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.
to this world [age],
The “world” or age in which we live is everything around us that is from the satanic system. Christians are not to live according to the values of the age in which they live. The “age” is everything that goes on during a period of time, such as maxims, speculations, aims, aspirations, and opinions. This is the milieu of values of a given time.
1 Co 2: 6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
1 Co 3: 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world [kosmos] is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;
2 Co 4: 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Paul’s call is not to abandon culture in general but the anti-Christian values of culture. The contrast in this verse is between two models of values by which we can change our lives.
The Christian is not to allow the world system to squeeze him into its mold of values.
It is important to distinguish the worldly aspects of the present age from many good things that creation has to offer. The world in biblical terms is not the world of flowers, birds, or individuals, but is a system of belief organized by the devil into a schemata of values. Art and science are good but they can be used by evil.
Many of us are like liquid jelly; we fit into whatever is around us. Our character forms according to the mold of the world. Whatever cools my love for God is worldliness. It is the effort of man to satisfy his needs apart from God. God created us to have fellowship with Him, but Satan wants to break that fellowship.
Jn 16: 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world [kosmos] is judged.
2 Co 4: 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
The world can disfigure our character, pock our person, and in some cases mark the Christian for life. Some Christians bear their spiritual scars to death. The world system plays for keeps. If we listen to its drumbeat long enough, it will destroy us.
The world system puts pressure on the believer to adopt its values. It tempts the Christian to its sexual values, to run with those who have values different from Christianity, to sing questionable music, or to read filthy material. There must be a willingness to not be conformed to the pattern of the satanic world system. This system has many voices (philosophers, media people, ungodly friends, and scholars) who try to countervail God’s viewpoint on life. Ultimately these voices come from the schemes of the “evil one.”
1 Jn 5: 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world [kosmos] lies under the sway of the wicked one.
Eph 6: 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.