So we left off at .
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
This morning I want us to continue with Paul’s next step in the ongoing life of following Christ.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
As we look at verse 2, I want you to notice the PATTERNS offered to us in this life.
The first pattern is the pattern of the world.
The second pattern is the pattern of God’s will.
What Paul is asking us to do is to reject the pattern of the world by not conforming to the world’s pattern, but submit ourselves to the renewal of our minds so that we can find God’s perfect and pleasing will.
The Pattern of the World - the Wide Road
The pattern of the world has not changed since the very beginning.
Just this week I posted an article written by Dr. Jim Denison of the Denison Forum. Dr. Denison’s article entitled, “A Coca-Cola ad that foreshadows the future.”
He references an ad run in Italy by Coca-Cola where a handsome young man is cleaning the backyard pool. An teenage girl is mesmerized by his good looks as she stares at the “pool boy”.
Then she notices her brother is also staring at the pool boy.
They both race to offer he pool boy a coke, but by the time they arrive, their mother has beat them to the pool boy. She stares at him with lust and shrugs her shoulders at her children.
Coca-cola obviously thinks its shameless ad will sell its product in Italy, home of the conservative Roman Catholic Church.
In our own culture today, while the debate was raging in 2015 about gay marriage, many, including Dr. Denison warned that same-sex marriage/weddings were only the beginning.
The next step, polyamory, many loves. Animals are now thrown into the mix.
Recently, Time magazine had an article, “I have an open marriage and my relationship is better than ever.”
It happens in New York, LA, DC, Miami, Chicago…It happens in Dallas, TX.
How can this be? How does it happen? I’ve seen it in the church!
The first step - Take away the authority of God’s Word by saying that it is culturally irrelevant, and errored in its teaching.
When the church fails to consider God’s Word inerrant, and by that I mean that It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter, which means that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.
When the Church considers cultural norms more important that Biblical principles, we’ve got issues.
How does this world shape us? I’m glad you asked!
Culture is a combination of lots of things. This cultural age we are in moulds and shapes us with its values, movies, magazines, newspapers, TV, conversations, artifacts, books, music, art, and the list goes on.
As reported on the Daily Wire, actor TJ Miller says the new Emoji Movie will encourage children to “understand and adopt progressive values.”
Your child does not need to see every cartoon that comes out in the movie theater.
What are they watching at home? Disney isn’t safe anymore, Nickalodean isn’t safe anymore. You ever watch one of those shows were dad is a goof all and not important, mother is sane, but the kids are the grown ups?
Culture tends to shape us most deeply by what it presents as normal. We are creatures of cultural habit. We live according to them but rarely think through them critically.
So unintentionally, we become culture shaped rather than intentional about shaping culture.
Cultural norms shift, and when we experience a new or different normal, it will cause a shift in our daily routine.
Our schedules, what we like and don’t like, what we buy, eat, how we spend money.
What is the antidote?
JESUS CALLS CHRISTIANS TO NOT BE ‘CONFORMED’ TO THIS WORLD! JESUS HAS A BIGGER STORY THAN CULTURE’S STORY AND HIS STORY IS TRUE! Jesus calls you to TRANSFORMATION!
Friends, Jesus is calling you today to drive that stake in to the ground on Biblical morality.
Jude 1:3, that we are called to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”
Your mind matters!
The pattern of God’s will is found in the life of the believers who offer themselves to God as a living sacrifice.
Listen, we are not “chameleon Christians” put on a brightly colored rug. We would need intense therapy because we could not decide what color to be! We adopt one color in church and another at work, and another at home, and another out with the boys, or another out with the girls…I’ve seen that on Facebook
The foundation of this call is found in
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
We have to move from this present age into the age to come