Summary: If we are going to construct a new you, we need to make some major changes beginning with how we think!
• VIDEO CLIP- WingClips- Cloudy with a chance of meatballs
• SLIDE #1
• As we continue with our Building A New You series, we will delve into a subject that hits each and everyone of us where we live.
• It is difficult not to conform the environment one lives in. The young girl in the clip was happy with her life until other people more or less told her she was not happy.
• In an effort to fit in, tried to change who she was.
• Being a Christian in the world we live in is not easy, the pressure to conform to the world is tremendous.
• Walking the line of being in the world, but not of the world can be stressful. Making it more difficult is the blurring of the lines of what is right and wrong. Even churches are blurring the lines.
• Today we are going to open the book of Romans together.
• In the twelfth chapter Paul is striving to encourage Christians to understand the significance of not conforming to this world but rather to direct our minds to Jesus.
• We are encouraged to allow ourselves to be different from the world.
• If we are going to have a chance at building a new you, or if we are simply seeking to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, we will need to develop a new way of thinking.
• If we think like the world, we will act like the world. If our worldview is shaped by the world, we will think like the world.
• Before we dive into our passage, we need to remember that in verse 1 Paul admonishes and encourages Christians to present their bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice.
• SLIDE #2
• Romans 12:1 (HCSB) Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
• Now as we examine verse 2 we can understand how it ties in to verse 1.
• SLIDE #3
• Romans 12:2 (HCSB) Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
• SLIDE #4
I. Strive not to be conformed to the ways of the world.
• SO what was Paul seeing that inspired him to address this subject? Paul was writing to Christians.
• The word CONFORMED gives us a clue. The verb tense of the word denotes stopping of an action that was already going on. In other words, STOP BEING CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD would be an accurate rendering of what Paul is actually saying.
• In the context of what God was asking of His people in verse 1, the conformity ot the world needed to stop.
• When we look at the state of the country, family, and church today, would it be fair to suggest Christians are still struggling with this issue?
• I want to share something interesting concerning the etymology of the word conformed from this verse that will help us to catch the flavor of what Paul is trying to convey to the reader.
• There are three possible stems from which the word CONFORMED could have been built.
• One of the stems (IDEA) would make the word stress OUTWARD APPEARANCES without thought to what is happening inside the person.
• The other two stems (one of which is morphe) also focus on the outward; however, those stems would direct the meaning of CONFORMED to also include what is happening on the inside. The habits, activities and modes of action.
• However the word Paul uses to be CONFORMED to the world has the root is schema, which means the outward form that varies from year to year and from day to day.
• A man's schema is not the same when he is seventeen as it is when he is seventy; it is not the same when he goes out to work as when he is dressed for dinner.
• It is continuously altering. So Paul says, "Don't try to match your life to all the fashions of this world; don't be like a chameleon which takes its color from its surroundings.” Barclay's Daily Study Bible (NT).
• So the command is for the Christian to stop changing their colors when they get around the word so that one can blend in better.
• One cannot be conformed to this WORLD and present their bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice.
• We speak of sitting on the fence between the world and God, truth be told, there is no fence on which one can position themselves. There is God or the World.