"Be not conformed to this world." p. 688), "according to this world"-i.e. This, then, is the reward. The tense used points to continued action. Matthew 17:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Titus 3:5). Compare Hebrews 6:6. that, &c. = to (Greek. The Expositor's Greek Testament. The will of God relates to his commands in regard to our conduct, his doctrines in regard to our belief, his providential dealings in relation to our external circumstances. ), or in the sense: "how good it is" (Oltram.). Words in boxes are from the Bible. Not only is God to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, as required in the preceding verse, but there must be a corresponding holiness of life. It is his ambition to “walk as Christ walked:” and though he knows that he can never attain the measure of his perfection, yet he strives incessantly to follow the pattern of it, that so he may be perfect even as his Father that is in heaven is perfect [Note: Matthew 5:48.]. Ephesians 5:10. τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ: “This world” or “age” is opposed to that which is to come; it is an evil world (Galatians 1:4) of which Satan is the God (2 Corinthians 4:4). Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will You may wrap a man up in the swaddling bands of specific precepts until you can scarcely see him, and he cannot move, and you have not done a bit of good. Therefore "Be not conformed to this world" becomes equivalent to "Be not conformed to time, but rather to eternity." ), There will arise in the Christian’s course, from time to time, occasions on which he will be in doubt as to some points of his duty in relation to social intercourse and amusements. No attempt made by Him at depreciation. (McGuiggan p. 359) (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3). BibliographySchaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 12:2". That image and superscription will vary in each new age, in each new locality; it is the very nature of the world to be continually changing. The T. R., with several ancient documents and the two oldest versions, reads the two verbs in the imperative: conform ye, transform ye, while the Greco-Latin MSS. This is its meaning here. 1. The former regards time, the latter space. It is a lifelong task till the lump be leavened. The world persuades itself that those works which it has devised are good; Paul exclaims, that what is good and right must be ascertained from God’s commandments. 1863-1878. J.B. Phillips has an outstanding and memorable translation of Romans 12:1-2: With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give Him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable by Him. "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". By “this world” is meant everything in it which is antagonistic to the truth or to the life of God in the soul of man. The Christian is often represented as a new creature; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Peter 2:2.Your mind - The word translated “mind” properly denotes intellect, as distinguished from the will and affections. There is in a renewed man's understanding too much blindness and ignorance, in his will too great obstinacy and perverseness, in his affections too much irregularity and sensuality. I had occasion to point out, in a sermon on the preceding verse, that the Apostle is, in this context, making the transition from the doctrinal to the practical part of his letter, and that he lays down broad principles, of which all his subsequent injunctions and exhortations are simply the filling up of the details. The man will be renewed according to the image of his Creator and Father, because the Spirit of his Creator and Father is working in him. . II. Wesley's Romans 12:2 Bible Commentary 12:2 And be not conformed - Neither in judgment, spirit, nor behaviour. Paul said our minds must be "renewed" ( Revelation -worked). The apprehension of the will is essential to the true conduct of the new life. BibliographyGill, John. Note here, That opposition to the Levitical ceremonies and ritual injunctions, the apostle styles the gospel institution, the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God; and as such may we love and embrace it, and be found in the delightful practice of it. That transformation is no sudden thing, though the revolution which underlies it may be instantaneous. That ye may prove - that is, prove experimentally, or learn by proof (see the note on the word "experience," in Romans 5:4). that is, "Do not fashion or accommodate yourselves to the corrupt principles or customs, to the sinful courses and practices, of the men of the world." Comp. 2. The “renewed mind,” or the mind acting under the influence of the Spirit, comes very near to “conscience” in the sense in which the word is used by Bishop Butler. Nov 14, 2004. One of them regards the things that now are in reference to time, the other in reference to space. Christ rather taught men to use the world, but not to abuse it. Well then, secondly, note the transfigured life. And remember that in such cases there is great need that you watch against self-deception. This change of masters within is the enabling charter, the validating act, which enables the renewing of the mind which Paul here commanded; but it cannot be accomplished in an instant. ), 1. The only possible meaning is: "what is the good, acceptable...will of God." It is that Christians may prove, i.e., discern in their experience, what the will of God is. Greek. Practical theism is nonconformity to the world. But they who are partakers of the Gospel salvation, are under the influence of a far nobler principle, the love of Christ: the thought of Christ having died for them, fills their hearts with admiration and gratitude: it inspires them with an ardent desire to testify their sense of his kindness: and forms a powerful incentive to holy actions. 3. In the days of Noah the spirit of the world was violence. But practical theism is rare and unworldly. Ephesians 4:23, where ἀνανεοῦσθαι corresponds to μεταμορφοῦσθε here, and τῷ πν. 2. The inner man must be dealt with first, and then the outward will come right in due time. The design of this passage is doubtless to produce a spirit that should not find pleasure in the pomp and vanity of the World; and which will regard all vain amusements and gaieties with disgust, and lead the mind to find pleasure in better things. His character should not only be free from blemish, but even from suspicion, as untarnished as the modesty of a woman, or the honor and bravery of a man. 1. It ought to be borne in mind, as [Pareus ] observes, that in order to discern, and rightly to understand God’s will, the Apostle teaches us, that “the renewing of the mind” is necessary; otherwise, as he adds, “our corrupt nature will fascinate our eyes that they may not see, or if they see, will turn our hearts and wills, that they may not approve, or if they approve, will hinder us to follow what is approved.” — Ed. "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". By the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to know. "Commentary on Romans 12:2". . Having a disposition to obey him, the mind will be prepared to understand his precepts. Then let the Christian pause--let him fear to find himself surrounded by crowds of worldlings, drinking with them of the same cup. Sep 23, 2001. Why, we all know how often a whole life has been revolutionised by the sudden dawning or rising in its sky of some starry new truth, formerly hidden and undreamed of. Scripture: Romans 12:3–13. Paul says that it involves both body (Romans 12:1) and mind (Romans 12:2). “Be not conformed to the world” is defined by “Be ye transformed,” etc. Such a phrase at once suggests the change which takes place when the foliage of spring covers the bare boughs of winter. The phrase always implies contrast to ὁ αἰὼν ὁ μέλλων, even when the latter is not expressed. And that is the reward. τ. νοός] whereby the μεταμορφ. 1972, vol. In the application of this rule there is much difficulty. 1. 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. Man is created in the image of God; and the form of his mind is to be derived from Him and not from the things which are put in subjection under Him. Hence the external non-conformity of that age meant a wider contrast than is possible now between the Christian and his more immediate surrounding world. II. “only in the Lord.”]. Let it not be a mere external conformity, but let it have its seat in the spirit. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/romans-12.html. This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.. Now that into which we are transformed is the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). : And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. "To require from the unsaved a dedication to His lordship for their salvation is to make imperative what is only voluntary for believers ( Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 3:15)." that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God; by which is meant not the secret will of God, which cannot be searched into, proved, and known, till time and facts discover it: but the revealed will of God, both in the law, as in the hands of Christ, which contains nothing but what is good; and which when done in faith, from a principle of love, and to the glory of God, is acceptable through Christ; and is perfect as a law of liberty, and rule of walk and conversation; and which is to be proved and approved of by all the saints, who delight in it after the inward man: and also that which is contained in the Gospel; as that all that the Father had given to Christ should be redeemed by him, that these should be sanctified, and persevere to the end, and be glorified; all which is the good will of God, an acceptable saying to sensible sinners, and such a scheme of salvation as is perfect and complete, and needs nothing to be added to it; and is, by such who are daily renewed in the spirit of their minds, more and more proved, tried, discerned, and approved of, even by all such who have their spiritual senses exercised to discern things that differ. “Mind” seems to be equivalent to the thinking faculty, but, possibly, includes the whole inner man. And remember, this transformation is no magic change effected whilst men sleep. “Be not conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2. 1905. The "children of light," on the contrary, "being risen with Christ," have a life of their own-the life of pardoned and reconciled believers: renewed in the spirit of their mind, they breathe a new air, they have new interests and affections, and their sympathies are all spiritual and heavenly. How many are there who, because they are not raging in the fever-fits of open sin, never dream that they are dying of worldly conformity, and who consider, though the Bible and their consciences sometimes speak to the contrary, that there can be no great harm in living to the world a little, provided that they keep within bounds! "Commentary on Romans 12:2". 2. 1857. care, lest you imitate the practices of worldlings. III. However circumspectly you may walk, you will find reason enough to lament your manifold defects. This is manifestly impossible. II. Identity of doom. If we are conformed to this world, we lose the sweet understanding that we had before of the precious truth of God; we lose that tender sensitiveness of conscience, whereby sin, any sin, becomes a grief and a burden to the soul. And what will be the internal principle of this metamorphosis of the believer in the use of his body? “We all with open face, reflecting as a mirror does the glory of the Lord, shall be changed into the same image.” (A. Maclaren, D.D.). In ours, perhaps, it is the love of money. It means what God demands of us, in whatever way it may be made known. But there is no allusion, as Dr. Macknight supposes, to the heathen world. BibliographyAbbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. The will of God is ethically adequate. Each man is in quest of his own interest, his own aggrandisement, his own happiness. The same exhortation is as applicable to men in every age, even since so large a portion of the world has assumed the name of Christian, as it was to the pagan Roman empire. There is an outward nonconformity: it will not appear to agree with the world's evil, but will resolutely stand against it. The last agrees better with the rhythm of the sentence. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; which regards not the first work of conversion and renovation; for in this sense these persons were transformed, metamorphosed, changed, and renewed already; but the after progress and carrying on the work of renovation, the renewing of them day by day in the spirit of their minds; see Ephesians 4:23; which believers should be desirous of, and pray for, and make use of those means which the Spirit of God owns for this purpose, attending to the spiritual exercises of religion, as reading, meditation, prayer, conference, the ministration of the word and ordinances, which is the reverse of conformity to the world: and the end to be attained hereby is. Others thus, that you may prove what the will of God is, and what is good, acceptable, and perfect. Yet in the receding background our present age darkens into a darkness almost as deep as heathenism itself. ], 2. It is sometimes used in each of these senses. Note, then, that the foundation of all transformation of character and conduct is laid deep in a renewed mind. What about men that look exactly as if they were not Christians? Galatians 1:4. Romans 3:21-31 God’s Way of Accepting People. As if he had said, Let not this change appertain to the body only, but to the soul. Each is alternately accuser and accused; while the ungodly consequently declare that it is quite impossible to say what is and what is not worldly. Full effective faith reforms us from the image of the world, and conforms to the model of the divine will.
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