“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,” (I Peter 1:13-14).
What is one of the most basic disciplines God calls Christians to achieve? Peter submits that it is to not be conformed to the passions of the fallen world. Our perspective in not being conformed to the world stems from a previous desire to be obedient to God. To be conformed (συσχηματίζω; syschematizo) means to be modeled after something or to have one’s behavior shaped and molded to a particular pattern of living. God says that our behavior is not to be modeled, shaped or molded to the world.
Peter uses the expression “the passions of your former ignorance.” This means the believer is no longer to be shaped, patterned or molded by the desires or cravings of their former life without Christ.
The Apostle John describes these desires or cravings of our former life without Christ as the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:15-16). The devil tempted Eve in all three areas (Genesis 3) and also Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). He will so tempt us.
Therefore, we are to carefully and biblically evaluate our thinking, our seeing and our attitude of entitlement in every area of life and living. It is often easy to justify a sinful act or thought because of momentary pleasure or to a sense that we deserve what it is that we desire. Many an individual, family and church has been devastated by such a lapse of self-control.
The Apostle Paul echoes Peter’s words in Romans 12:1-2. “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.”
I encourage you to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23-27) today in everything you encounter with an attitude of non-conformity to the fallen world system. Instead, be obedient to Christ by a daily renewal of your mind in God’s Word.
Soli deo Gloria!