How to Be a World Class Nonconformist – Part One

Romans 12:1-2

Jesus, in exhorting His followers to follow Him, became the world’s premier nonconformist. He didn’t fit the world’s mold. He established a new norm.

Jesus said His followers were to be “in the world but not of the world.” 

The Greek text begins “I beseech you,” (parakalito), primarily meaning “to come alongside.” It is pictured as an injured player whose teammate comes along beside to support and help. The word “beseech” is one that speaks of tenderness. Those beseeched are called “brethren,” a word that translated the Greek “adelphoi,” meaning blood kin. The blood we have in common is the blood of Jesus. Our common salvation makes us related through Christ’s shed blood. The basis of the appeal is “the mercy of God.” This is the highest of motivations. Together we form a common body. (Vs. 2a) “Do not be conformed.”

Don’t be fashioned according to another pattern. Don’t masquerade as if you belong to the world. “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold.”

This is an appeal to avoid appearing to be something you aren’t. If you are a Christian, don’t give the appearance you aren’t.

“This world,” translates to “aion.” This is a reference to a social order contrary to God’s will. It is a summary for all contrary to the will of God.

For the Christian this poses some real hazards in our day when one’s job or social acceptability is dependent upon them being Politically Correct (PC). “Be not conformed” is present passive imperative plus a negative meaning: to stop being molded to the realm of worldliness.

Worldliness is a mental attitude. It is what you start thinking when you stop thinking from a Biblical perspective.

A Christian controlled by the Holy Spirit imitates Christ.

A Christian who is controlled by the old sin nature can do nothing but emulate an unbeliever.

This is an appeal not to use spiritual camouflage to blend into the world’s environment. Don’t let the evil world system dictate what you look or act like. For the believer there is a challenge in daily presenting our bodies and a consequence for not doing it. “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” a castaway.

There were basically two types of sacrifices. One was an offering that led to reconciliation. The second was an expression of celebration made after reconciliation had been achieved. 

Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary made possible reconciliation. Out of gratitude we celebrate by giving our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice. It is an expression of appreciation that is “holy and acceptable.”