This is the second in a series of posts on the renewed creation of God - You! The Word of God tells us that when we are saved and justified by the free gift of God’s grace that we become a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (HCSB) 16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know ⌊Him in this way⌋.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
Being a new creation in Christ means that the old sinful person you once were has gone as a result of the finished work of Christ.
In my previous post in this series You are a New Creation - You Have a Renewed Heart, I said that renewal starts in our hearts, the center of life. That's why it's important that we ask God to continually renew our hearts, as well as our minds.
The mind is the key to the Christian life. The reason why non-Christians do not respond to Christian truth is that they can't understand spiritual truth
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NLT) But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
We’ve all heard the statement "the mind is the devil's playground". Most of the spiritual battles we fight against our enemy take place in the mind. It may be the guilt of a past sin that constantly comes to your mind or the cravings of an addiction that you haven't overcome. Maybe you have doubts about your faith or your ability to accomplish what God has shown you that He wants you to do.
The struggles may not be identical, but many Christians are caught up in major battles in their mind. The promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 sounds great “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” , but when reality hits the road-we fall short- especially in our thought life. The old way of thinking has not gone away. Many of us still struggle with temptations, bitterness, depression, fear, hopelessness, frustrations, problems, and evil thoughts. The battle still rages in the mind.
We can pray, and that is very important but, we need to do more than pray. The Holy Spirit says through Paul;
Romans 12:1-2 (HCSB1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Notice that he didn’t say pray that God will renew your mind. No, a reading of this scripture would indicate that you are to renew your mind.
God's Part vs. Our Part in Renewing Our Minds
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (HCSB)6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands.7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
When Jesus was preparing to leave earth and return to heaven, He specifically promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth.
John 16:13 (HCSB)13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.
God promises to bring us from darkness into light.
John 8:12 (HCSB) Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
When it comes to renewing your mind-God has already done His part. And it is clear that He will not do your part.
First, you must accept responsibility for renewing your mind. It is your mind! We need to learn to think like God thinks. We need to get rid of our sinful attitudes, our negative, critical ways of thinking, our selfish thoughts.
We may not be able to stop certain thoughts from entering our mind. It’s what we do with that thought that’s important. Our immediate response to that thought shows whether or not we are exercising the renewal of our mind.
Much of what we think about is directly connected to what we allow into our mind. If we, for example, put pornography, or gaining wealth at any cost into our minds, that is what we will end up thinking about. If it stays on our minds then the whole of our life is affected.
Romans 16:19 (HCSB) The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise about what is good, yet innocent about what is evil.
We need to guard our minds and not fill them with garbage. This includes what we watch on TV, what we read, and the music we listen to.
Scriptures about Renewing Your Mind
Romans 12:2 tells us the benefits of a renewed mind but it doesn’t tell us how to do it.
How do we renew our minds? By spending time in God’s word, meditating on it, listening to it, applying it.
The only way to replace the junk in our minds and the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with the truth of God’s Word. The only infallible source of God’s truth is His revealed Word, the Bible. Renewal of our minds comes as we expose ourselves to God’s Word. We should involve ourselves in frequent attendance at a bible teaching church, personal Bible study, and group Bible study. I cannot overemphasize the role and importance of a church that believes in preaching the Word, reading the Word, and singing the Word in helping us renew our minds.
1. Philippians 4:8 (HCSB)8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
2. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (HCSB) Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
3. Psalm 119:11 (HCSB) I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
4. Ephesians 4:20-24 (HCSB) 20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah,21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus.22 You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires;23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds;24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s ⌊likeness⌋ in righteousness and purity of the truth.
5. 1 Peter 1:13 (HCSB) Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
6. Philippians 4:6-7 (HCSB) Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
7. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (HCSB)4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.6 And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.
8. Colossians 3:2-3 (HCSB)2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.
9. John 8:31-32 (HCSB) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples.32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
10. Joshua 1:8-9 (HCSB)8 This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
11. Philippians 2:5-8 (NKJV)5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
12. 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV) For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
13. Romans 8:5 (HCSB) For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.
There are no shortcuts. There is no magical formula for renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with God’s Word. This was Jesus' prayer for those who follow Him;
John 17:17 (HCSB) Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.
The Mind of Christ
Two of the scriptures I list in the section above (1 Corinthians 2:16 and Philippians 2:5-8) talk about the mind of Christ. It’s true that Christians, those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can renew their minds so that they can have the mind of Christ. In you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord And Savior, you don't have a renewed mind. Matter of fact, without Jesus you can't even begin to really understand what you read or hear in the Word of God. And if you can't comprehend what you read it is next-to-impossible to put on the mind of Christ.
You want to have the mind of Christ so you;
Ephesians 3:18 (HCSB)18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth ⌊of God’s love⌋,
Here’s what you need do right now;
Pray this prayer in all sincerity. It doesn’t matter where you are. You may be at you desk on your computer, or somewhere on your laptop, you may be reading this on your smartphone, or your tablet. It doesn’t matter just pray in all sincerity. Don’t just say it if you don’t really mean it, because if you do you will just be speaking words. But if you are tired of trying to change things in your own power, and are ready to turn your life over to the One who can make you a new creature with a renewed heart and mind pray;
“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”
If you truly understand and believe what you just prayed then these promises of eternal life apply to you. So do all the other promises that God has made to believers. To find out what they are and how they apply to you find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God my brother or sister.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.