Which Do You Choose: “Conformed To The Image Of His Son” Or “Conformed To This World?”

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 

Most, if not all saints would say, ‘of course I would rather be conformed to the image of His Son,’ but the plain fact is, our “outward man” has its own set of likes and dislikes. And even though we might agree with what sounds ‘goodly,’ or “godly,” our flesh is being educated by this world, our hearts have adapted unto what this world propagates. And this is also true when it comes to what this world says about the will of God, and the word of God.

And when it comes to the will of God; many believe that if we ask in prayer, God will change our circumstances. But what the saint fails to understand is; prayer is not of list of things that we give to the Father to go and do for us, and if God was to deliver us from our problems:

*We never have the opportunity to allow His word to go to work in our inner man.

 *We would never have the opportunity to be strengthened in our inner man.

 *We would never have the opportunity to have the “power of Christ” to rest upon us when we have infirmities.

 *The angelic realm would never get the chance to see the power of God’s word working effectually within us.

*He would heal us, take away all our sufferings, financially take care of us; but we wouldn’t know a thing more than we knew before.

*Our prayer life would be a ‘one way street’ we would ask-He would give.

WE NEED TO RENEW OUR THINKING ABOUT THESE THINGS

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 12:2  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.

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Paul was in prison for much of his life, but notice his selfless attitude, he did not write concerning the how poorly he was treated, or the things he suffered, because he knew this WOULD NOT EDIFY SAINTS. Paul’s concern during his time prison was for Christ’s sake, the Father’s sake, the ministry, and the Church’s sake, and their “care,” this ought to be our attitude as ones who say that we ‘follow Paul!’

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2Co 4:8  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but  not in despair;  

2Co 4:9  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

2Co 4:10  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

2Co 4:11  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

2Co 4:12  So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Therefore, the key to possessing this gift of our Father comes by way of the son changing his way of thinking just like the Apostle Paul did, even though Paul suffered to the extreme where he “despaired even of life,” his attitude was not as the natural man. The first thing that we need to do is come to the realization that just as Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us, we being members of His body ought to possess an unselfish attitude concerning the “power” of God. Our thinking ought to be “renewed” toward the “will of God” in everything; including our sufferings, and when we suffer (even though we can experience very trying troubles in our lives), we should realize that “the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Notice the attitude that Paul has toward his sufferings in verses 8-10, that no matter what he goes through, he has a comforting and positive outlook upon each situation, this is so that “the life of Jesus also might be made manifest” in his body.

2Co 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2Co 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The “inward man” is the only man that God is healing and blessing today, notice how he compares the outward man ‘perishing’ with the inward man partaking of something ‘new?’ And this is “day by day,” this is the true way how the saint can have a ‘blessed day!’ Notice what God IS providing for the saint, and that is His knowledge, for the inward man; but the “outward man” is left to “perish?” This is because the outward man, and our flesh, has its own sets of “lusts,” and desires that work contrary to the word, the will, and the life of God, but it follows after this world, our hearts, our carnal minds, and Satan!

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Rom 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Moreover, as we see the “all things” mentioned in verse 32 that we have in Christ that are for “our sakes,” (these “things” are found in Romans 8:29-31) how could we selfishly expect an “outward man” deliverance from our sufferings? And because God has promised to renew the “inward man” only, sometimes our thinking always seems to cater to our “outward man” more times than we ought to, but we must look at the benefit that there is verse 17; which actually works “for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” So when we “look at” our sufferings through the eyes of the “inward man,” instead of through the eyes of the “outward man,” we will see all of “the things” that are ours “in Christ,” and our enduring of our sufferings produce an “eternal” reward benefit; which we cannot see through our outward man eyes, but it is real and has great eternal value “for us,” just as we are taught in 2nd Corinthians 4:15-18!

2Co 11:23  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

2Co 11:24  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

2Co 11:25  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

2Co 11:26  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

2Co 11:27  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

2Co 11:28  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

2Co 11:29  Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

2Co 11:30  If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

As we look at the sufferings that Paul went through in the above verses, you wonder how Paul could call these things “light affliction,” well this is because of the renewing of his mind with the doctrine “which is according to godliness,” and this was operating effectually within him; notice how Paul says that he “will glory of the things which concern” his infirmities. To acquire this type of thinking comes from the son’s doctrinal growth from the ‘milk to meat’ design that are Father has given us in His word. And it is impossible for a son who is operating upon “milk” doctrine to be able to fully learn to glory and rejoice in the “sufferings of Christ” at that edification stage in his sanctified life. But just as 2nd Corinthians 4:16 says, our “inward man is renewed day by day,” and it is this daily doctrinal edification that we grow by, and grow up into.

Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Php 4:9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Php 4:10  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Php 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Php 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Php 4:14  Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

Php 4:15  Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

Php 4:16  For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

Php 4:17  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Php 4:18  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

Php 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Finally, once the son has learned the effectual doctrine of sufferings found within the Father’s Word of truth, he will also learn to “take pleasure” in his sufferings knowing what the bigger picture is all about. And knowing that we are to look at our sufferings through our “inward man” eyes, and when we do this we will see that our focus should be on “Christ’s sake, not ours. Also, our “care” ought to be for the members of His Body as well to their edification as a ‘Bible Minister’ of His word according to sound doctrine for their Spiritual “good.” But this type of thinking from the “son” comes from the ‘renewed mind’ of the son by His word, and within our education, we are given Paul’s selfless ensample, God the Father’s selfless ensample, and Christ’s selfless ensample for our godly living unto Him, and other members in One Body.

Php 1:9  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Php 1:25  And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

Php 1:26  That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Php 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Php 1:28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Php 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Php 1:30  Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Rod Jones

  1. Thanks Rod, great article!
    Angela

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. I was blessed to be reminded of the riches of God’s Grace in giving us all we need to be conformed to the image of the Son! Thanks Brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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