April 18, 2014 by directorfsm
Following Who’s Fashion Romans 12:2
Over the last two weeks we looked at verse one of Romans 12 in two sermons entitled Acceptable Reason. Today we continue our introduction to sanctification with verse two of Romans 12.
If you remember we said that Sanctification is a theological term used to describe the process of growing holy, mature in our faith. We also determined that this process requires that the things we do as we mature must be acceptable to God and reasonable for us to undertake. We looked at a number of verses that demonstrate actions God finds acceptable. Now we will look at what the object or goal of sanctification is for believers.
I believe the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit points out three goals for the maturing Christian to strive towards. They are to not be like the world around them, to change the way they think and therefore act and their action should prove to all who witness the will of God.
And be not conformed to this world:
Conformed or Greek Suschematizoto means; conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern
- forever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
- the worlds, universe
- period of time, age
The homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,
on the epistle of St. Paul the apostle to the Romans:
Ver. 2. “And be not fashioned after this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
For the fashion of this world is groveling and worthless, and but for a time, neither hath ought of loftiness, or lastingness, or straightforwardness, but is wholly perverted. If then thou wouldest walk upright, figure not thyself after the fashion of this life present. For in it there is nought abiding or stable. And this is why he calls it a fashion (σχἥμα); and so in another passage, “the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1 Cor. 7:31.) For it hath no durability or fixedness, but all in it is but for a season; and so he calls it this age (or world, Gr. αἰ& 241·ν), hereby to indicate its liableness to misfortune, and by the word fashion its unsubstantialness.
I love that Chrysostom choses to use the word fashion here ILO the KJ translation of conformed. Especially considering the importance on fashion and looks in today’s society. Now I will not claim to know much at all about fashion, I am a cowboy boots and jeans kind of guy, but I do know fashion seems to change with the seasons. This is Chrysostom’s point, do not fashion or pattern your life after an ever changing world view of things. No we as believers are to fashion our lives after the model Christ Himself left for us.
We could paraphrase the phrase to read, do not fashion your lives after the ever changing patterns of non beleivers. The Apostle Peter used the same word fashion in 1 Peter 1:14
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy
You all know how much I love conjunctures in scripture. Wherefore, gird up you loins, Peter is telling us to put our big boy britches on. Why? Read the previous 12 verses and it becomes clear, in short Peter blesses them for being regenerated, that the promise they have in salvation is cause for great rejoicing even when trials and temptations come. That this joy is to so glorious prophet’s spoke of it and angels desire it. Now because of all that get ready and act like obedient children of God and do not go after former lusts but, Just as God is Holy so to must we in all we do be Holy. That is how we must fashion our regenerated lives.
This will not be easy. There will be trials and temptations all along our path (note if you have never read John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrims Progress you need to) let us look at a few verses that confirm this.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Note James says “when you” not should you. Kind of shoots all those name it and claim it prosperity preacher’s theories down huh.
1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations
Peter paints a rosy picture when he tells us there will be manifold or multiple temptations.
Isaiah 20:2-3 At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia
Isaiah is walking around naked and barefoot for three years. Sounds like a great time to me.
Ezekiel 24:15-18 Also the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. 17 Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. 18 So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded
Here is (in my opinion) one of the toughest assignments ever handed out in the Bible. God tells Ezekiel not to mourn the death of his beloved wife. Not only that, but God Himself was the one who took his wife from him. Now most men would be really ticked off but Ezekiel is obedient.
The Old Testament too is full of such stories such as Elijah’s trials in 1 Kings 19, Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, Joseph who was sold by his family or dare we forget the examples Jesus Himself endured. These and many more verses show that Christians who are being obedient to God’s calling and doing things for the Kingdom of God to His glory are going to have trails and temptations in their lives. If your life as Christian is just smooth sailing all the time you need to consider if you are doing God’s will.
We will close tonight with a verse from Jesus:
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Our Lord and Saviour Himself; points out that we will have tribulations in the world. But, gotta love those conjunctures in the Bible, He says we can have joy in these situations. How can one possibly have joy in such times? Simple by being non-conforming to this world and by understanding He who has overcome the world.