Formed to Conform


Genesis 2:7 states that the Lord (Jesus) God (Father) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Holy Spirit); and man became a living soul. The Trinity of God was involved in man’s creation, and man was formed of the world (dust of the ground) but was formed to be a living soul and to conform to the image of God and not to the world.

Apostle Paul beseeched the church in Rome to not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of their mind (Romans 12:2). Our minds need to be renewed to be like the humble and obedient mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).

Points to ponder:
We were formed to conform to God’s image. We are not to be conformed to this world.
What are you and I conforming to – to God or to the world? Remember, friendship with the world is enmity with God. Am I a friend of God? Are you a friend of God?

Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)
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.

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

James 4:4 (KJV)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Biblical Oxymoron :: Enemy Friend


The well known Arabian proverb  “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is used to conceptualize that when two parties have a common enemy, then one can use the other to advance their goals. We see that this was essentially the case during the time of Jesus. The Pharisees and the Herodians who hated each other united to try to entangle the very Son of God, Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:15-16). We also see that a Roman (Pilate) and a Jew (Herod) who were usually at loggerheads became friends, when trying Jesus for no crime that He had committed (Luke 23:12). Sadly in both of the referenced cases, weak men of the world banded together against a powerful God. Now think of the situation as to how powerful we would be in advancing the apostleship granted to each one of us, if Jesus and us had a common enemy. We do. It is called the world.

Jesus himself said, that the world was his enemy, that it hated him when He exclaimed, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” (John 7:7). He also said that we will be hated of all men for His name’s sake (Luke 21:17) and when He prays for His disciples, He tells God, the Father that the world hates us (John 17:14). All of these verses affirm that the world hated/hates Jesus and the world hates/will hate us, Jesus’ true followers. This means that the world is at enmity with God and at enmity with us. In fact, we are to marvel not (or be surprised) that the world hates us (1 John 3:13). We can be assured of God’s promise that if the world hates us, they are not really in enmity with us, but in enmity with God and God will be the enemy of those who are our enemies and the adversary of those who are our adversaries (Exodus 23:22).

An identical proverb to the Arabian proverb, but of Chinese origin is “it is good to strike the serpent’s head with your enemy’s hand.” We are to strike the Satan’s (serpent’s) head with the hand of the world (our enemy), i.e., not fall prey to evil in the world. Satan uses the world and its lusts to lure us away from God. When we devalue the world and its offerings, we give him no power, symbolically striking a blow to his head. If our allegiance is with the world over that of with the Word of God that became flesh and tabernacled among and in us, then we cannot be in spiritual battle with Satan (which means adversary) or his forces in heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-18).

To oxymoronic aspect here is this:
To be a friend of this world is to an enemy with God;
To be an enemy of the world is to be the Friend of God

With the world (and its evil) as our common enemy, we can work hand in hand with God and advance the goals of apostleship that He has entrusted to us, being assured that He will be the enemy of our enemy (the world), meaning that He will be our friend. What a friend we have in Jesus!

John 17:14 (KJV)
14
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

James 4:4 (KJV)
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Law of Banking on Jesus


BankingOfRoads In order for vehicles with high speed to negotiate the curve on the road, without running off of it, the angle of the incline for the road must be first determined. It is equationally represented as tan θ = v2/rg where ‘v’ is the velocity (speed), ‘r’ is the radius (how far) of the curve and ‘g’ is the force of gravity. This expression represents the speed at which the vehicle does not skid along the banked road for the given angle of inclination (θ). This is commonly known as the ‘Banking of Roads’ principle.

An application of this physical law in our Spiritual life could be used to derive what I call the Law of Banking on Jesus. The Law of Banking on Jesus states that “For a person life to be not derailed from his path toward God, he must be banked (inclined) on Jesus which is a factor of his velocity (speed) toward conforming into the likeness of Jesus, the distance (radius) from Jesus and the force of the world.”

In other words, the angle (θ) of our dependence (inclination) on Jesus tangentially is dependent on

  1. the haste (‘v’) we make not delaying in keeping his commandments,
  2. the closer (‘r’) we draw near to him and
  3. the weaker the force (‘g’) of loving this world is in our lives.

I pray that we all bank on Jesus. Anything else, our lives will be off course, skidding away.

1 Kings 8:58 (KJV)
58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

Psalm 119:60 (KJV)
60
I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

James 4:8 (KJV)
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

1 John 2:15 (KJV)
15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Me against the world as was Antipas …


Antipas is one of the few martyrs mentioned in the Bible by name. Not only is he mentioned in the Bible, he was spoken of by God. Rev 2:13 records the martyrdom of Antipas, who did not deny the Faith and was faithful to the point of death.

His martyrdom cannot be refuted and the most accepted version of his death as recorded in 92 A.D. by Simeon Metaphrastes is that he was roasted alive in a copper bull-shaped altar. Antipas refused to deny Jesus Christ and worship the Roman Emperor, just as the Hebrew boys, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (more commonly known by their Babylonian names – Shadrach, Meshach and  Abednego) did.

Antipas, whose name means “against all”, was advised that “the whole world is against you!” before he was sentenced to be martyred. His response was “Then I am against the whole world”.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Can God tell of us that we are faithful and that we will not deny Him? (like he did of Antipas)
  2. Are we against the world, set apart, or are we one with the world? What are we going to be known for?
Rev 2:13
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

James 4:4
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Romans 12:2
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.