Summary: In God’s Word, we are told that conformity is a good and necessary virtue, when we are conformed to the Christ.
Conformed to His Image
Griffith Baptist Church – 8/10/08
Text: Romans 8:29-30
Key verse: Romans 8:29 - For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
During the US civil war Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. Lincoln was a man of deep, if at times unorthodox, faith. At one point one of the ministers said, "Mr. President, let us pray that God is on our side". Lincoln’s response showed far greater insight, "No, gentlemen, let us pray that we are on God’s side." If we want to know what God wants us to do, then we must first strive to live a life of conformity to Him.
CONFORM = To correspond in form or character; be similar.
In this world we are taught NOT to conform:
o We are taught individualism
o We are told not to be like everybody else, to be your own person
o We are told that conformity lowers self-esteem and self-worth
From the way things look, the world has given some bad advice and set itself on a wrong course
Of course, this advice has crept into the church and changed our theology
In God’s Word, we are told that conformity is a good and necessary virtue, when we are conformed to the Christ.
Before we begin to understand what being conformed to Christ’s image means and how we are to go about doing that, we need to deal with this process that we are going through in salvation.
A. To have knowledge beforehand
B. God sees that past, present and future as if it were all the present
C. 1st Pet. 1:2; 2; 2nd Tim. 2:19
A. To predetermine, to decide beforehand
B. To what – be conformed to the image of His Son
C. That is the destiny, from God’s viewpoint of every believer, and the subject of our message
A. To invite, to give a name too
B. It is obvious that there are two aspects of this calling:
i. 1 Peter 2:9 - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
ii. We are called out of something – out of darkness
iii. We are called to something – into His marvelous light
A. to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous
B. Rom. 8:1.
A. To cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged
B. This is yet future and is ultimate glory
C. This glory we will receive is never-ending - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
D. It is finally experienced in the presence of Christ - Colossians 3:4 – When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory
To be conformed to Christ’s image means, in this context, to be like Him presently in holy attitude and behavior and that one day we will be like Him in eternity
What does it mean to be conformed to Christ’s image? What does it mean to be like Jesus?
Transition Statement: To be like Jesus, our life needs to be directed by God’s will
1. We should be Directed by God’s Will
A. David Livingstone tells how he was chased up a small tree and besieged by lions. He said the tree was so small that he was barely out of reach of the lions. He said they would stand on their back feet and roar and shake the little tree, and that he could feel the hot breath of the lions as they sought him. "But," he states, "I had a good night and felt happier and safer in that little tree besieged by lions, in the jungles of Africa, in the will of God, than I would have been out of the will of God in England."
B. The will of God is God’s perfect plan and desire. It is flawless and best and is determined by His character, knowledge, wisdom and eternal planning.
i. It can be specific (call to the ministry, or the call of a believer to a task or service)
ii. It can be general (such as here, being conformed to the image of Christ)