Conformity Versus Transformation

By Olin Williams
March 5, 2024

After an individual receives Christ into their heart comes the duty of Christian life and service.

Romans 12: 1 and 2 reads, “I 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. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Verse one is the mission statement and verse two is the instruction in how to complete the mission. It teaches that the mind must be renewed. Why?

Romans 8:7 says, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

1 Corinthians 2:14 reads, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

The two words, “conform” and “transform” must be considered.

“Conform” means to be similar or identical. An actor can conform to the image of the character being portrayed.

“Transformation” means change in the form, appearance or character of state. It is a metamorphosis effect like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. So to perform the mission of service to Christ, one must not conform or imitate like an actor with the natural mind like Nicodemus did in John chapter 3. He looked real and was considered by others as genuine. However he knew there was a void deep within. This is why Jesus tells him, “Ye must be born again.”

Born again is the process of being transform or regenerated. It is a change of state. However moral, gifted, or refined, the natural man is blind to spiritual truth, and impotent to enter the kingdom; for he can neither obey nor please God.

The new birth is not a reformation of the old nature. It is a creative act of the Holy Spirit. Through the new birth the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature and the life of Christ Himself. The believer has the mind of Christ or has been transformed. Many people think being conformed through service is salvation but it is not. Salvation is being transformed first and then service.