World of Faith

Changing Our Thinking – Part Two: Renewing Our Minds | March 29, 2007

This week I am continuing my series on “Changing Our Thinking,” and I am going to discuss renewing the mind. But before I get into that, I want to encourage everyone reading this to check out Last week, I discussed my pastor and my church, and this is the website for where I belong, Faith Church in Edmond, OK. I will also include a link to it in the list off to the side.

Let’s begin in Romans 12:1-2 (NAS), which is they key Scripture passage that discusses renewing the mind, the first key to changing our thinking, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The first thing this passage (in verse 2) states about renewing the mind is that we cannot “be conformed” to this world. We cannot be carnal Christians, going about doing their own thing. Peter also writes about this in 1 Peter 1:13-16 (NAS), “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts, which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be Holy, for I am Holy.’” WOW — that is a lot to swallow. This passage also is about renewing the mind, or as Peter says, “preparing” the mind. And what are we to be “prepared” for? Action — because faith without works is dead. Peter emphasizes here that we cannot be conformed or go back to the “former lusts,” or whatever ensnared us before we were saved. We are to live holy, godly lives as children of God. We are, in fact, according to 2 Cor. 5:17, a “new creature,” or in some translations, a “new creation” in Christ. We are a “new man.” So, we cannot live carnal lives, we must live holy, godly lives.

Now, going back to Romans 12:2, what is the purpose of renewing our minds? According to verse 2, it is to “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” As Christians, we can KNOW the will and plan for God in our lives. Some will disagree with this, but the Scriptures speak to the contrary. Eph. 5:17 states, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” We can discern the Lord’s will. Paul also exhorts in Col. 1:9-10, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Now, the Scripture states that some things are the will of God for every Christian believer. For example, 1 Thess. 4:3 expressly states that sanctification and abstention from sexual immorality is clearly the will of God for the Christian believer. Likewise, we can also pray and discern God’s specific will for our lives in other areas not covered directly by the Scriptures (e.g. career, who we marry, other family decisions specific to our needs, etc.) However, such must be in accord with the Scriptures, because that is how the will of God becomes good and acceptable and perfect. And that is the reason why we must renew our minds. We must be in the Word of God, and in prayer, daily, meditating on the Word of God, so that we can attain “the mind of Christ,” and that will be the subject for next week’s entry.


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