THE RENEWED MIND
The Believer's Key To Power
When a person becomes born again of God's Spirit, that person becomes a three-fold being -- body, soul, and SPIRIT. However, to the surprise of many Christians, that person's mind DOES NOT CHANGE. Another most important point that most Christians do not understand is that the true God NEVER oversteps a person's free will. "God made me quit me smoking."† He may have inspired you to do so, but you quit smoking. You took the action. You believed and acted on a desire of your own heart. This is simply an example, but if you feel that something in your life is not in harmony with the Word of God, then YOU must ACT to overcome it. The true God NEVER possesses or controls. He wants you to love Him and act according to what He says in the Bible out of your own free will. This process of changing your thinking AND ACTIONS to line up with the Word of God is called the RENEWED MIND.
Why do Christians need to renew their mind to God's Word? Because many are:
1) weak, 2) poor, 3) sick, 4) striving, 5) uncertain, 6) full of fear, 7) factious,† 8) undisciplined, and 9) undedicated.
This important principle, which is your key to power, is covered most succinctly in THE BOOK OF ROMANS CHAPTER 12, VERSES 1 AND 2. Now, let's look at both Scriptures first and then we will diligently STUDY individual words and phrases as we progress.
Romans 12: 1, 2 -- I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is† your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is† that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
My prayer to God for you is that you understand and apply this principle in your life. You simply cannot receive God's deliverance in your life if you do not renew your mind. It is a basic foundational principle in order to live the more than abundant life promised in the gospel of John.
John 10: 10b -- . . . . . . . I [Jesus Christ] am come that they might life, and that they might have it †more abundantly.
Jesus Christ studied the Scriptures and was ready with the Word at all times. We must do the same until he returns the second time.
Back to Romans 12: 1, the word 'beseech' means a 'call to aid'. God is exhorting you to come to His aid by presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice unto Him. We are no good to God if we are dead. He wants us alive, active, faithful and totally committed to Him. God cannot move until we move. We are His arms, legs, hands, and mouth. If no one on earth believed the Word, God could not bless His people. The Word of God would not be affected -- it would still be truth. One person believing and acting on God's Word could change the course of the world. †History has proven this to be true.
Still in the first verse, the word 'reasonable' means 'rational or logical'. The word 'service' means 'divine obedience and adoration rendered to God'. It is only LOGICAL that if you say you love God and want to seek Him out ........... the only RATIONAL thing to do next is to get to know Him by studying God's Word. GOD IS HIS WORD. We don't become holy, sacred, and acceptable unto God by studying Sports Illustrated or Reader's Digest or the evening paper. We become holy and acceptable unto Him by getting to know Him. It is a commandment of the Lord that we STUDY HIS WORD as is clearly stated in II Timothy 2: 15 [look it up], and then logically we must do our very best to apply it to our life in everyday situations. And guess what? God wants you ALIVE. The true God never kills people!!
I Corinthians 15: 26 -- The last enemy that† shall be destroyed is† death.
Then death is an enemy. That's what the Word of God says and that is what it means.
John 10: 10 -- The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might life and that they might have it† more abundantly.
Steal, kill, and destroy versus A LIFE MORE THAN ABUNDANT -- which one will you choose?
I John 1: 5 -- This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Now let me ask you a question: Is death darkness? If the true God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ kills people, then the whole Bible falls to pieces. Remember God wants you ALIVE AND WELL. It is also His Will that we are in good health.
III John 2 -- Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
You must renew your mind to the truth of what God's Word says, not what your church or TV preacher says or what some philosopher says or someone who graduated from a theological cemetery (I mean seminary) says, unless it is the rightly divided Word of God which is the exception and not the rule. Many so-called teachers of God's Word have much zeal and very little knowledge. You should find someone who has zeal AND knowledge. God wants our love by our own free will, THEN He can bless us more than abundantly. Another point that you need to understand is that when you present yourself a living sacrifice to God, you become a doulos -- a bonded slave. This is not a negative concept at all because God promises to meet your every need and then some. He takes care of you all your days on this earth while we look forward to eternal life. There is no greater life. There is no real life outside of God's Word. The world has only a counterfeit existence that deceives even the very elect. YOU MUST KNOW THE GENUINE IF YOU ARE TO RECOGNIZE THE COUNTERFEIT. Until you know and apply God's Word, you will always be manipulated and controlled to some extent. It's our choice -- with God or against God -- there is no in-between. Letís repeat the second verse in Romans Chapter 12 and study it more closely part by part:
Romans 12: 2 -- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is †that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
God does not want you to be 'conformed' to this world. Why? Who is the god of this world?
II Corinthians 4: 4 -- In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The present God of this world is the devil, the adversary, the thief. Remember what that thief does from John 10: 10a? His ministry is to steal, kill, and destroy. SURELY, YOU DON'T WANT TO CONFORM TO THIS WORLD. The word for 'conformed' is suschematizo †in Greek and it means FASHIONED. Don't let the world shape and mold you because it will eventually steal, kill, and destroy you. That is all it can do. The secret to the devil's success is the secrecy of his moves. You should never forget that.
Now the second phrase of the verse tells us what we should do: . . . . . " but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, .............." This word TRANSFORMED is most interesting. The Greek word is metamorphoo †and it is where we get our English word metamorphosis. This is the biological process whereby a caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly. Let's look a little further into the Greek word for 'transformed'. Metamorphoo means transfigure, get a new figure in your mind (schema), a changed form.† When we renew our mind to God's Word, we change into a different person. We become more and more Christ-like, the more Word we know and apply. We actually change from the old man (caterpillar) to the new man (butterfly). You may thank me some day for what I am about to tell you. When you are driving a bicycle with crooked handlebars for many years and finally someone straightens them out, it's going to take some getting used to. When you grow with God, you will experience growing pains. Memorize the following Scriptures from Godís Word -- Philippians 4: 13 and I John 4: 4. You are going to need them. Remember to do your best and God will do the rest. Set moderate attainable goals.
Philippians 4: 13 -- I can do all things through Christ which [who] strengtheneth me.
I John 4: 4 -- Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Finally, we will study the last part of Romans, Chapter 12, verse 2: .......... "that ye may prove what is† that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." How do you prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God? BY RENEWING YOUR MIND. The word 'prove' means 'prove by test'. You will absolutely prove to yourself that God's Word is God's Will and that His Word never fails. When we make our minds think as the Word says we should, we will prove the Will of God.
Here are some other scriptures that you may find helpful on the subject of the renewed mind:
Romans 13: 14 -- But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil† the lusts thereof.
Ephesians 4: 22, 23 -- That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; AND BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT [life] OF YOUR MIND; [emphasis added]
Ephesians 4: 24 -- And that ye put on the new man, which after God is [was] created in righteousness and true holiness.
YOU MUST PUT ON THE MIND OF CHRIST BY STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD.