Summary: Why does our profession often times not coincide with the lives that we are living? Paul gives some instructions on living a TRANSFORMED LIFE.
”Schematics, Trademarks and Transformation”
What would it be like if we had to get up and profess what we believed based on how we actually lived our lives? If we were honest, we might say: “I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth”, with whom I communicate around two hours per week.
“And I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son”, but I don’t believe He has the right to tell me how to live my life. I believe that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried” for me, but he shouldn’t expect me to make any kind of similar sacrifice on His behalf. I want to live my life the way I want to.
I believe Jesus “sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from which He shall come to judge the living and the dead”, and I believe He knows my intentions of ONE DAY getting serious about serving Him wholeheartedly, but neither He nor anyone else should judge me in the meanwhile.”
This type of profession would be an impossibility for “believing Christians” because OUR lives IN CHRIST HAVE TO coincide with the faith that we profess IN CHRIST. That just makes good logical and spiritual sense as we saw last week in Romans 12: 1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”
The Biblical point that Paul has established is that ON ACCOUNT OF THE MERCY OF God revealed to you in Jesus Christ, which YOU have received as a gift, you present your lives as a Living, Holy, and pleasing sacrifice of gratitude to God in such a way that your entire life resembles HOLY WORSHIP to Him. True worship is not in music but true worship comes from the Holy Spirit who resides in your soul. Music is the end of worship, not the catalyst for worship. Christ in you and His Hope of Glory is the catalyst.
A Non-Conforming Command
Today we find a negative and a positive command on HOW TO present our lives as an acceptable offering in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world”. (The NAS accurately says: And do not be conformed to this world” (or age). So HOW DO WE make our profession an accurate description of our very lives? Here Paul gives a clear Non-Conforming Command: “Don’t be conformed to this world.” That’s simple enough, isn’t it? Don’t be worldly. Don’t be like the world.
The word for “conform” is an interesting word in the Greek (syschçma-ti-zô); We get the word “schematic” from it. You know what a schematic diagram is: it represents the elements of an entire system using abstract, graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures, like the one I have on the screen of a smoke detector, I think. It is really a picture or a plan of how a system operates.
1. Paul is saying, “Stop allowing yourself to be “molded” by ungodly ideas: Don’t follow the blueprint or schematic of the world. Do you ever have any ungodly ideas, thoughts or attitudes, those which are contrary to the Perfect Will and Word of God? Stop thinking like the world. The World’s plan doesn’t belong in your schematic plan. 1 Corinthians 7:31 says: “for the FORM (or “pattern”, same root word) of this world is passing away.”
I read an article this week by Marvin Olasky, editor in Chief of World magazine, which actually pounded this idea home, entitled, “Don’t Ignore the Axioms”. For Christians, axioms or truths from God’s Word cannot be compromised. He wrote about how our Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these truths (Axioms) to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” We as a nation certainly don’t believe that God is the Creator of Man and the World. Most of the World which God created REFUTES that primary biblical axiom of Genesis 1.
Do we believe that He created men and women equally and He created male and female to constitute marriage and family? That’s God’s Biblical axiom of Genesis 2. Many Christians even reject that truth.
How about the axiom of Genesis 3, that man SINNED and disobeyed God and caused the nature of man to be totally polluted? As a nation we don’t believe in sin either, as a matter of fact, most so-called Christians don’t even believe it. Do you realize what that means? If you don’t believe that the Sovereign God created the World, and He did NOT institute axioms concerning relationships, and that man is NOT basically sinful and that he is NOT dead in sin, and in DIRE NEED of a Savior, then you don’t need a Savior, and you can discard the rest of the Bible along with the first three chapters of the Bible. God tells us to stop allowing ourselves to be molded by the ungodly ideas of society and of the World and base our thoughts and ideas on the truth of God’s Word, not the falsehoods of the World.