By Jeff Rath 7-2006
Each person is born with a genetic disease called sin nature. We inherited it from Adam. This gives us our carnal nature. It is the reason we get sick and eventually die. But when we are born again of Godís spirit we have a new nature that does not get sick and lives forever. The same spiritual power that created the heavens and earth is in us, but if we donít renew our minds, we will continue to live the carnal nature.
Jesus Christ was born a little more than 2000 years ago. He grew up in an average working family in relative obscurity. He did not have great wealth or high social standing. He did not get a higher education. In his infancy, he startled a king; in his childhood, he puzzled doctors and scholars; in manhood, he walked on water, quieted storms, healed the sick, and raised the dead. He never wrote a book, and yet more books have been written about him than anyone else. His teachings have been translated into over 1000 different languages. Every time we date a document, we acknowledge his birth. Every week we get a day off from work to worship the God that he declared. He never founded a college, but he has more students than all of the colleges put together. In his death, he paid for our sins. In his resurrection, he gave us everlasting life. In his ascension, he gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
THE BIBLE: This book contains Ė the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the travelerís map, the pilgrimís staff, the pilotís compass, the soldierís sword, and the Christianís character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, the gates of hell disclosed. CHRIST IS ITS GRAND SUBJECT, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered for ever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. -Author Unknown
Change Your Thinking
Sometimes when we think we know something, we can take a fresh look at it and see something new. We can read a verse of scripture over and over, but we can sometimes miss some of the truth in that verse. We must go to the Word with a fresh mind expecting to see something new. It may be an old truth, but to us it is new.
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.Ephesians 4:23 KJV And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;Ephesians 4:23 NIV to be made new in the attitude of your minds;Philippians 2:5 KJV Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Philippians 2:5 NIV Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
What does it mean to renew our minds? What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? We must not only have the same thoughts as Jesus Christ, we must also have his attitudes, passions, and love. When we renew our minds we become the Devilís worst nightmare . . . Christians with a GOOD attitude! The renewed mind is more than just memorizing a scripture. The Pharisees memorized scripture, but they applied it very differently than Jesus Christ did.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation [hypocracy]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
The renewed mind has to be love without hypocracy. It is more than just discipline. Discipline can be used for good or evil, discipline for disciplineís sake is not the renewed mind. We must have the love of God in our hearts and the self discipline to speak it to others with the goal of helping them. That is the renewed mind.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
What did God so love? The trees? The mountains? The animals? NO! God loved the PEOPLE. In witchcraft and the occult, mother earth and the animals are loved and esteemed to be more important than people. The whole reason for the earth is for mankind. When we renew our minds, we also love Godís people. That means that we love our Christian brothers and sisters.
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Another aspect of the renewed mind is passion. We must have a great desire to help Godís people. We must have a passion to put Godís Word on in our minds and carry it out with love.
Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
The apex of the renewed mind is when we get so passionate about the Word of God that the Word of God is even more important to us than eating. Then feeding our minds with the Word of God becomes more important to us than feeding our bellies. Then the reason we eat is so that we can have a healthy body to go forward and help Godís people. We get passionate about studying the Word of God, so we can put on the mind of Christ; we operate the self discipline to have the same attitudes that Jesus Christ had. We then speak the truth with all love, boldness, and compassion.
Led By The Spirit
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Here "Walk in the Spirit" is contrasted with the lusts or desires of the flesh. Before you walk in the spirit, you must have spiritual thoughts, and likewise before you fulfill the lust of the flesh, you have to have carnal thoughts. Thoughts and attitudes precede actions.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.
The word for lust is also translated desire. It signifies a strong desire. Jesus Christ had a strong desire to eat the Passover with his disciples, but during the Passover he was on the cross. So he had an even greater desire to do God's Word. Jesus Christ was led by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The law has a way to deal with the works of the flesh ... punishment. But there is a better way. Instead of just punishing for the behavior, God wants us to change our thinking. Instead of punishing for the behavior, God has made a way to eliminate the cause of that behavior by having us think spiritual thoughts ... to be led by the spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
When we renew our minds, then we decide to be led by the spirit and to walk in the spirit. Then we will have spiritual thoughts and we will bring forth spiritual fruit. We change our thoughts and attitudes and we then change the fruit in our life.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Man does not naturally come to think spiritual thoughts on his own. We must go to God's Word to get God's thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Left to his own devices man does not think the thoughts of God.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
That is NOT having the mind of Christ. That is NOT thinking God's thoughts. That is NOT the renewed mind. That is NOT a godly attitude.
Romans 12:1 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.
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.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
God does not want martyrs. God wants us to live for and with Him. When we renew our minds to the Word of God, we are transformed. We have the Word of God and also God has put the measure of faith in each of us as part of the gift of holy spirit that we receive when we are born again. We don't get high minded with an unfounded self confidence thinking that we can have a form of godliness on our own without God's Word in our minds.
2 Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
How to Renew Your Mind
God does not renew our minds for us. We must do it. We decide what to think. We change our thinking to line up with the Word of God. God does not possess or control us. He does not force us to renew our minds. God says we should "put it on."
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Renewing the mind is not rocket science. It does not take great intellect or an extremely high IQ. You do not need to know vast amounts of scripture or possess a Phd. What you need to do is learn some of Godís Word accurately and put it on in your mind. Then you need to let it rule.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
We decide what we let stay in our minds. Our minds are designed to think Godís Word. So we should "Let the word of Christ dwell" in us richly. This is how to renew our minds.
It is Good for You
Your mind is designed to think Godís Word. When you do it is good for your health, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Proverbs 4:21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
Proverbs 4:22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
When we speak Godís Word then we speak words of healing to other people. They then have to decide whether or not they will let those words reside in their thinking.
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 13:17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
The renewed mind is taking the spiritual knowledge of the Word of God, putting it on in your mind, and acting on it accordingly. It is called "renewing!" We have to keep doing it. We donít just do it once and then we are done. Itís like brushing your teeth. You donít just brush once and then never have to be concerned about cavities again. It is a process that you need to do several times a day. Well, it is the same with the renewed mind. You donít just read the Word once, believe it once, and then never have to renew your mind again. This world is set up to bombard us with 5 senses information that will contradict the Word of God. It is a continual process of controlling our thinking to line up with the Word of God.
ONE MAN AWAKEOne man awake can awaken another,The second can awaken his next door neighbor.Three awake can rouse the town,And turn the whole place upside down.And many awake can raise such a fuss,That it finally awakens the rest of us.One man up with dawn in his eyes,Multiplies. -Author Unknown
The dawn in our eyes is the renewed mind; it is the spark of the divine Creator. It is a person who has put on the spiritual knowledge of Godís Word and is acting on it in the love of God. When we go out in the world having put on the mind of Christ, the world will take notice; they canít help it.
Copyright Jeff Rath 2006