This item was written by my dear friend Doug Dodd (now in glory). It speaks to the effect of our new life in Christ as opposed to religion and human effort.
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Are you being conformed or transformed? Conformation takes place from the outside, it is caused by external pressures. For example a person gets “saved” and joins a local church. Most of the time this person begins to take on the characteristics of that assembly, whatever that may be. They in effect become “conformed” to the personality of that church.
This is exactly the wrong way to become what God has made us in Christ. Conformation makes one ACT like a Christian rather than being transformed into one.
Transformation takes place from the inside. It is the work of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in the believer.
The problem is that this transformation CANNOT take place without the application of the Word of God “rightly divided”. You will not be transformed by a steady diet of Matthew-John. It is within the Pauline epistles alone that you will find the doctrine, duty and destiny of the Church the body of Christ.