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“Be Conformed” (Ro 8:29)

netchaplain

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There is a vast difference between conforming and being conformed! The former is self, attempting to make a “vessel,” the latter is God making the “vessel” (Rom 8:13, 9:21); and it’s not the “good works” (Mat 5:16) of the saint that results in forgiveness, but the works are the result of being forgiven! We work out of our salvation, not for it. Since believers have been permanently established in righteousness, justification, sanctification and holiness, all that remains is that which pertains to their walk; that is, the ongoing work of “being conformed to the image of His Son,” in His lifestyle (Ro 8:29; 2Co 3:18; 1Jo 2:6). This involves the Spirit’s continuous work in us opposing the “flesh” or old man (Gal 5 17); the Son’s continual prayerful intercession (Heb 7:25); the Father’s “work in you to desire and do His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13).

Salvation involves being fully justified, sanctified and holy, all upon rebirth by the Creator of our new life—the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:5, 6, 8). All three of which will unceasingly produce in believers being “conformed,” in their walk or lifestyle—“from glory to glory,” until “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit 2:13; 2Ti 1:10).

I have mentioned before, that it has been accurately said, “The lost need saved, and the saved need delivered.” That is, delivered, not in a salvific sense which is already established, but in our “manner of conversation” (1Pe 1:15; 2Pe 3:11), which is the entirety of one’s way of living. “Conversation”: Greek G391, “anastrophe,” definition 1) manner of life, conduct, behavior, deportment (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g391/kjv/tr/0-1/). This “conformation” will continue until the Lord’s return, as it is in the lifestyle that God uses those reborn to reach others.

The issue with those reborn is never again about being or remaining saved. The “anchor of hope” (Heb 6:19) we have in Christ un-hinderingly establishes all that is redemption. Until it is learned that “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29), there will often be the difficulty of being as “a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (Jas 1:6), like “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4:14).

The pass-time of the saint in glorifying God is walking in exhortation of the Word (esp. the NT epistles), which supplies fresh graces and “mercies” for encouragement of the soul (Lam 3:22, 23)! Each believer, regardless of the difficulty can say to new self, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice” (Phl 4:4). This doesn’t involve trying to feel relieved in the trial, but just waiting it out by continually entrusting all to God while it slowly but surely passes (1Pe 5:7). The trials have only one purpose for the believer—to strengthen their faith, by the exercising of knowing all that occurs in the life saints is used for their good (Ro 8:28; 2Co 4:15), which is the purpose for God’s loving chastisements.
 
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