“And Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” Ephesians 4:23
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” Colossians 3:10
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12: 2
“…but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” 2 Corinthians 4:16
The Christ follower is currently partaking of a renewing process. This process is continual from the time since we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In order to understand this process, there are two key words that must be understood. The first word is “the renewing”, and the second word is “the mind”.
Let’s define the first, “the renewing”:
To renew: According to Webster’s Dictionary, to renew is, (1) to make new again, to make young, fresh, or strong again: to bring back into good condition (2) to give new spiritual strength to (3) to cause to exist again; reestablish; revive
The term, renew, gives the indication of something that at one time was new, but has lost its original first condition. It is the making new again of what is old, worn, or exhausted. It is to bring back to an original or unimpaired condition.
In the Greek, the term renewing in Romans 12:2, is anakainosis, which means a renewing or a renovation which makes a person different than in the past. It is to renew qualitatively.
Let’s now look at the second word, “the mind”:
The mind: Again, according to Webster’s Dictionary, the mind is, (1) memory; recollection or remembrance, (2) what one thinks; opinion (3) that which thinks, perceives, feels, wills; a) the seat or subject of consciousness, b) the thinking or perceiving part of consciousness, intellect, or intelligence c) attention; notice d) all of an individual’s conscious unit: psyche (4) the intellect in its normal state; reason
The mind is the central identifier of a person’s life. It is the main hub, from which our thoughts and the decision process takes place. According to the Bible, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). A man’s thoughts are a sum total of his life.
Now the renewing of the mind is the process by which the person is transformed. In other words, we are called to think differently than we did prior to serving the Lord. I would like to pause for a second to touch on a word which correlates with “the mind”, and that is “the heart”. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness”. The word “heart” here, in the Greek, is kardia, which the Scriptures attribute to it: thoughts, reasonings, understanding, will, judgment, designs, affections, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow, and anger. Therefore, the heart is used as a metonymy (a figure of speech in which the name of one thing is used in place of that of another) for the mind in general; the understanding; the will; the memory; the intention, affection, or desire; and the conscience.
In summary, your life should be reflecting continual change. It does not matter how much change, since this is a process that you must submit to individually, but certainly you should be reflecting some level of change since you accepted Christ into your life. This is our process of transformation, according to the Apostle Paul. To be transformed is “to change into another form”, in the Greek, metaorphoo.
We must continue to push forward to see that continual change by submitting our lives in obedience to what God is doing in us. We must defeat the old person in us which battles to take control of areas in our lives which we have already submitted. We must transform our thinking to live a life of faith of not only of the God we serve, but also a faith in the God we serve. That is to say a faith in all that He has established in His Word with regards to the life we should be living and the promises He has established for us.
As we read the Word of God, our minds enter into that place where change happens. Our thoughts begin to align themselves with the Scriptures in order to cause in us a Biblical reaction to circumstances. Our minds are transformed and old thoughts and habits are replaced by new thoughts and principles.
Only by renewing our minds can we put off the old man in us and his way of thinking, and put on the new man who continually grows into having the mind of Christ.
In order to receive all that God has for you, it is necessary to position yourself under the Biblical principles established by God. You must understand the conditions which releases the blessing of God and your ability to receive those blessings.
The Lord Jesus Christ provided an insight into what qualifies you to be able to receive from the God. Although this topic can be easily misinterpreted to establish an umbrella by which all things desired are measured, it is not the intention. It only opens up a truth established in Scripture with regards to your ability to receive from God, that which you have been waiting on, or asking for.
Let’s review the Scripture verses which establish the foundation of this article:
“All all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
The primary word in what is established above is “believe”. Your ability to believe is measured by your faith in God and what He has said in His Word about receiving. It does not matter what your circumstances are, or how impossible it may seem, “believing” qualifies you to receive from God that which you are asking for. This may seem overly simplistic since must would say that they do believe in God. However, we are talking here about believing what God has to say about the matter. This believe must surpass all things, including the circumstances surrounding your need.
If you have a need, God says in His Word that “He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). You must believe what God said, not what your circumstances are saying. When you believe Philippians 4:19, you put into action Matthew 21:22, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive.” The reverse to your believe is doubt. Take a look at what Jesus said in Mark 11:23, “…and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says”. By replacing doubt with believe you position yourself to receive.
Let’s take a look at Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. I want you to notice a few things in this verse:
- God said that you cannot please Him without faith (it is impossible).
- God said that if you come to Him, you must believe that He is.
- The term “and that He is” is a continuation of the believe statement. In other words, God said that you must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
How you receive is connected to how you believe. How you believe is connected to the things that are possible in your life. One area of believe is that you will receive what you believe. This in turn is connected to your expectations. If you are expecting a negative report, then you will receive a negative report. If you are expecting defeat in your circumstances, then defeat will come. If you are expecting not to receive from God, then your ability to receive from Him is hindered and you will continue to receive what you are believing.
Turn your ability to receive from God by removing doubt and believing what God has to say about your circumstances, and you will see the impossible become possible in your life.
In the subject of Bibliology (the study of the Bible), I thought it necessary to begin with this introduction. It represents the standard by which we should be studying theology.
A common phenomenon in the church today is the initial passion that new believers bring to the reading of the Word of God. New Christians dive into the Scriptures in search of understanding. However, as time goes by we slowly begin to see a dwindling and lost of interest, and most importantly, a lost of the importance of reading the Word of God daily.
The results can be seen on a recent poll of how many Christian actually read their Bibles. According to the results of the poll, 16% of Americans say that they read the Bible every day, 21% say they read it weekly, 12% say they read the Bible monthly, 10% say less than monthly and 41% say that they rarely or never read the Bible. (Source: http://www.centerforbibleengagement.org)
Another danger that we encounter is a moving away from the Scriptures and replacing it with the reading of materials that reference the text. Whether it be commentaries, Christian history books, writings by theologians (both past and present), they cannot replace the need to open the Bible and reading the text for yourself. Although there is nothing wrong with utilizing other references in its study, we have moved into an age where the place of the Bible is second to all other writings that are filled with its interpretations. We must use the Bible first and hold all other writings accountable, comparing what the Bible has to say about any given topics.
Why is it important to return to the study of the Bible? Well, it is in the Word that you find daily instructions for living a life for God. It is His revelation of Himself. It represents His revelation to you. The Bible is not just a book filled with stories and good advise. It is a guide to experiencing all that God has for you in this life. We find that we easily get caught up on the technicalities of its structure, only to diminish the application of its message.
So yes, the Bible can be viewed as a book composed of many other books and letters, written by many authors, in a span of thousands of years. It is filled with the accounts of many lives, poems and songs, and the history of a nation. It is a book that provides the accounts of creation and the introduction of man and his fall from an original position of relationship and intimacy with God.
However, it also gives an account of God’s plan of redemption put into action in Jesus our Lord. It is a revelation of the God we have chosen to serve. It provides us with instructions and corrections to living a victorious life in Christ. It provides the right words in our time of need. In it we will find a living Word that will discern our intentions, adapting itself to any circumstances, bypassing the age of its writing to become applicable to today’s world.
If you want to live a victorious life now, get passionate about reading the Word of God. You do not have to wait to get to heaven to begin living a blessed life.