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. – Romans 12:2
In this case, the word world is referring to the mindsets and attitudes of those who are not of God. The Roman Christians were not to think and act like their unbelieving neighbors. Instead, they were to be transformed by the renewal of their minds. Their presenting themselves as living sacrifices would start with their minds.
Our actions are an overflow of our mindsets and attitudes. Yesterday, we uncovered that if someone beholds God’s mercy, they respond in worshipful, devotional action. On the other hand, if a Christian’s mind is on the things of this world, conforming to its mindsets and attitudes, he is going to act like the world.
This is why their minds, and ours, need to be renewed. How are they renewed? By listening not to the world, but to God. He has spoken in His word. And if we read and study and cherish the Bible, we will by testing be able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. When we test an attitude or an action against Scripture, we know if it’s right or wrong, whether it’s aligned with God’s will.
For example, a man wants to sleep with his girlfriend. Well, according to the world, why not? Just use protection and call her back the next day. But when a Christian is transformed by the renewal of the mind through reading the word of God, the clear answer is that sleeping with his girlfriend would be decisively against God’s will.
This is, by the way, why so many professing Christians today deny that the Bible is God’s word. They desire to be conformed to this world, but the word of God is stopping them from doing so. So what can you do? You deny the authority and inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s word. But then they are unable to test and discern the will of God.
No, Christians are supposed to be different. Different how? Obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ. And as we continue to move away from a Christian culture in America, we are beginning to look more and more different. Stand fast, Sheep. The temptation is to go with the flow of the world. That’s what false believers do. As for us and the household of God, we will serve the Lord.