World War III

Romans 12:1-2 NET - Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.

2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT - Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

1 John 2:15-17 NIV - Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away,  but the one who does God’s willremains forever.  

In Romans 12:2, what does it mean to be conformed?  The original Greek word is suschématizó: to conform to; "identified with”; ”having outward shape”; assuming a similar outward form (expression) following the same pattern (model, mold) copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.  

In this context, “the world” refers to the dominant system, worldview, or way of behaving that appeals to human sinfulness and is influenced chiefly by Satan.  It is not a contradiction to also read, “For God so loved the world…” because there is a difference between the souls of the world whom God loves and the system of the world which God hates.  Likewise, we are called to love the people of the world and hate their wrong values.  Too many Christians tend to hate the people of the world and love their wrong values!  In view of God’s mercies (the “Why”), we are called to be non-conformists to the ways and values of this Christ-rejecting world.  John identified the three main expressions of this world’s values - lust, greed, and pride.  We must battle against these three areas of temptation in us.  It truly is “World War III.”   There are many expressions of lust, greed, and pride.  But what would be the main ways in which our current culture most easily shapes us after the pattern of this world?  What are the main delivery systems for these “temptation bombs” that get dropped on God’s people?  In other words, how does Satan most easily or effectively pour Christians into this world’s mold or way of thinking and behaving?  Is it through porn - even the “softer” kind found in many magazines, books, or “mainstream” TV and movies?  Is it through extreme consumerism or impatience and ingratitude leading to unbiblical debts?  Is it in the presence of strife or some other quarreling that is a result of pride according to Scripture?  Or perhaps it’s timid insecurity that needs to be replaced with an infusion of bold faith and sacrificial love?  Or maybe it’s religious legalism that needs to be crucified in favor of a true grace covenant with God?  Whatever the struggle in this war against the world’s mindset and values, purpose in your heart to be a non-conformist for Jesus Christ!