The Berean Expositor
Volume 47 - Page 159 of 185
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fashion oneself like the world in conjunction with the world. The world plays its part in
so fashioning the believer who wishes to conform to it, and in conforming, the believer
becomes a part of the world. How can the believer do such a thing? In Rom. 6: 2 Paul
says "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?", and in Gal. 6: 14 he
boasts "in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me,
and I unto the world". If the believer is indeed `in Christ', then the world is dead to him,
he sees it as something lifeless and corrupting; but also he is himself dead to the world,
there is nothing in him now to respond to anything in the world. How indeed shall we
that are dead to the world, or to the things of our lifetime, live any longer therein?
Do not join the times in which you live by aping their ways . . . . . but be ye
TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. The transformation is the result of the
renewing of the mind. The original does not give `the renewing of your mind', but `the
mind'. If your mind is renewed, it is the mind of the old nature which is reinvigorated,
and clearly this is not in Paul's thought here. There is a significant hint in the word used
for `renewing' which is anakainosis, the latter meaning `to make new', while ana
indicates motion upwards--a new mind which is higher, the whole word have the
meaning of `making other and different from that which had been formerly'. "We have
the mind of Christ" says Paul in I Cor. 2: 16, and surely it is the mind of Christ which
needs to be constantly renewed in the believer, transforming him from what he was into
the new creature he is in Christ. We can do no more here than to say that the renewal of
the mind of Christ in us comes as the result of searching the Scriptures, through prayer
and by setting our minds on things above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
The result will be transformed lives.
Like the word for conform, transform also is little used in Scripture. Apart from the
use in  Rom. 12: 2,  and by both Matthew and Mark in their description of the
Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ, it occurs only in II Cor. 3: 18:
"But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed (transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit
of the Lord."
Moses' unveiled face shone with the glory of the Old Covenant, when he returned
from the mount. The believer's life should shine with the glory of the Lord. Far from
being `like the world', the believer should be `like Christ'. The believer who is like the
world, like those of this lifetime, is one who has not yielded himself a living sacrifice to
God. Several years ago a young believer, clad in the rags of the latest fashion of the pop
scene excused his appearance and practice, by claiming it was a sacrifice for him to do
and be so--"I don't like it; I do it to reach the unconverted!". The magnet which is
de-magnetized will never make another piece of iron into a magnet.
The Companion Bible defines "transform" thus: "to change to a new condition"--a
very different thought from aping the world, albeit on the pretence of winning others for
Christ. This word has also its own implication--of beauty. Paul is appealing on the basis
of the compassions of God, for the believer to live a life of beauty before the Lord. When
we recall the Psalmist's words (29: 2) "Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness",