The Christian in the World

MEMORY VERSE: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” —Romans 12:21

ROMANS 12:2, 14-21; 13:8-10, 13, 14

A CHRISTIAN is one who is wholly dedicated to the Lord and to the doing of his will. “I beseech you therefore, brethren,” Paul wrote, “by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” This describes full devotion to God, even to the sacrifice of one’s whole life.

This full devotion to the Lord should be more than a mere platitude. If it is genuine it will change one’s whole life. Paul suggests this in the second verse of the lesson: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

We were originally in the world, but now that we have been called out of the world and have devoted ourselves to the Lord and to the doing of his will we should not continue to be conformed to the world. We have two key words in this admonition: we are not to be “conformed” to the world, but are to be “transformed.”

This transformation takes place through the “renewing” of our minds. It involves a new outlook on essentially all aspects of life. In a word, it is the acquiring of the outlook of love instead of selfishness. Having made a consecration to do the Lord’s will we are not any longer of the world, yet we are still in the world in the sense that in all the daily affairs of life we come into contact with the people of the world, and in these situations the Lord expects us to conduct ourselves in harmony with our renewed minds.

Paul gives us examples of what the renewed mind of a Christian will lead him to do: “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” Only one whose mind has been transformed in harmony with the will of God would be able to bless those who may persecute us, and otherwise do us injury.

“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” The Christian is not to be envious of the good fortunes of others, and he should be sympathetic toward those who are weighed down with sorrow. No transformed Christian will be indifferent to the sorrows of others.

“Be of the same mind one toward another”; that is, do not show partiality in your dealings with your fellow men. “Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.” While we were a part of the world it seemed quite all right to cater to the powerful and the rich, but as transformed Christians we are to realize that those “of low estate” are equally important in God’s sight, and probably more inclined to listen to the truth than the rich and the mighty.

“Be not wise in your own conceits.” People who are self-opinionated are a trial to believers and unbelievers alike. Jesus admonished his disciples to be as little children. How little any of us truly knows, compared to what there is to he learned!

“If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.” Here is something a transformed Christian will delight to do, and with the possibility of commending himself to his enemy. This is one way to overcome evil with good.

Verse 9 of the second portion of the lesson is a reminder of various details of the Mosaiac Law, which will be gladly observed by the transformed Christian. Loving one’s neighbor as oneself is, as Paul reminds us, a fulfilling of the Law so far as our neighbors are concerned, for “love worketh no ill to his neighbor.”

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day.” We think the apostle may here be referring to that great “day” in the plan of God when Christ’s kingdom is functioning in the earth. Then everyone will be required to walk honestly, and observe every rule of justice and love, for then righteousness will prevail throughout the earth. The admonition is that we should even now walk as though we were already in that new day. To us it is a voluntary matter; a part of our determination to know and to do the will of our Heavenly Father. Only those who are walking in this narrow way of the transformed mind know the great peace and joy it can and does bring into the life.


What does it mean to present one’s body a “living sacrifice”?

How is a Christian’s mind transformed?

How do we “walk honestly as in the day”?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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