Speaking Sound Doctrine

Be Not Conformed

Romans 12:1, 2 says: 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The original word rendered "transformed" is the origin of our word "metamorphosis," which denotes a change in an animal's form or structure during its lifecycle.  The spiritual applications are apparent.  However, let us now consider another key word in this text, where it says, "do not be conformed…."

1.   What is conformity?

The word translated "conformed" {SUSCHEMATIZO (soos-khay-mat-id'-zo)}, means: "to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern, (fashion one's self according to)" (JHT).  In essence, it means being with the same perceptible figure or manner as another {SUN (soon) + SCHEMA (skhay'-mah)}.

From the root of this word, we get in English the words "scheme" and "schematic," which indicate a plan of action or a pattern for construction.

2.   A pattern to follow

In the fabrication industry, a metal casting is made from a mold that is typically made of sand formed from a pattern.  The pattern is typically made of wood, which has virtually the same shape and features as the intended finished metal part.  Intuitively, if the wooden pattern is correct according to the specifications, the metal casting should be also, but if the pattern is flawed, so will be the final result.

3.   Going with the flow

In the process, molten metal is poured into the hollow mold.  The metal flows by the effect of gravity, following the internal pathways of least resistance until it conforms to the shape of the mold cavity.

Like molten metal flowing through a casting mold, conforming to the world is the easiest, most mindless thing we can do.  It is notable in this text that the word translated "conformed" appears in the passive voice, meaning that a person conforms to the world by allowing it to happen to him.  All we have to do is go with the flow, follow the crowd on the easy path, and allow the pattern of the world's behavior in thought and action to become our pattern.

Matthew 7:13  For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

When we talk like the world, dress like the world, drink like the world, and dance like the world, we fit their mold, not God's.

1 John 2:15-17  Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life ­– is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

4.   Conduct in fear

This original word translated "conform" appears in one other place in the New Testament:

1 Peter 1:13-19  Therefore gird up the loins of your mind  [in other words, roll up your sleeves], be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct….  17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Therefore, in whatever you are doing at any moment throughout each day of your life, ask yourself whether you would be fearful, if this is what the Lord finds you doing when He returns or when your life is ended.

5.   Be transformed

The form, fashion, and features of a thing reveal to us what it is, so how are we perceived by God?  If conformity to the world is our character, then the fearful judgment of God will be ours when this life is over.

God is imploring us to think seriously about this and let Him transform us.  By the precious and pure blood of Christ, He will renew our minds and prove His acceptable and perfect will in us, if we let Him.  Jesus says:

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)

Romans 6:3, 4  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

If you need to repent and be baptized – immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins – or if you seek the prayers of the congregation concerning your repentance for some sin in your life, please do so now.


All scripture quotations are from the NKJV.

Greek definitions are from J. H. Thayer (JHT).




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