Today's Foundations Devotional: Conformed to the image of Christ
God’s Word plays its part both in the negative and in the positive aspects of sanctification.
Paul describes the negative aspect in Romans 12:1-2.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
There are four successive stages in the process which Paul here describes.
1. Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices upon God’s altar. We have already seen that the altar sanctifies that which is presented upon it.
2. Not being conformed to the world – that is, being separated from its vanity and sin.
3. Being transformed by the renewing of our minds – that is, learning to think in entirely new terms and values.
4. Getting to know God’s will personally for our lives. This revelation of God’s will is granted only to the renewed mind. The old, carnal, unrenewed mind can never know or understand God’s perfect will.
It is here, in the renewing of the mind, that the influence of God’s Word is felt. As we read, study and meditate in God’s Word, it changes our whole way of thinking. It both cleanses us with its inward washing and separates us from all that is unclean and ungodly. We learn to think about things – to estimate them, to evaluate them – as God Himself thinks about things.
In learning to think differently, of necessity, we also act differently. Our outward lives are changed in harmony with our new inward processes of thought. We are no longer conformed to the world because we no longer think like the world. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
However, not to be conformed to the world is merely negative. It is not a positive end in itself. If we are not to be conformed to the world, to what then are we to be conformed? The answer is plainly stated by Paul.
For whom He [God] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29).
Here is the positive end of sanctification: to be conformed to the image of Christ. It is not enough that we are not conformed to the world – that we do not think and say and do the things that the world does. This is merely negative. Instead of all this, we must be conformed to Christ – we must think and say and do the things that Christ would do.
Father, what a wonderfully clean and pure feeling it is that You have predestined me and my life in advance, to be a constant glorifier of Your name through my life, attitude and actions. Thank You for that great privilege and the power of Your Spirit that enables me to do this every day. Amen.
Click on the link below for the Derek Prince book that these daily devotionals are based on: