Summary: Have you noticed how this world system is constantly trying to influence our decisions?

1. All of us have a STAMP OF APPROVAL.

• That is, by our words & deeds, we either approve of things or we disapprove of things. I like that. I don’t like that.

• When people ask our opinions, we often quickly share our feelings on a topic or 2 or 3.

• I have to agree that there are times when this is easier and other times when it’s very hard.

• But God, He gives us wisdom in those tough times.

James 1:5 (NKJV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

QUESTION: Have you noticed how this world system is constantly trying to influence our decisions.

• Dismissing God. Undermining God’s Word. Feeding our flesh.

• It gets to the point where Paul writes…

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV) 1 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. 2 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.

Romans 12:2 Philips Translation: “Don’t allow the world around you to squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-make you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed!”

Romans 12:2 (Amplified), “Do not be conformed to this world (this age) [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs]

As we read through this, we say AMEN! I don’t want to live like the world or for the world anymore, I’m a believer in Jesus now!

• And yet when we look around the church today, we see the world alive and well in believers of all different backgrounds.

• How does that happen? Is it sudden & instant? No.

• I think it’s a slow, subtle, gradual, process of where a believer places their stamp of approval… either with God or against God.

• How they exercise their freedom in Jesus Christ.

• Rarely does a believer jump into sin so quickly, but rather it happens very slowly, subtly, but ultimately destructively!

It’s like the proverbial story of the frog in the kettle: Put a frog in a kettle of boiling water and he will jump out immediately.

But put him in a kettle of cool water and slowly heat it up, he will soon die in the boiling water because he never really noticed the water becoming hotter and hotter to his own destruction!

NOTE: Many of our moral values & strong Christian witness are being boiled to death in the kettle of today’s entertainment and pressure packed society. Today Paul warns us…

NOTE: By now you know, the Christian life is more than just changing the surface things, putting on a good face.

• “I don’t drink, I don’t chew, I don’t hang with girls that do.”

• It’s much more than going through a list of outward behaviors and exchanging them for different ones.

• Well I have a new Bible now, new vocabulary, a new place to hang out on Sundays…

• No, the Christian life is a blast… a new direction, new hope, new changes… new life… true freedom!

John 8:31-32 (NKJV) 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

BUT the people Paul describes in CH1 are not living in freedom, but in serious bondage…

• In their rejection & resistance of God, their lives just keep spiraling downward into sin & away from God.

• It’s really a miserable existence. Empty & vain & purposeless.

• The world system has sold them a lie that it’s better to live for the temporary passing pleasures of this world…

• Rather than to invest their time on earth pleasing God, anticipating a much better world to come!

1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV) 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

So what does it look like when a person LOVES This WORLD… v28

• It’s an ugly, graphic picture of what the end results are of the person that jumps headfirst into this world system.

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