Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Christians are not to blend in with the world’s crowd but we should stand out in a crowd. God’s plan once we are saved is to change us to look, act, and think like Jesus. Our destiny and what He has predestined for us is to be fashioned and formed into the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). His main process to accomplish this transformation is called the renewing of the mind (Rm. 12:2 and saving of the soul James 1:21).
God’s plan of the renewing the mind is to change all of this conformity from the world and transform us into Christ-likeness. The only true and secure source of identity comes from who God says we are in Christ. At salvation old things are passed away and all things are become new. What has become new is our new identity called “In Christ.” The word “transformed” means to change into another form; it is a shaping; molding; forming and fashioning from the inside; it is a radical alteration and noticeable change. It is all about change but it never happens without our cooperation.
Before we received eternal life we were spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. All of us have been conformed from living in a fallen state which made us subject to being conformed (Eph. 2:1-3) to ungodly influences, forces, and powers. The word conformed means to shape one’s behavior, fashion, mold, or shape one thing into another; to give the same fashion, figure, or appearance to. It stresses change from the outside. Aside from what the nature of spiritual death in our spirit, these conforming influences (Eph. 2:1-3) and our responses to them have made us or shaped us in our souls. This is who we are as a result of the Fall of Man and being in Adam (1 Cor. 15:22, 23) as natural descendants of the human race (Rm. 5:12).
Without this change from the renewing of the mind we create and are controlled by a false basis of identity (who we are and where we come from). A false basis of identity is based on and is the result of being shaped, molded, and conformed from:
PAST EXPERIENCES – What life has said we are. If life experiences define our identity or who we are then whatever has happened to us in our past determines our now and future and fixes us on a course like a robot with no hope of change.
PERFORMANCE – What our actions say we are. If this defines who we are we feel good about ourselves as long as we are doing good but miserable if we are doing bad. The problem is that good people make mistakes, fail, and can do bad things.
PEOPLE’S OPINIONS – What people say we are. If people’s opinions define us it makes us subject to being manipulated, dominated, and intimidated by people.
PERSONAL PERCEPTION – What we have concluded and perceived about ourselves. We can be deceived and self-absorbed and not always think objectively about ourselves. What we perceive may not be the truth or reality.
POSITION – What our occupation or positions we hold say we are. Problem is that our occupations and positions can change as time passes.
When we talk of conforming to the world we mistakenly think of it only in terms of outwardly observable things such as what we wear, where we go, and what we do but what about the way we think, feel, decide, talk, and what we value? These are not always outwardly observable by others. Many have the same fears, moods, attitudes, reasonings, thinking, talking, and values. This is also being conformed to the world.
None of us consistently acts different from the way we see themselves. The renewing of the mind helps us to behold or see ourselves as God’s Word says we are. The only true and secure source of identity comes from who God says we are in Christ. We must renew our minds to who we are in Christ. This is only found in God’s Word.