Summary of passages: Romans 12:2: He urges us to not conform to this world but to allow God to renew our mind so that we can know His will for us.
Galatians 1:3-5: This is part of Paul’s greetings to the church of Galatia where he offers up grace and peace from God and Jesus who sacrificed himself for you to rescue us from our sins and this evil age according to God’s will forever.
Ephesians 2:1-2: Here Paul reminds the church of Ephesus how they were dead in their transgressions and sins when they lived in the world which is ruled by Satan who is still working in those unsaved by Christ.
10) The world is the world system that contains evil and corruption and is opposed to God and rebels against Him.
11) Those who love the world are not in God. The world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does. The world is temporal. In my own words, the world is anything opposed to God’s Word and His will. Anything the devil has a hold of. Any temptation you face.
12) Personal Question. My answer: The world tries to justify sin. And it puts a high priority on self. I fight against selfishness every day and it’s hard not to get caught up in doing what “feels good.” I’ve found putting God at the center of all you do helps to break the influence of the world and re-focus your attention on Him, His ways, His goals and priorities.
Conclusions: It’s important to realize the influence of the world on yourself, which has some influence if you interact with anyone at all especially unbelievers. Satan is sneaky and is always seeking your weaknesses. Use His weapons (the Word, prayer, etc) against him always.
End Notes: Romans 12:2: So the world system with all its evil and corruption is opposed to God and His ways and is in rebellion. Paul reminds us we must resist it.
Renewing the mind is the opposite of conforming the world. The battle takes place in the mind. Hence, Christians must think differently than non-believers.
Today the world is based on feelings. Do what you feel is right. Oh, you don’t want to work today. Then don’t. The government will take care of you. Etc. Also, the world is based on doings. Just tell me what to do.
Paul says here we must know what God’s word says in our mind. We cannot blindly follow our whimsical feelings and follow the crowd of doers who are “doing” but accomplishing nothing.
“Transformed”: This is the ancient Greek word metamorphoo – describing a metamorphosis. The same word is used to describe Jesus in His transfiguration (Mark 9:2-3).
Fun Fact: The only other place Paul uses this word for transformed is in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” For Paul, this transformation and renewing of our minds takes place as we behold the face of God, spending time in His glory. Note this is a process, not a single event.
“Then”: After the spiritual transformation just described has taken place.
“Test and approve what God’s will is”: The proof is the live that you live. What God wants from the believer here and now.
“Good”: That which leads to the spiritual and moral growth of the Christian.
“Pleasing”: To God, not necessarily to us.
“Perfect”: No improvement can be made on the will of God.
In sum, from Chapter 11 Paul writes if we keep in mind the rich mercy of God to you – past, present, and future (by the mercies of God) and as an act of intelligent worship, decide to yield your entire self to Him (present your bodies a living sacrifice) and resist conformity to the thoughts and actions of this world (do not be conformed) by focusing on God’s word and fellowship with Him (be transformed by the renewing of your mind) then our life will be in the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. And others will witness this.
Galatians 1:3-5: Written by Paul to the churches in Galatia around 50 AD.
“Grace and peace to you”: This was Paul’s familiar greeting, drawing from the traditional greetings in both Greek culture (grace) and Jewish culture (peace). Paul used this exact phrase five other times in the New Testament.
Fun Fact: Paul used the word grace more than 100 times in his writings. Among all the other writers of the New Testament, it is only used 55 times. Paul was truly the apostle of grace.
“These two terms, grace and peace, constitute Christianity.” (Martin Luther)
Note the first thing Paul says about Jesus is he gave himself for our sins. Throughout the epistle Paul points the Galatians to the centrality of the cross. He cannot wait to make this plain, and we find a reference to it in his very first sentence.
Jesus gave. We know from John 3:16 that God the Father so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Yet God the Father was not the only giver; Jesus also gave. Jesus is a loving, giving God and a loving, giving Savior.
Jesus gave the greatest thing anyone can give–Himself. There is a sense in which we do not even begin to give until we give ourselves. Why did Jesus give himself? For our sins. If God did not do something to save us, our sins would destroy us. So out of love, Jesus rescues us.
The purpose of Jesus’s sacrifice is to glorify God. Yes, we are saved. But it’s for the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:1-2: Paul ended the last chapter by considering that the ultimate example of God’s power was the resurrection of Jesus. Now Paul considers what the implications of Jesus’ resurrection power are for our life.
Paul is speaking of spiritual death here not physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. Transgressions is crossing God’s boundaries. Sins is falling short of God’s standards.
Satan is the ruler of the kingdom of air and is active in those who are disobedient to God.
Once walked is our old self. We should now feel uncomfortable with sin in our new life. Satan guided us in the old life. Now God does.
This is a unique title that speaks to Satan’s authority and realm of influence.