Day Five – In but not of the world Passage: Rom 12:1,2, John 17:13-16, Phil. 4:8-11
Rom 12:1,2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Jn. 13-16 “And now I am coming to you, and I say these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
Phil. 4:8,9Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world…” “they do not belong to this world…” Paul and Jesus both taught that Christians are to live separate and different from the rest of the secular world at large. Jesus calls us to protect others from the evil one. He reminds us of our perspective. We are not from this world, nor is anyone else, but rather, all of us are from God. This world is ruled by the evil one, Satan. We as Christians are to serve others and bring them to God. We have a paradox because we are not supposed to be a part of this world, controlled by Satan, but we are supposed to transform the people of this world. So it is necessary for us to be IN the world but we cannot conform to and be a part OF this world. Do you see the difference?
How then are we to be transformed? How do we renew our minds? The answer is simpler than one might imagine. The Word of God transforms the mind. It focuses us on God and His will. It brings pleasant thoughts to our mind. We as Christians are to reflect on those things. As Phil. 4:8,9 command us to, we are to think on things that are good.