Lesson #11
Be Not Conformed To This World

     Paul tells us "that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:1-2).  Giving ourselves as "a living sacrifice" requires that we "do not be conformed to this world".  If we conform to this world, the living sacrifice of ourselves becomes polluted and unacceptable to God.  As Christians we are not to be conformed to the world in our speech (Ephesians 4:29), thoughts (Matthew 15:19), dress (1 Timothy 2:9-10), or actions.  We are to be transformed or changed.  We are to "Put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man" (Colossians 3:9-10).

     Worldliness has no place in a Christian’s conduct.  Worldliness is a malignancy eating away at the very souls of people.  Worldliness weakens and destroys our love and respect for God and sets us in opposition to His will.  One becomes worldly when he loves the things the world does.  The apostle John tells us "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.  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.  And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).

     As members of the Lord’s body, His church, we are not to have "spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27).  We must "keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27) so we can go to Heaven.

     We tend to become like those with whom we associate.  "Do not be deceived, evil company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33).  We are not to participate in the sinful deeds of the world but, "Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord" (2 Corinthians 6:17).  We must carefully choose those with whom we associate.  "I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts" (Psalms 119:63).  We are to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11).  It is not sufficient just to abstain from the evil practices but we must also speak up against them. 

     But "If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (1 John 1:6).  "Put on righteousness” is nothing but hypocrisy.  The Lord had much to say against hypocrites in Matthew chapter 23.  Many people’s morality is the current and popular practice of others.

     Even though we must provide for our families, many people in this materialistic world, equate individual success with the size of their cars, wardrobes, houses, and bank accounts.  "One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15).  We are to "Set your mind on things above, and not on things of the earth" (Colossians 3:2).  True success is pleasing God so we can go to Heaven.  We are to be "a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).  In not being conformed to this world, you will "make your calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10) and be assured of a home in Heaven.  

     Worldliness is being like the world.  Godliness is being godly in our behavior.  As free moral agents we decide whether we are going to be worldly or godly.  This is a decision all people make.  Worldliness begins by wanting to conform to this world.  "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" (1 John 2:16).  And we see that, "the whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 John 5:19).  Many people are "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:4-5).  They have become so accustomed to sin that, "They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15).

     There were many Christians in the church at Corinth that seemed to have become comfortable with sin in their congregation.  Paul in rebuking them says, "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much named among the Gentiles" (1 Corinthians 5:1).  They were not ashamed of what was happening in their congregation for Paul says, "And you are puffed up and have not mourned" (1 Corinthians 5:2).

     Worldliness begins with wanting to fit in and to get along with the world.  We cannot be both worldly and godly; they do not mix.  "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).  We are to "Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).  "For if you live according to the flesh you will die" (Romans 8:13).  This is a spiritual death, which is being separated from God in the eternal fires of Hell.

     We are not to "enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25), but "let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh" (2 Corinthians 7:1).  If we want to go to Heaven and avoid Hell we are to, "lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).  God in His word "has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).  To be godly we must study and follow God’s word, which is able to save our souls.  To live a life that is pleasing to God we are "exercise yourself toward godliness" (1 Timothy 4:7) for "godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).  We are to "be in behavior as becometh holiness" (Titus 2:3 KJV).

     In living a worldly life there are no small sins, large sins, small lies, or big lies because in Revelation 21:8 God says, "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death".  God clearly indicated that there is no difference between just a small lie, verses someone who commits murder.  One who steals a candy bar from a convenience store is just as wrong as someone who steals a car.  Some people try to justify social drinking as being acceptable if done moderately, but one cannot justify doing wrong, as being okay, even if it's done in moderation.  Galatians 5:19-21 says one of the works of the flesh is "drunkenness"... and "those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."  Even small amounts of alcohol weaken the central nervous system, which impairs one's ability, which is intoxication and drunkenness.  Someone who is a little intoxicated is no different than that of one who tells a little lie, commits a murder, steals a candy bar or a car, or commits adultery once in a while, or all the time.  Partaking of sinful acts against God is a sin no matter how large, or small.

     We cannot become a hermit even though we live in a world with sin all around us.  But we must live in a way so we are,blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15).   We are to “let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27), as we “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).   We must live a godly life so we can go to Heaven when this life is over.

Questions Lesson #11
Be Not Conformed To This World

(Click on the button of the answer of your choice)

1)  (Romans 12:1-2)  In becoming a living and holy sacrifice which is acceptable to God

      We must try to be like the world.

      We must be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

      We must be conformed to the world.

2)  (Colossians 3:9-10)  To be transformed we must put off the old sinful man.

3)  (1 John 2:15-17)  If anyone loves the world and the things in the world

      He will be pleasing to God.

      He will not be worldly.

      The love of the Father is not in him.

4)  This world will never pass away.

5)  (Ephesians 5:27)  As members of the Lord's church

      We should be holy and without blemish.

      It is alright to be like the world in our living.

      We should concentrate on the earthly and not the heavenly.

6)  (1 Corinthians 15:33)  Evil company does not corrupt good morals.

7)  (Psalms 119:63)  We should be a companion of

      All people regardless of what they do.

      Those who want to be friends with us.

      Those who fear God and keep His commandments.

8)  (Ephesians 5:11)  We must speak out against things that are sinful.

9)  (Colossians 3:2)  In this life, what should we set our mind on?

      Things above in Heaven.

      Houses, bank accounts, cars, etc.

      Having a good time.

10)  (2 Peter 1:10)  In this life we must make our calling and election sure.

11)  (2 Timothy 3:4-5)  In this world we should

      Not be concerned with eternity.

      Be lovers of pleasure.

      Be lovers of God.

12)  (1 Corinthians 5:2)  It is alright to not be concerned about sin.

13)  (James 4:4)  In being a friend of the world

      One becomes an enemy of God.

      One becomes a friend of God.

      It is alright to be a friend of the world.   

14)  (1 Peter 2:11)  Fleshly lusts war against our soul.

15)  (James 1:21)  What must we receive which is able to save our soul?

      The implanted word of God.

      We don't need to receive God's word.

      What the creeds of the denominations say.

16)  (2 Peter 1:3)  The Bible gives us all we need to know to live a godly life.

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