Saturday, February 06, 2010

Romans 12:2

It takes knowledge, wisdom, and effort to be a Christian. No one said it was going to be easy.

Romans 12:2, which tells us that we are not to conform to the pattern of the world any longer, but rather we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In this context what does “World” mean?

I try to think of the fact that Jesus was Jewish. So was Paul who wrote this letter to the Romans. Jewish wisdom tells us that everything which God created in His universe comes into one of three categories:  

  1. Creations made up of a combination of form (TzuRA) and matter (ChoMeR). These are constantly coming into being and ceasing to exist: for example, the bodies of man and animals, plants and metals.
  2. Creations made up of a combination of form and matter that do not change from body to body or from form to form in the same way as those in the first category. The form of the creations falling into this second category is permanently fixed in their matter, and they do not change as the others do. Examples are the spheres and the stars and planets that revolve in them. The matter of which they are constituted differs from other kinds of matter and their forms from other forms.
  3. Creations that consist of form but no matter, for example the MaLaChiM, angels. ["Angels" is the usual English translation of MaLaCh, but the Hebrew root, which is related to the word MeLaChaH, meaning "work" or the application of energy, indicates the spiritual "force" that is responsible for some process or other phenomenon in the world.] The creations in this category do not possess bodies or corporeal being, but rather are forms that are separate from one another.
The Greek word used here for “world” is not the Greek word kosmos, the created world, but rather aion, or “age.” The word aion does not just mean “age” in the sense that it is a finite period of time. "Aion" came to mean all that exists in the world under conditions of time.

Aion includes all the thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, impulses, and aspirations present in the world at any given time.

Hence we, as new creatures in Christ, need not to form our minds and hearts according to a pattern or mold of the ages past, present and future, but we are to be transformed, as opposed to being a conformist to the age, by not letting others mold you or think for you or becoming a follower and an imitator. 

We are to be transformed undergoing real change that continues as we go through life. It is this is a complete change that renews our mind and desire to learn more about God and His Son, Jesus.

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