And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Do not conform. What does this mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, conformed means “to give the same shape, outline, or contour to: bring into harmony or accord.” Conformity to the world is to have the same ideologies, worldview, perspective, and attitude that the world has. You would not be able to tell the difference between you and those around you. This is the very lifestyle that God calls us to abandon. God is not conformed to this world, and neither should we be. Holy means to set apart. You are set apart from the culture around you. Often, this is not the reality of the church or the individuals that comprise the church. In essence, the church has become an extension of the world. Another social club with an exclusive list of members. This form of church is far from what Jesus envisioned when He planted the church through His apostles.
Embracing the same things that the world embraces is to desert the holiness of God. You cannot be set apart and conformed to the world; these two lifestyles are complete opposites of one another. You will either be a saint or a sinner. There is no gray area in the middle. The Christian life is radical because holiness is radical. Fleeing the desires of this world is contrary to popular perception. Society tells us to do whatever we want, as long as it feels good. Chase our desires. Pursue our passions. Fulfill our sinful wishes. Following Jesus is a 360-degree change in direction from the world’s direction. God calls us to think of others above ourselves. Deny the flesh and take up our cross. Press toward the prize of eternal life, regardless of the cost. Live holy and righteous—set apart unto God.
You can never truly dissociate from the world unless God transforms our minds through His Holy Spirit. Our nature is to blend into the culture around us. To live harmoniously with wickedness. Only through transformation can we reject compromise and conformity. Transformation takes our mind off the world and places it on God. It realigns our lives with the life God envisions for us. We are surrendered, not rebellious. What God wants is what we want. Building His kingdom is our number one priority. Laying down our lives for the sake of the gospel becomes our aim. This is what being set apart for God is all about. This is a lifestyle that proves what is good, acceptable, and perfect, according to God’s will. Transformation is the only requirement for entrance into heaven. Living a life of radical holiness is an assurance of salvation through the blood of Jesus. There is no other way to eternal life.
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