First Presbyterian Church
September Verse by Verse - Rev. Jerry Groves
Romans 12:2….”And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”…
These are the words of the Apostle Paul. Paul lived during the time of the Roman Empire, when the common expression was, and still is…”When in Rome, do as the Romans do”… The expression carries with it the idea that a person should think and act like the crowd in which we find ourselves. The problem with this idea is that the crowd may be doing things that are wrong, and if we go along with the crowd, we get caught up in wrongdoing also.
Paul reminds us that we should not be “conformed to this world.” The word for “conform” is from a Greek word that means...to act like everyone else is acting. The world mentioned here is the world we live in...a world, according to the Bible, that is dominated by Sin, and under control of Satan himself. Why should anybody conform themselves to that? Good question!
The other part of this verse has to do with the “Renewal of the mind.” Paul would have us renew and transform our thinking through the power of the Holy Spirit that God places in our hearts when we accept Jesus. When we obey the Holy Spirit’s urgings within, we conform to what God wants us to do, rather than what the crowds in this corrupted world want us to do.
So, Paul’s teaching is very relevant and applicable for our lives. We are far better off when we don’t conform to the low standards of the world around us. Renew your mind! Let the Holy Spirit within you give you a new attitude when you find yourself prone to “doing what the Romans do.” In the long run, you will be glad you did.