“Do Not Be Conformed”

Text: Romans 12:2

Paul warned the saints in Rome to not be conformed to the world. Why? What made conformity to the world such a temptation? And why does the world want Christians to conform? We will consider these questions in our lesson.

Why Conformity is a Temptation

  • Conformity generally leads to acceptance (John 15:18-19) – we are social beings (Genesis 2:18); this is why encouragement from brethren is important (Hebrews 3:13)
  • Conformity removes the responsibility for one to think for himself – but this does not excuse evil (Exodus 23:2; Ezekiel 18:20); Joshua understood this and determined to do right even before others made their choice, even if it meant standing alone (Joshua 24:15)

Why the World Wants Us to Conform

  • Satan wants us to conform to the world because that is his domain (Colossians 1:13) – but why do the people of the world want us to conform?
  • There is strength in numbers (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) – this is why it is important for Christians to stick together (Hebrews 10:25); also why the world wants us to join them (Proverbs 1:10-14), so we can provide help and encouragement in their wickedness
  • Nonconformity is seen by the world as “judgmental” – it is judgmental when it comes to sin (Genesis 19:9; Hebrews 11:7); the world does not like this

Why We Are Not to Conform

  • We are called to be different (Romans 12:2) – a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9); “zealous for good deeds,” which is in contrast to the world (Titus 2:12, 14)
  • Those who are friends of the world are enemies of God (James 4:4) – God does not want us as enemies, but reconciled to Him (Romans 5:10); He wants us to be in heaven with Him (Revelation 21:3), but not if we conform to the world (Revelation 21:27)

Instead of Conforming to the World…

  • Conform to Christ (1 Peter 2:21-22) – be able to make the claim that Paul made (Galatians 2:20)
  • Conform to the body (1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 11:1) – but not if others are sinning (Revelation 3:4); not in binding human opinions (Romans 14:1)
  • Conform to His word (2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16-17)

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