1Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing …
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove …
When the church becomes like the world, the gospel message is eclipsed. Today it seems the church is often bending to the desires and the thoughts of the world. Who determines morality? What is right? Some church leaders argue that the message must change or else become irrelevant. In this sermon on Romans 12:1–2 titled “The World (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that this very thinking is conforming to the world. The world, according to the Bible, thinks of, organizes itself, and lives life apart from God. Fallen humanity is corrupt in their very thinking. They do not know God. They do not understand the depth of the human problem and their proposed solutions lack the answer. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that Christians are not to conform to the world. The understanding of morality comes from the word of God and nothing else. Christians are a distinct people who have a new mind and have become enlightened to the will of God. The great tragedy today is not that the devil is controlling the world but that Christians are looking to the world for answers. That theology is conforming to the ideas and expectations of sinful humanity. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon that this admonition is as much needed today as it ever was: be not conformed to the world.
- The apostle Paul exhorts Christians not to conform to the world in Romans 12:2.
- Conforming to the world means allowing your thinking and behavior to be determined by the ungodly world system under the control of Satan.
- There is a danger of going to extremes in interpreting this exhortation - either being too narrow or conforming too much to the world. The balanced biblical view is needed.
- We must not conform to the world in our thinking - in theology, evangelism, or morals.
- Much popular theology today conforms to the world by changing doctrine to suit modern secular thinking. This is wrong.
- An evangelism that changes the message or methods to suit worldly preferences is conforming to the world. The message and methods should be determined by God's truth, not worldly opinions.
- The "new morality" that determines right and wrong based on majority opinion is conforming to the world. God's revealed will should determine morals, not changing human opinions.
- The church must not change moral standards to suit declining worldly morals and lifestyles. This is conforming to the world. God's standards are unchanging.
- While being open to new knowledge, we cannot determine truth based on worldly thinking. We must rely on God's revelation alone.
- We are not advocating obscurantism or ignoring worldly changes. But we recognize the world is under Satan's control, so we cannot rely on its thinking. We rely on God's truth.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.