Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
Two words which appear quite often in the Bible are conform and transform. Satan
is said to have been transformed into an angel of light (see 2 Cor. 11:14). At the
same time, those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour will
be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus (see Rom 8:29).
Sometimes in our world, people are said to be nonconformists. This is said of some-
one who refuses (or at least tries to refuse) to be like other people in habits and
manners. For example, people who are artists or entertainers often seem to try to
dress, appear and act differently than what society considers normal. The world
often idolizes and glories in non-conformists. There are, however, no true non-
conformists for apart from knowing Christ as Saviour, each individual is a slave
whose master is Satan. These poor Christless souls are only able to do what Satan
forces them to do, though they may take great pride in being different.
A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is to live, dress and act in a way which pleases the
Lord Jesus. He is our Master and has total authority over each believer. Because the
world hates Him and those who believe in Him (1 John 3:13), when we live to please
the Lord it is obvious to others that we are different. There is, however, a side of
conformity which is not good for a Christian. Sometimes a Christian becomes fearful of
being different because they don’t want people to think that they are weird or don’t want
to be persecuted. For this reason Christians sometimes become conformed to the
manners and talk of the world—out of fear of being considered an oddball.
When we speak of conformity to Christ, we are speaking about living in a way
pleasing to the Lord Jesus. This honors Him and God our Father and results in
blessing to others; even those who ridicule us for our ‘conformity to Christ’.
When we speak of conformity to the world, we mean living like the world. For a
Christian to be conformed to this world is quite sad for he or she is trying to live,
act, and talk like those who hate the Lord Jesus—those whom God holds responsible
for His beloved Son’s death on the cross.
In Romans 12:2 both words used. “And be not conformed (‘made like’) to this
world: but be ye transformed (‘changed from’) by the renewing of your mind, that
ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.