Non-conformity to this world – Part 1
As we approach the end of the year, there is no greater desire for anyone than to seek to be more like the Lord. Whatever else we may have achieved in the course of the year, if anyone’s life is antithetical to all that is true and righteous, all that Jesus Christ prescribes, it has been a hollow accomplishment. No wonder the Lord issued this appeal to all believers: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”.
God requires holiness in the believer’s life, service and worship. The message on consecration and non-conformity to the world is only for believers who are justified. Generally, the epistle to the Romans talks about the believer’s justification by faith. It reveals our salvation and reconciliation with God through His grace.
In the build up to the message on consecration and non-conformity to the world, the first three chapters of the Epistle of Paul the Apostles to the Romans discuss the guilt and condemnation of both the Jews and Gentiles. The next two chapters reveal the redemption of both Jews and Gentiles only by faith in Jesus Christ, while the sixth Chapter talks about our sanctification: the crucifixion and removal of the adamic nature of sin from the believer’s heart. The seventh chapter highlights the wretched and helpless state of sinners, followed by chapter 8, which shows the provision of forgiveness through Christ’s death and the possibility of a new life in the Spirit.
The next three chapters reveal how the Jews, who are children of the covenant, are at present under dispensational blindness. While the Jews are blind to the light of the gospel now, the Gentiles, those of us who are not Jews by birth, receive the light of the gospel and enjoy all the privileges of redemption through Christ. This redemption puts on us, as beneficiaries, the responsibility to consecrate our lives to the Lord and reject any temptation or tendency to conform to the world.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD…” Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, addresses “brethren”, people who are already saved from their sins. Called out of the world, they are now reconciled to God. Thus, their ambition and desire are in contrast with the world; their primary goal in life is to obey and please the Lord. The “mercies” that brings salvation, sanctification, healing, deliverance and makes us sons and daughters in the Kingdom should make us to be consecrated to the Lord.
Some professing Christians in our society erroneously believe that God has nothing to do with their bodies. They claim that He is only concerned about their soul and spirit. Thus, they do all sorts of abominable things with their bodies, contrary to the admonition for us to present our bodies a blameless and acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. But the Lord will not accept any sacrifice that is contaminated with disobedience. Why do we need to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord? “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”.
Further Reading (King James Version): Romans 12:1, 2; Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 3:16,17; Psalm 50:5; 1 Timothy 5:1,2,22;
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