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Theological Reflections

The current world in which we live is considered the “evil age” (cf. Gal. 1:4; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2). This is placed in contrast to “the age to come” (cf. Matt. 28:20; Heb. 1:3; 1 John 2:15–17). Followers of Christ face the challenge of contending with these two ages at the same time. Through the attractions of daily realities and sinful human nature, they are coerced each moment to become conformed to the present evil age. To this coercion, they either readily or hesitantly acquiesce. The Apostle Paul in his counsel in Romans 12:2 exhorts them “not to continue to be like the changing, fallen world system (the old age of rebellion) of which they are still physically a part, but to be radically changed into Christlikeness (the new age of the Spirit)”.
This counsel that he places in the present passive imperative with the negative article “do not be conformed” calls on believers in Christ to stop the behaviors of conformity to the present evil age that they already are actually pursuing. Ellen White said; “Nothing but the grace of God can convict and convert the heart; from him alone can the slaves of custom obtain power to break the shackles that bind them. It is impossible for a man to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, while continuing to indulge habits that are depriving him of physical, mental, and moral vigor” {CTBH 10.2}.
In Romans 12:1-15:13, Paul emphasizes the expression of faith-righteousness. He accentuates the concept that Christianity is a way of life and that the Christian life is an obedient response to the grace of God. This response is manifested in true meaningful worship (Romans 12:1–2), which consists of total self-surrender and vital participation in church life. In this sense, Christians should recognize their dependence upon God and one another (Romans 12:3–5) and
should use the gifts, which God gives them through the Holy Spirit for the good of others (Romans 12: 6–8) and practice real love in all personal relationships (Romans 12: 9–21). By his appeal to “Be transformed” in verse 2, Paul extends a call for Christians to dedicate their whole life to God. The basis of the appeal rested in the mercy of God (12:1). As believers are transformed in their minds and conformed to the image of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7), they will develop an abiding relationship with Him (Mark 3:13-15), be able to discern the righteousness of Christ (Malachi 3:17-18), participate actively in the mission of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), Communicate in wholesome ways within the faith community (Ephesians 4:29), and actively seek to nurture others in the faith (John 15:16). Only through spiritual renewal can believers do the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

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