1. Faithfully Following Jesus — Romans 12 and Beyond

What does it mean to be Conformed to Christ?

Romans 8:29 (NASB)
“for those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”

Romans 12:2 (NASB)
“and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

This website will help those who are bewildered by the low level of Christian commitment that is visible in the majority of church buildings today. It is designed for those who are seeking to live as citizens in God’s Holy Kingdom during the years that we have on this Earth. In very practical ways, you will be challenged to closely consider whether you are conformed to Christ or conformed to the world, with the hope that you will become more committed and conformed to the holy nature of our Lord Christ Jesus. Topical articles and longer length Bible studies address the issues that are tearing at the hearts of true Christians who feel like they are aliens in a foreign land when they step into most church buildings in America today.

If you want to go beyond “believing in Jesus” to a “faithful following of Jesus,” then you will feel at home here and will be enriched by what you read. Practical applications of faithfulness are emphasized throughout these pages, because Jesus was totally faithful and totally practical. You will be challenged to be a faithful follower of Christ Jesus, because He accepted the challenge to be a completely faithful follower of our Father in Heaven. When Jesus said, “Follow Me,” He was inviting us to be obedient as He was obedient, and to live in right relationship to God. He conformed every aspect of His life to the nature and will of God, and He expects us to do the same.

Jesus had to choose between two paths. He had to choose to follow Satan or follow God the Father. The same choice stands before us today. We must choose between the same two alternatives. The first path is the path of worldliness that continues to be promoted by Satan. The path of conformity to the world was offered to Jesus during Satan’s three temptations.

Matthew 4:1-10 (NASB)
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” 5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'” 8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'”

Satan places these three temptations in the lives of every Christian. The first temptation targets human lust for personal pleasure and satisfaction. We are invited to depend on self-effort for our needs instead of depending on God. The second temptation targets lust to control God. We are invited to try and manipulate God to do our bidding instead of submitting to God’s will. The third temptation targets lust for the power to control others and for accumulating wealth. Satan invites us to strike a bargain with him through which we submit to him instead of submitting to one another within the Body of Christ. These three temptations, which promise happiness and prosperity, invite us to be conformed to the world. They describe worldly values and worldly behavior. They emphasize pride, power, and everything to do with “self.” Satan is the master teacher when it comes to self-reliance, self-empowerment, self-esteem, self-worth, self-effort, self-satisfaction, self-seeking, self-realization, and of course, pure selfishness.

The alternative path, which Jesus chose, was to reject all three of Satan’s temptations and to remain humble. Once Jesus chose this path, Jesus could then exercise His authority over Satan and issue the command, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'” (Matthew 4:10). Once Jesus firmly established Himself in right relationship with His Father, then angels of heaven could come and meet His needs. “Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” (Matthew 4:11).

We are either on one path or the other. We either submit to Satan and are conformed to the world by our yielding to his many temptations, or we are conformed to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. There has never been a fence to sit on or the slightest possibility of a middle ground between these two paths.

Matthew 6:24 (NASB)
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Unfortunately, the standard that is promoted in most church buildings encourages people to walk on two paths. People are expected to follow Jesus on Sunday morning, and then are released to walk in the ways of the world during the rest of the week. This is double minded behavior and double minded teaching. This way of life is not supported by the Bible.

God is to be the center and supreme authority in all aspects of our lives. In this committed relationship, we are to place God above everything. No person, no activity, no physical object, no allegiance, and no alliance is to be elevated above our relationship with God.

Sadly, most Christian believers do not understand the Christian commitment, and are not prepared to live it out on a daily basis. This website will help you to consciously elevate God above everything else and to become a bondservant of Jesus.

A bondservant of Jesus is a former slave of worldly lusts who has become a permanent servant of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. In making this change, we move from a life of servitude, to a life of servanthood. We move from worldly captivity to true freedom in Christ. We no longer plan to follow Jesus in the future, but feel that our reason for living is to follow Jesus today and every day.

Mark 8:34 (NASB)
“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Mark 10:21 (NASB)
“Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

John 10:27 (NASB)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me”

John 12:26 (NASB)
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

John 21:19 (NASB)
“Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!'”

Every day offers new opportunities to be conformed to Christ and to depart from the ways of Satan and his Earthly kingdom. Christians are to follow Jesus with every breath we breathe and with every step we take. Jesus was always submitted to the Father. It didn’t matter whether He was standing in the temple or walking down the country roads of Judea, he was always obedient. It didn’t matter whether He was teaching His disciples, healing the sick, praying, or eating with sinners, His attitudes and behaviors always reflected His faithful commitment to His Father in heaven. He was always following. He was always listening to God His Father, and He was always responding to His father with truth and love.

Being conformed to Christ is about following the extremely practical instructions that Jesus gave us regardless of circumstances. We must believe every word that Jesus spoke, as recorded in the four Gospels of the Bible, and we must faithfully follow his lead through every twist and turn of life. His instructions were repeated and further explained in the remaining books of the New Testament of the Bible, and exist in shadow form in the Old Testament books of the Bible. The Bible tells us everything we need to know about Jesus in order to be a faithful Christ follower. Paul followed Jesus, and Paul explained how his own life could be used as an example of living in right relationship to Jesus, the father God, and the Holy Spirit. Paul conformed his life to Christ and gave himself fully to the new church as its servant. Should we do any less?

Paul summarized his central set of instructions regarding being conformed to Christ in Romans Chapter 12. Verses 1 and 2 are the foundation of the entire chapter and set the stage for our ability to be conformed to the Lord Christ Jesus.

Romans 12 (ESV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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1 Response to 1. Faithfully Following Jesus — Romans 12 and Beyond

  1. justin says:

    ” choose to follow Satan or follow God the Father. The same choice stands before us today.” Yes at this point and in deepest in our self too. There is difference between the body and the flesh a saw in the Bible. So my own spirit can be easily a source of light, as the world a source of temptation. But I will see farther as you develop your thoughts. Later plus comment if you appreciate. .

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