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Trivalee
Sep 15th 2016, 02:47 PM
Rom 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.

I am not sure whether this subject has been discussed before? It sounds simple enough, but a question someone asked in church during bible study last week got me thinking and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that many Christians struggle to understand the real concept of "living in the world and yet, not conforming to the world". Many grapples to understand where to draw the line.

The Apostle John gave a more concise explanation in 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

One would think the above explanation makes it easy, doesn't it? But in reality, it is very difficult because Christians are assaulted every minute of the day by the ugliness of sin; TV programmes are imbued with profane language and sex to make them more alluring. Most of our news media lack integrity, illicit drugs are everywhere. Young people are been indoctrinated to accept these norms as normal and the list goes on. No time is immorality and all manner of abominable things embraced in society than now and I suspect it will only get worse as humanity hurtles headlong into more deprivation that will precipitate the coming of the Man of Sin and ultimately, the return of our Lord Jesus. All through scripture, we see God's abhorrence and distaste of sin. I believe many will agree with me that while it is no longer common to see those who serve idols of wood and stone, nevertheless, these idols have been replaced by others more deadly and yet, subtle and accepted as normal. If there was ever a time when men loved the world more than God, it's now.

The challenge facing every Christian is to find a way to wade through this mine-field and get to our destination unscathed.

I am inviting a sincere an honest discussion on this challenge. What is your personal experience? How did you or, how do you deal with it? What advice would you give a young Christian on this subject? In your candid opinion, would you say the problem is worse today than say, a thousand years ago? Do you think technology has contributed positively or otherwise in this regard?

jayne
Sep 15th 2016, 07:05 PM
To live in the world, but not conform to it, is a topic that should be discussed as Paul also said things like "I am all things to all people".

I just answered a question similar to this at another forum - I'll repeat what I said there.

People like the Amish (I have nothing against them) and hyper-fundamentalist Baptists and more who take non-conformity to mean your attire/hair is greatly different or that you can't go to movies, go swimming, or use electricity have this idea wrong.

The answer to your question is in the "renewing of your mind" part of that verse. That's where non-conformity comes from, to me. Why?

Because Paul said don't be conformed, BUT be transformed. Conformed, to me, brings up the memory of playing with Play-doh. Remember that? When I was a kid I would find things with texture - like a medallion on a necklace - and press it into the Play-doh. Or sometimes I would wrap the Play-doh around the object and press the Play-doh. The Play-doh is now conformed to the medallion and when I took the medallion away - you can see the imprint in the Play-doh.

That's conforming - allowing the world and its pressures and influences to "mark" you as being the same exact thing - no one can tell the difference between you or the world. Or it could be YOU pressing yourself against these things by embracing them. Same effect.

But transforming? That completely different - literally. That word transform is the Greek "metamorphoo" and you already know what English word we get from that.

So what does being not conformed look like and how do you achieve it?

Well, to me it's when you are "not marked" or "imprinted" by the wickedness of the world and people can tell that you are somehow different -in a good way.

For example, I was having lunch with some friends a while back and the topic of conversation lead to the book, "Fifty Shades of Grey". Several of them looked at me to see what I was going to say and one said, "Ya'll don't tell Kim that ya'll read that nasty book. Ya'll know she didn't read it."

I read a lot. Secular as well as faith-based books. People know that I read a lot. But why did they look at me and how did my other friend know I had not read that book? Because my mind is different - not perfect - not holier than thou - but different. I don't think like that. I don't desire reading material like that. And they know it. I'm not "marked" with that mindset. And its nothing you can "see", but you just know.

Now let me give another example. I used to curse back in the day. No, I used to cuss like a sailor. :o :cry: :eek: Around some of these same women. Why? WHO KNOWS?!? Only three or four people even knew that I did, but one day - I was convicted beyond belief and I announced to them that I was sorry for every foul word that I had said in their presence and that it wasn't going to happen anymore. They said, "Oh, that's OK". I said "No, it's NOT OK". I've never sworn around them since and never will.

Do you know why I got convicted? Because they came to expect it and laugh about it. I was "marked" - again, an unseen "imprint" - and I was known as the woman who used THOSE words. I was conformed to that type of speech.

The Holy Spirit transformed my mind on that. He "metamorphoo -ed" me. That invisible, yet detectable "confirmation mark" that I was a foul language user is gone. No one expects it of me anymore.

To be conformed? It's to have the tell-tale mark of wickedness on you because your mind is not renewed. Temptations plague you and you can't seem to get away from the allure of them because your mind is saturated in conformity - like the Play-doh, it's imprinted on your mind, your body, and your being.

Some Christians can walk through the temptations of this world unscathed and some fall prey to just about all of them to the point that they seek them out. The latter group's minds have not been renewed. They don't seek the way of escape - which is the Word of God. They don't have scripture memorized, they don't meditate, their prayer lives are nil, and they don't read their Bibles. They never consider the armor of the Lord. They go through life powerless and afraid and they give up.

My pastor said it like this once - "Living in a sinful world and coming out whole and sound is not rocket science. The basics are read, pray, and obey."

Just as an Olympic athlete must train to win - the Christian has to "train" daily to win the race. If not, he or she will fall flat on their face at the first small sign of temptation and whine "What's wrong with me?!?!?"

It's all about the renewing of the mind. Once the mind is renewed, non-conformity becomes a lifestyle.

[1] Read, study, and meditate on God's Word.
[2] Memorize portions of God's Word.
[3] Pray daily.
[4] Obey what you read and what God tells you in pray.

chad
Sep 16th 2016, 04:48 AM
Transformed -
By not living by the pattern of the world.
By the renewing of the mind.
Being transformed into his likeness (of God)
By not being surprised if the world hates you
Realizing that being a friend to the world can mean hatred towards God


Renewing of the mind -
From worldly wisdom and Philosophy
From the principles of the world
From deceptive philosophies of human tradition
From the basic principles of the world
From the viewpoints of the world
From the standards of the world

Renewing of the Spirit -
By the spirit of God, not of the world
No longer following the ways of the world
No longer gratifying the cravings of our sinful desires and thoughts
Renewing from the spirit of falsehood to the spirit of truth

To turn from -
The sinful desires which wage against our souls
Escaping the corruption of the world and it's desires
From the love of the World
- The cravings of sinful man
- The lust of the eyes
- Boasting

Overcoming -
Overcoming the world through faith in Christ Jesus

Noeb
Sep 16th 2016, 06:06 AM
Enjoyed your post jayne. Thank you!

Aviyah
Sep 17th 2016, 03:44 AM
Rom 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.
...
The challenge facing every Christian is to find a way to wade through this mine-field and get to our destination unscathed. I am inviting a sincere an honest discussion on this challenge. What is your personal experience? How did you or, how do you deal with it?

Probably a year or two years ago I would have given a standard answer to this. Now I'm not so sure because I find myself trapped somewhere between a transformed mind and conformity (so maybe not transformed at all). Like how in chapter 7 it says, "I do what I do not want to do... I agree that the law is good." Maybe the overall message is different, but I read it as "I hate sin but I do it anyway", blaming the flesh. Hating sin seems to mean you have a transformed mind or you yourself are transformed. But then if that's the case how can you also be conformed to the world by continuing in sin?

Maybe 12:2 "conformed" is only dealing with the mind and not actions, so you are transformed and not conformed in the mind. Where does that leave James's, "Faith without works is dead... do not only be hearers of the Word, but doers... otherwise you deceive yourself?" Clearly if there is no improvement in the physical repentance, not just mental/emotional, then that faith is a farce. So then how was the mind even renewed in the first place?

chad
Sep 17th 2016, 08:45 AM
Being transformed into his likeness (of God)

Imo, this is a process – and it takes a long time. Sometimes we cannot see the transformation in ourselves, because God is doing the transforming. But at the end time, we will totally be transformed as Paul writes in a twinkling of the eye at the last trumpet (1 Cor 15:52).

Hating sin is a sign that we have in some way been renewed in the spirit and mind.


Aviyah, imo you ask the same question as Paul writes about in Romans 7:20-21


(Rom 7:20 NIV) Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

(Rom 7:21 NIV) So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

(Rom 7:22 NIV) For in my inner being I delight in God's law;

(Rom 7:23 NIV) but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

(Rom 7:24 NIV) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

(Rom 7:25 NIV) Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

(Rom 8:1 NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

(Rom 8:2 NIV) because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.


Imo, because Chrstians (Aviyah, which you are one) are no longer under the law of sin and death, but under the law of the spirit of life, that sets us free. Verse 8 is important, as Paul writes, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.



(Rom 5:20 NIV) The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

(Rom 5:21 NIV) so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is by through the saving power of Christ Jesus. And Paul writes, where sin increased Grace increased all the more. We are under the covenant of Grace through Christ Jesus, not under the law of sin and death.




Probably a year or two years ago I would have given a standard answer to this. Now I'm not so sure because I find myself trapped somewhere between a transformed mind and conformity (so maybe not transformed at all). Like how in chapter 7 it says, "I do what I do not want to do... I agree that the law is good." Maybe the overall message is different, but I read it as "I hate sin but I do it anyway", blaming the flesh. Hating sin seems to mean you have a transformed mind or you yourself are transformed. But then if that's the case how can you also be conformed to the world by continuing in sin?

Maybe 12:2 "conformed" is only dealing with the mind and not actions, so you are transformed and not conformed in the mind. Where does that leave James's, "Faith without works is dead... do not only be hearers of the Word, but doers... otherwise you deceive yourself?" Clearly if there is no improvement in the physical repentance, not just mental/emotional, then that faith is a farce. So then how was the mind even renewed in the first place?

Trivalee
Sep 17th 2016, 07:54 PM
Probably a year or two years ago I would have given a standard answer to this. Now I'm not so sure because I find myself trapped somewhere between a transformed mind and conformity (so maybe not transformed at all). Like how in chapter 7 it says, "I do what I do not want to do... I agree that the law is good." Maybe the overall message is different, but I read it as "I hate sin but I do it anyway", blaming the flesh. Hating sin seems to mean you have a transformed mind or you yourself are transformed. But then if that's the case how can you also be conformed to the world by continuing in sin?

Maybe 12:2 "conformed" is only dealing with the mind and not actions, so you are transformed and not conformed in the mind. Where does that leave James's, "Faith without works is dead... do not only be hearers of the Word, but doers... otherwise you deceive yourself?" Clearly if there is no improvement in the physical repentance, not just mental/emotional, then that faith is a farce. So then how was the mind even renewed in the first place?

This is exactly the discussion I was hoping to get started. In a few strokes, you raised the challenges and pitfalls that make this text a good challenge. For if truth be told, many who believe they are transformed and not conformed to the world are not completely perfect in that sense. On closer inspection, there's bound to be an overlap of the boundaries. I suspect that a lot of Christians still have a bit of the other in their character. Just like the unending battle between the flesh and spirit, I believe such is the struggle to maintain a high degree of transformity. Conformity is a constant threat to Christians.

Trivalee
Sep 17th 2016, 08:20 PM
To live in the world, but not conform to it, is a topic that should be discussed as Paul also said things like "I am all things to all people".

I just answered a question similar to this at another forum - I'll repeat what I said there.

People like the Amish (I have nothing against them) and hyper-fundamentalist Baptists and more who take non-conformity to mean your attire/hair is greatly different or that you can't go to movies, go swimming or use electricity have this idea wrong.

The answer to your question is in the "renewing of your mind" part of that verse. That's where non-conformity comes from, to me. Why?

Because Paul said don't be conformed, BUT be transformed. Conformed, to me, brings up the memory of playing with Play-doh. Remember that? When I was a kid I would find things with texture - like a medallion on a necklace - and press it into the Play-doh. Or sometimes I would wrap the Play-doh around the object and press the Play-doh. The Play-doh is now conformed to the medallion and when I took the medallion away - you can see the imprint in the Play-doh.

That's conforming - allowing the world and its pressures and influences to "mark" you as being the same exact thing - no one can tell the difference between you or the world. Or it could be YOU pressing yourself against these things by embracing them. Same effect.

But transforming? That completely different - literally. That word transform is the Greek "metamorphoo" and you already know what English word we get from that.

So what does being not conformed look like and how do you achieve it?

Well, to me it's when you are "not marked" or "imprinted" by the wickedness of the world and people can tell that you are somehow different -in a good way.

For example, I was having lunch with some friends a while back and the topic of conversation lead to the book, "Fifty Shades of Grey". Several of them looked at me to see what I was going to say and one said, "Ya'll don't tell Kim that ya'll read that nasty book. Ya'll know she didn't read it."

I read a lot. Secular as well as faith-based books. People know that I read a lot. But why did they look at me and how did my other friend know I had not read that book? Because my mind is different - not perfect - not holier than thou - but different. I don't think like that. I don't desire reading material like that. And they know it. I'm not "marked" with that mindset. And its nothing you can "see", but you just know.

Now let me give another example. I used to curse back in the day. No, I used to cuss like a sailor. :o :cry: :eek: Around some of these same women. Why? WHO KNOWS?!? Only three or four people even knew that I did, but one day - I was convicted beyond belief and I announced to them that I was sorry for every foul word that I had said in their presence and that it wasn't going to happen anymore. They said, "Oh, that's OK". I said "No, it's NOT OK". I've never sworn around them since and never will.

Do you know why I got convicted? Because they came to expect it and laugh about it. I was "marked" - again, an unseen "imprint" - and I was known as the woman who used THOSE words. I was conformed to that type of speech.

The Holy Spirit transformed my mind on that. He "metamorphoo -ed" me. That invisible, yet detectable "confirmation mark" that I was a foul language user is gone. No one expects it of me anymore.

To be conformed? It's to have the tell-tale mark of wickedness on you because your mind is not renewed. Temptations plague you and you can't seem to get away from the allure of them because your mind is saturated in conformity - like the Play-doh, it's imprinted on your mind, your body, and your being.

Some Christians can walk through the temptations of this world unscathed and some fall prey to just about all of them to the point that they seek them out. The latter group's minds have not been renewed. They don't seek the way of escape - which is the Word of God. They don't have scripture memorized, they don't meditate, their prayer lives are nil, and they don't read their Bibles. They never consider the armor of the Lord. They go through life powerless and afraid and they give up.

My pastor said it like this once - "Living in a sinful world and coming out whole and sound is not rocket science. The basics are read, pray, and obey."

Just as an Olympic athlete must train to win - the Christian has to "train" daily to win the race. If not, he or she will fall flat on their face at the first small sign of temptation and whine "What's wrong with me?!?!?"

It's all about the renewing of the mind. Once the mind is renewed, non-conformity becomes a lifestyle.

[1] Read, study, and meditate on God's Word.
[2] Memorize portions of God's Word.
[3] Pray daily.
[4] Obey what you read and what God tells you in pray.

I am glad you mentioned the Amish and their ilk who interpret non-conformity as literally shunning the world and society. Despite their self-denial of some basic modern life essentials, their lifestyles nevertheless, is hardly what Paul meant. It's hard to fault your explanation of non-conformity and being transformed in mind, especially with the Play-doh analogy. It's like walking into a filthy room in white clothes and still manage to come out without a smudge on you.

I also agree that if we trust the Holy Spirit implicitly, he will guide us. It is important we understand that this transformation of the mind must be reflected in our actions otherwise it becomes ineffective.

Stew Ward's Hip
Sep 17th 2016, 08:26 PM
This is exactly the discussion I was hoping to get started. In a few strokes, you raised the challenges and pitfalls that make this text a good challenge. For if truth be told, many who believe they are transformed and not conformed to the world are not completely perfect in that sense. On closer inspection, there's bound to be an overlap of the boundaries. I suspect that a lot of Christians still have a bit of the other in their character. Just like the unending battle between the flesh and spirit, I believe such is the struggle to maintain a high degree of transformity. Conformity is a constant threat to Christians.

Anyone who thinks they are completely transformed is a self deluded fool.

Athanasius
Sep 19th 2016, 01:01 AM
Probably a year or two years ago I would have given a standard answer to this. Now I'm not so sure because I find myself trapped somewhere between a transformed mind and conformity (so maybe not transformed at all). Like how in chapter 7 it says, "I do what I do not want to do... I agree that the law is good." Maybe the overall message is different, but I read it as "I hate sin but I do it anyway", blaming the flesh. Hating sin seems to mean you have a transformed mind or you yourself are transformed. But then if that's the case how can you also be conformed to the world by continuing in sin?

Maybe 12:2 "conformed" is only dealing with the mind and not actions, so you are transformed and not conformed in the mind. Where does that leave James's, "Faith without works is dead... do not only be hearers of the Word, but doers... otherwise you deceive yourself?" Clearly if there is no improvement in the physical repentance, not just mental/emotional, then that faith is a farce. So then how was the mind even renewed in the first place?

If you don't consider sinning as conformity to the world necessarily - which you shouldn't - then your dilemma is resolved.

Aviyah
Sep 19th 2016, 02:51 AM
If you don't consider sinning as conformity to the world necessarily - which you shouldn't - then your dilemma is resolved.

I'm not sure what else it could mean other than resembling the world or having similar behavior. If it's just an internal thing then maybe Paul is just being rhetorical and 12:2 isn't an instruction.

Athanasius
Sep 19th 2016, 10:29 AM
I'm not sure what else it could mean other than resembling the world or having similar behavior. If it's just an internal thing then maybe Paul is just being rhetorical and 12:2 isn't an instruction.

We know that Paul isn't being rhetorical, so 12:2 is an exhortation. v9 - 21 appears to make clear what kind of renewal / transformation Paul has in mind for the Christian individual that is not conformed to the world (presumably, then, we could work through negations to discover what a life conformed to the world is marked by). Compare that with Romans 7.15 - 25:

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.

You referred to v15 - 16 earlier, but Paul goes on:

17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

It seems to me, then, that if you are conformed to the world then is it you who sin, who has no desire to do what is right, who does not delight in the law of God 'in [your] inner being' (i.e. it is the thing that above all you want to do), who is not aware of his own wretchedness, need for deliverance, and so forth. The Christian who has been renewed, on the other hand, does desire these things, and is aware of the conflict in their lives: they desire to live a Godly, but the world is tempting them. The crucial thing, then, is not that renewal / transformation results in an actual ontological shift in your being such that you no longer sin, are no longer tempted by the world; but, that you are now aware of the life God wants you to live, have a desire to live that life, but struggle with it re: the world.

(Also, I don't think Paul is creating a real distinction here between the internal or external, or mental/emotional and the physical, or spirit and flesh.)

chad
Sep 19th 2016, 10:30 AM
Paul does write about the spirit being in conflict with the flesh (Gal 5:17 - NIV) and the sin which easily entangles us (Heb 12:1 - NIV). Because we are weak in the flesh and sin, it does not mean we are necessarily conforming to the world.



I'm not sure what else it could mean other than resembling the world or having similar behavior. If it's just an internal thing then maybe Paul is just being rhetorical and 12:2 isn't an instruction.

chad
Sep 19th 2016, 07:42 PM
To add:

Lets take Paul as an example. He is a believer and follower of Christ. A preacher of the gospel of Christ Jesus and an Apostle.

No longer under the law of Moses, but the law of the spirit [of life], yet he still writes to the Romans regarding these two laws that he finds within him. Gods law [the law of the spirit [of life] which he delights in in his inner being (22), but also the law of sin at work in his body, meaning the members that are able to commit sin (23).

Paul wants to do good, that is follow Gods commands, yet he realizes that within the members of his body, the members still sin or are able to do so (21).

Paul himself writes that whatever your body wields to you are a slave either to righteousness or to sin and they become your master (Rom 7:14).

So Paul says in his mind he is a slave to Gods law, by earnestly wanting to follow the law of God, yet in the sinful nature [sin within the members of his body, the flesh] he is a slave to the law of sin (25).

Paul knows that with the law of sin comes death., but through Christ Jesus there is life [the law of the spirit of life].

Imo, whether Paul is using himself as an example in a rhetoric question or is writing as his understanding of this dilemma, he tries to show that within the believer, Christians are under the spirit of the law of life and grace, even though we still sin in the body.

So how is that problem solved? Christ solves it for us, because through Christ Jesus, he sets us free (8:2). For there is no condemnation [adverse sentence] for those in Christ who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit (8:1).

Condemnation G2631. katakrima, kat-ak'-ree-mah; from G2632; an adverse sentence (the verdict):--condemnation.


Paul writes in (7:25)

(Rom 7:25 NIV) Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.


(Rom 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(Rom 8:2 KJV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.


So those trying to live after the spirit, realizing that they still sin within the members of their body – who are walking after the spirit, there is no condemnation.


So, imo I don’t think anyone could say of Paul, even though he lived by the spirit and still had sin within the members of his body, that he was conforming to the world.

Trivalee
Sep 19th 2016, 11:49 PM
We know that Paul isn't being rhetorical, so 12:2 is an exhortation. v9 - 21 appears to make clear what kind of renewal / transformation Paul has in mind for the Christian individual that is not conformed to the world (presumably, then, we could work through negations to discover what a life conformed to the world is marked by). Compare that with Romans 7.15 - 25:

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.

You referred to v15 - 16 earlier, but Paul goes on:

17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

It seems to me, then, that if you are conformed to the world then is it you who sin, who has no desire to do what is right, who does not delight in the law of God 'in [your] inner being' (i.e. it is the thing that above all you want to do), who is not aware of his own wretchedness, need for deliverance, and so forth. The Christian who has been renewed, on the other hand, does desire these things, and is aware of the conflict in their lives: they desire to live a Godly, but the world is tempting them. The crucial thing, then, is not that renewal / transformation results in an actual ontological shift in your being such that you no longer sin, are no longer tempted by the world; but, that you are now aware of the life God wants you to live, have a desire to live that life, but struggle with it re: the world.

(Also, I don't think Paul is creating a real distinction here between the internal or external, or mental/emotional and the physical, or spirit and flesh.)

While it is impossible to live without crossing the line to sin (presumably unintentionally) now and then, the transformed mind on the other hand, mindful of this pitfall knows to rely on the Spirit of God for strength. But those that have conformed to the world, have no need for caution and not only sin at will but have pleasure in unrighteousness.

I believe that Paul's narrative in Rom 7:15-25 above is an inward look at the turmoil the *transformed* goes through daily. Because sin (evil) is forever close by (v-21) and uses every conceivable tactic to tempt us, therefore, any momentary lapse in judgment and we fall to sin despite our mind focused on doing the right thing. I believe that the antidote to the struggle Paul described above is in Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Athanasius
Sep 19th 2016, 11:51 PM
While it is impossible to live without crossing the line to sin (presumably unintentionally) now and then, the transformed mind on the other hand, mindful of this pitfall knows to rely on the Spirit of God for strength. But those that have conformed to the world, have no need for caution and not only sin at will but have pleasure in unrighteousness.

I believe that Paul's narrative in Rom 7:15-25 above is an inward look at the turmoil the *transformed* goes through daily. Because sin (evil) is forever close by (v-21) and uses every conceivable tactic to tempt us, therefore, any momentary lapse in judgment and we fall to sin despite our mind focused on doing the right thing. I believe that the antidote to the struggle Paul described above is in Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Yes .

chad
Sep 21st 2016, 11:56 PM
To add:

So Paul writes in the NT to encourage believers to live by the spirit and be led by the spirit. For our bodies are temples of the Holy Sprit and the Spirit of God dwells in us.

This is how we know that we are not conforming to the world – because we are led by the holy spirit and live by the holy spirit. There is a different spirit within us that is at work, than those the world.

Gods is working in us so that we may be conformed to the image of his son [Christ Jesus] and not conforming to the world, it's wisdom, spirit and standards.

As a potter moulds clay, God is our potter and we are the work of his hand (Isiah 64:8).

Of the fruit of the spirit. Fruit on a tree takes time to ripen. But it does in it's due season and produces fruit. Fruit needs time to grow, it need time to mature (ripen).

Imo, believers must grow and mature. We go through seasons and we are being transforming into the likeness of the image of the son (Rom 7:4; Gal 5:22-25).

Of the fig tree which bore no fruit, it withered (Mt 21:19-20). Possibly symbolic of the unbeliever who rejects God, for their eternal fate is the death of the body and spirit.

But Jesus said remain in me and I in you. None can bear fruit unless he is in me (John 15:4).

So those In Christ, who are led by the holy spirit, who live by the Holy Spirit, who have the Holy Spirit within them, and the Holy spirit is working in them (For the Holy spirit is our Counselor/Comforter-KJV John 14:16) - they are not conforming to the world, but are being conformed into the likeness of his son (Romans 8:29).

So, imo that is why Paul writes for us to live by the spirit and to be led by the spirit. For the work of the spirit in us - conforms us to the image of his son, and not the pattern of the world, it's wisdom, desires, spirit and standards. For those in the world (through sin, who reject Christ and his Forgiveness) is death, but through Christ and Gods Holy Spirit brings life.



To add:

Lets take Paul as an example. He is a believer and follower of Christ. A preacher of the gospel of Christ Jesus and an Apostle.

No longer under the law of Moses, but the law of the spirit [of life], yet he still writes to the Romans regarding these two laws that he finds within him. Gods law [the law of the spirit [of life] which he delights in in his inner being (22), but also the law of sin at work in his body, meaning the members that are able to commit sin (23).

Paul wants to do good, that is follow Gods commands, yet he realizes that within the members of his body, the members still sin or are able to do so (21).

Paul himself writes that whatever your body wields to you are a slave either to righteousness or to sin and they become your master (Rom 7:14).

So Paul says in his mind he is a slave to Gods law, by earnestly wanting to follow the law of God, yet in the sinful nature [sin within the members of his body, the flesh] he is a slave to the law of sin (25).

Paul knows that with the law of sin comes death., but through Christ Jesus there is life [the law of the spirit of life].

Imo, whether Paul is using himself as an example in a rhetoric question or is writing as his understanding of this dilemma, he tries to show that within the believer, Christians are under the spirit of the law of life and grace, even though we still sin in the body.

So how is that problem solved? Christ solves it for us, because through Christ Jesus, he sets us free (8:2). For there is no condemnation [adverse sentence] for those in Christ who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit (8:1).

Condemnation G2631. katakrima, kat-ak'-ree-mah; from G2632; an adverse sentence (the verdict):--condemnation.


Paul writes in (7:25)

(Rom 7:25 NIV) Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.


(Rom 8:1 KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(Rom 8:2 KJV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.


So those trying to live after the spirit, realizing that they still sin within the members of their body – who are walking after the spirit, there is no condemnation.


So, imo I don’t think anyone could say of Paul, even though he lived by the spirit and still had sin within the members of his body, that he was conforming to the world.