world!
2. BUT allow yourself to be transformed
a. This too is a personal command
1) Note the word “but”. It is the strong contrasting word alla. Transform is opposite to conform.
2) This too is a passive command. The action is done to us, but we must allow it to be done.
3) God is not going to force you to transform. You must choose to allow it to happen to you.
b. It is also a particular command
1) To transform is to change into another form. It is the word metamorphoo, from which we get our word metamorphosis (e.g., the change of a caterpillar into a butterfly).
We are presently harvesting the cabbages that God has blessed our garden with this winter. Some of those cabbages are over 3 kg, yet the cabbage seed I planted in March was hard and smaller around than a pencil lead. What happened? God designed that tiny seed to sprout when planted, and to transform into a large cabbage. Amazing! The transformation that God wants to do in your life is no less amazing.