What does it mean to "not be conformed to this world"? and to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God"
Well, Romans 1-11- Tells us that, left to ourselves, we all deserve nothing less than Hell, and there was nothing in us worth saving, but Christ so loves you He died for you anyway because everything is for His glory, so 12v1 therefore….. “….present your bodies [all of you, your eyes, body and every thought] a living sacrifice, holy [set apart from the world and to God embracing and being obedient to His will], acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed [shaped and moulded by] to this world [basically anything that goes against the will of God, the ideals, morals, etc of this age], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God".
Now it's important that we don't just separate from ungodly things for the sake of religious separation otherwise we are no better than Pharisaical legalism, but rather we should separate unto Jesus Christ, and because of the love of Christ in what He has done for us, it is each brother's reasonable service to do this.
I suggest a good study is to read all of the New Testament Epistles from 1 Corinthians to 3 John, with special attention asking what does God require of me', and marking all those verses which deal with 'putting off the old man and putting on the new'. And when you've finished do the same with proverbs.
David wrote in Psalm 1: " 1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
What is the council of the ungodly? It is the ways, advice, morals of those outside of the will of God as revealed in His inspired and infallible Word the Bible. And "Nor stands in the path of sinners" avoid corrupt influence that may corrupt your thinking/morals.
1 Tim 4:7b: "..exercise yourself toward godliness."
The word 'exercise' here, gives the picture of an athlete in disciplined training. In our case we are to focus our efforts towards godliness.
While many acknowledge James 1: 27 "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble...", people normally miss the second half of the verse: "...and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."
1 Tim 4:12: "....be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
Conduct is how we go about our lives. What is purity? If someone put a jug of the finest fresh water in front of you and it had just one tiny drop of sewage in it, would you drink it? If we read our Bible and pray, but then put on a TV and watch films/soaps with filthy language, adultery etc, then we are polluting our minds.
James 1: 21-22: says "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
In this excellent short video Ray Comfort shows the absurdity of Christians watching films that contain sex and blasphemy. If we do we are basically prostituting others to sin for us. The video asks the question "Would you watch a movie that uses your mother's name as a cuss word?" and so why are people so ready to watch a movie that uses God's name as a cuss word.
Listen to this episode of CrossTalkAmerica edition Movie Endorsing Pastors on the sin of the churches willingness to watch blasphemous media.
Jesus said in Matthew 5: 27-30 ““You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
Matt 6: 13 “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” There is no point in praying this and then putting MTV on.
Matt 6:22-23 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
As Paul Washer said "When a brother tells me he's struggling with his thought life, my question for him is 'where are your eyes going?'"
1 Tim 4:16: "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."