Conform or Transform? {Romans 12}

11:30 PM

By Becky Austin

This is a chapter that holds incredible application for a Christian in every verse.  It challenges us to examine the motives of our hearts, the sincerity with which we love and the humility with which we serve God and all of mankind. 

In v 1 Paul calls us to be "Living Sacrifices".  In the OT, animal sacrifices were offered. Jesus, however, became the perfect sacrifice that did away with the need for animal sacrifices.  Biblically, a sacrifice was something of value given as "dedicated and consecrated to God".  Our worship today is a form of sacrifice to God in that we choose to give up our selfish pursuits and live our lives wholly dedicated to Him. 

V2 tells us how to do that: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Every second of every day, we make choices in how we think, what we pursue, how we react and interact. We are continually having to choose: Will we adopt worldly wisdom and conform to what comes natural to the millions of people surrounding and influencing us or will we let God work within us, transforming us into the image of Christ?

The remainder of this chapter takes a closer look at how we can choose to be transformed and not conformed. Paul reminds us in vs 3-8 to remember God's grace makes us all equal.  Without that grace we are nothing, and that should keep us humble.  “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (v3) Instead of comparing ourselves to others, our focus should be on contributing as "members of one body" by using the God- given gifts and resources we have for the greater good of all. 

In verses 9-21 Paul challenges us to show "genuine love". He lists out some of the things that should characterize a follower of Christ:
-show brotherly love
-show honor to others
- have spiritual zeal and motivation
-rejoice in hope
-be patient in tribulation
-be constant in prayer
- contribute to others needs
-be hospitable
-bless your persecutors
-rejoice with those who rejoice
-weep with those who weep
-live in harmony
-associate with the lowly, don't be haughty
-leave vengeance to God
-show kindness to your enemies

Did this list challenge you? It should, because we must be dependent on the work of the Spirit transforming us to live out a love this genuine. 
Perhaps if you think of bestowing acts of love on those that can easily be deemed  worthy or  that you can feel sympathetic to, it seems reasonable and easy.  But what about the "unlovable", the cruel, the hateful, the ones we want to turn away from, reject or maybe even retaliate against? Paul challenges us by saying...Yes, even these.  We have to love as Jesus loved and Jesus loved his persecutors and enemies.  In fact, he died for them. 

What about you?  Today, you must make many choices. What will you choose?
Will you "Conform" or be "Transformed"?

You Might Also Like