Living out the Transformed Life in a corrupt world 

The way we come to faith is this: God’s preached or lived word shines the light into our hearts dispelling the darkness that is there bringing us to salvation in Jesus Christ. When that happens we are then capable of living a life now that pleases and honors God’s holy name. It is not like the darkness in us completely disappears, but when the light of Christ invades our hearts, we can now see not only the reality of the darkness in us, but we can now stand up against it. Here is the good news: if you find yourself wrestling with sin it is a sign you are a new creation. It is as Stuart and Lloyd assert, “The exposition of Christian truth requires a response in the enlightened heart.” Paul says that response is evident in how we live the rest of our lives in this fallen world. Hence, his appeal in Rom. 12:1-2 “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform 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.”

In a world that is changing for the worst how can the children of the king live like the princes or the princesses they already are? Let me in the next paragraphs answer by suggesting this.

We live lives that are not conforming to the world by standing up for the things we believe in as informed by the truth of God’s Holy Word. We are to stand up for the basic doctrines of our faith and for the moral principles espoused in the Bible. To stand up for what we believe means we will continue to believe in the truth of God’s word even if we become the minority. It means we will hold fast to the timeless truths even if it means death. It is like what Paul says, keeping the faith to the very end. That is how true followers of Christ in view of God’s mercy offer their bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God as their true and proper worship – standing up for the truth, the true truth. We are able to live lives that please God only when we allow his word inspired, illuminated, and applied to our hearts by the power of his Spirit to do two things: transformed our hearts and renew our minds. When that happens we will not conform to the pattern of this world.

How do Christians today conform to the pattern of this world? They stand down. Those who stand down are those who refuse to stand up for what they believe. These are spiritual cowards. They stand by. Others conform to the standard of this world by standing by. These are those who have chosen the easy way of compromise. They do not have any problem accepting and accommodating lifestyles and morality they know the Bible calls abomination. They stand against. The third way to conform to the standards of this world is by standing against. These are the contentious ones. These are those who would prefer to win an argument with the unbeliever rather than shine the light of Christ in a way that wins the soul to Christ. These are those among us who care so much about their point of view they do not care about what God cares about – souls perishing in hell.

To live the transformed life we must come to the conclusion that there are certain things in our culture that we can no longer change legally, socially, or even culturally. But that is where Jesus wants us to be – in the dark culture because it is in such darkness that the light of God shines brightest. Rather than want to do away with the darkness around us, we must let our passionate love of God and his body, as well as others, do more to change the culture than our standing down, standing by, or standing against. So when it comes to leading a Christ honoring life we are called to stand up for what we believe and not stand down, stand by, or stand against. Amen!