Do Not Conform, but Be Transformed

by Scarlett Stough

The apostle Paul exhorted, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

The first step to our following this instruction has been taken by God:

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

The second step for us who believe this good news is to commit to a life in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them….
2 Corinthians 5:17-19

The third step is the plea:

We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:20b-21

The fourth step is we are urged “not to receive God's grace in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1).

The fifth step is God's promise “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16b).

The sixth step for those who accept the yoke of Jesus which he said is light (Matthew 11:28-30) is to avoid yoking ourselves to unbelievers:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14

The seventh step involves a lifetime of purifying:

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 Corinthians 7:1

The really good news is it isn't all up to us. Our role is to believe, to accept, to focus on Christ, learning from him through the Scriptures and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.