Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Be Transformed Into the Image of God

The apostle Paul wrote these words in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.” This instruction given to the saints at Rome is greatly needed by all Christians today. We live in a world which subjects us to various pressures, calling upon us to “conform.”

Just because “every one else” dresses immodestly, uses vulgar language, is involved in the mad pursuit of material things, is intent on the things of this life that are pleasurable, etc., etc., Christians are under heavy temptation to do likewise. The word “transformed” is the Greek word “metamorphose” which means “to change into another form, transfigure, transform.” The metamorphoses is often illustrated in high school biology by the changing of a worm into a butterfly. Transformed is used of Christ to describe His transfiguration (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2). As Christ was transformed into a divine radiance, Christians are to be transformed into the image of Christ. God’s word says, “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:8-11).

No matter how popular and widespread sin and ungodliness may be, it doesn't excuse it or make it more acceptable. “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice” (Exodus 23:2). The apostle Paul writes, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13),

Christians must deny ungodliness and worldly lust and strive to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. We must do this regardless of what those around us do. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). The life of the Christian is to be different - a pure, clean, wholesome kind of difference that others may see. It's terrible when our conduct can't be distinguished from that of the worldly people around us – we should know better!

In conclusion, we must be very careful to conduct ourselves correctly in all our relationships in life. We should always strive to keep our lives clean and pure. The bottom line is that every Christian should strive to NOT be conformed to this world, but be transformed into the image of God. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

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