One of the most important and often neglected topics in our lives is the renewed mind. In order to see heaven on earth we must be renewed in our mind. That’s what repentance is, changing the way we think.
Today we begin a two part mini series if you will on Paul’s instructions for Christian living. It is not just important to understand our need for salvation but how we should live as Christians, and in a word we should live holy.
Now before we get into this, I want to make clear that holiness is not a list of law (rule) keeping, that is legalism. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were legalists not holy men. In saying that holiness is not law keeping, that does not mean that there is now law, or commandment. Jesus said a new command I give to you that you love God and love your neighbor.
The law came with commands that could not be kept, grace comes with commands that have the ability to fulfill themselves, the Holy Spirit within us.
Ephesians 4:17-18 NIV “So I tell you this, and insist on it in The Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. (18) They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”
The Message says it this way, “And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore.”
Notice that Paul insists that we no longer live in the futility of our thinking or go along with the crowd. This is very important for us as Christians to understand.
2 Corinthians 5:17 in the Amplified tells us that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation all together and that our old previous moral and spiritual condition is no more. We are fresh and new.
When Paul says don’t be like the Gentiles he is not telling us to become Jewish, he deals with that in other letters, he’s saying don’t be like the world in your way of thinking.
The Message brings out an interesting point, “they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.” It is crucial for us to understand that the earth realm we are living in is not our reality, the KINGDOM is our reality, we live from heaven to earth.
In the natural people function based on hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smell. In the Kingdom we function based on the Word of God through faith.
We walk by faith and not by sight and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We must understand that faith does not store up, once we use it in a situation it must be replenished. We must also understand that when it says faith comes by hearing it means hearing and not the hearing of a preacher but the hearing of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 AMP “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in my name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”
This is what the renewed mind is, having the mind of Christ, thinking from heavens side, and basing the entirety of our thought life and confession from the Word of God.
Scripture says they did not do this because of the hardness of their hearts. How do our hearts get hard? In this instance, when it comes to our thinking, I believe, it comes from having a faith based in the negative experience of another and not faith fully persuaded in and on the Word of God.
As a quick example someone prays for something and they don’t receive so from that point on the base every prayer on the fact that God didn’t answer that one. This is where a twisted understanding of sovereignty comes from, this is where we get the though of sometimes God does and sometimes He does not. This is why when ministers talk on prayer people always want to talk about why God will not answer or why He does not answer instead of why He does.
We cannot allow our hearts to get hard based on negative experience. The truth is we need to let our experience catch up with the truth and promises of God’s Word. Also, there is never lack on God’s end, it’s always on ours. If we don’t get an answer it is not because in God’s infinite wisdom He knew we didn’t need it, that sounds good but no Scripture on prayer will substantiate that. There can only be two main reasons why prayer doesn’t get answered, we ask for motives that are not pure or we don’t ask in faith, none of that has to do with God.
Now I know that is not the most popular thing to say but it is the most truthful. Don’t blame someone not getting healed on God, it wasn’t God’s fault, something in the life of the person wasn’t what it needed to be. Now before you get upset consider this, Is it God’s will that none should perish but all inherit eternal life? Yes. Are people perishing? Yes. Now we establish that’s not God’s will yet it happens, it is the same with healing, prosperity, walking in holiness, and every other aspect of life, we have a part to play and we must take responsibility for our own faith or lack thereof.
Now before you think I am beating on you, I say all that to bring you to a high level of faith, to encourage you to increase. As believers we don’t have to sin, all over Scripture the command to be holy is given, we wouldn’t have been given the command if the Holy Spirit wasn’t going to enable us to keep that command.
Let’s get back to Ephesians 4:19-24 NIV “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. (20) That, however, is not the way of life you learned (21) when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. (22) You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; (23) to be made new in the attitude of your minds; (24) and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
They lost sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, they quit hearing His voice because they became more in tune with the knowledge of the world instead of the knowledge of the Word.
If you want to stop a sin issue in your life you have got to consume the Word. On the issue of sin, you need to do what David did in Psalm fifty-one and asked to be cleansed and renewed in heart. Jesus called that being sanctified in John 17:17.
What does it mean to be sanctified? Instead of giving you a definition, I’ll give you a Scripture. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 NIV “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; (4) that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, (5) not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; (6) and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. (7) For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”
Sanctification is simply the discarding of the old nature and an embracement of holy living.
Sanctification is a work in the heart but our mind must still be renewed in the Word of God.
The New Living Translation says this in verses twenty-two through twenty-four. “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. (23) Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. (24) Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
We no longer have to live according to the old nature. Notice it says let the Spirit, The Spirit won’t renew our minds unless we allow it. We allow it by getting in the Word. We must put our affections on things of the Kingdom not the earth. When we renew our minds we become truly holy.
The renewed mind is a holy mind and the renewed mind leads to a holy life which leads to the Kingdom being realized on earth as it is in heaven.
If you have thought patterns that aren’t renewed today, then today is the day to ask the Holy Spirit by the Word of God to renew your mind. Repent of your current thought processes and opinions that don’t line up with the Word and begin renewing your mind with the Word of God.
Renewing the mind is more than just being able to quote scripture it is truly thinking from heaven towards earth.
If you need to renew your mind in a certain area get on YouVersion, if you don’t have YouVersion download the APP and create and account then search for a plan that relates to the area you need to be renewed in.
To further your understanding on the renewed mind I recommend the following books:
The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind by Bill Johnson
Re Think Your Life by Stan Toler
New Creation Realities by E. W. Kenyon
Part of the renewed mind also deals with being renewed in your confession so I also recommend The Power of Your Words by Don Gossett and E. W. Kenyon as well as Dr. Bill Winston’s The Law of Confession.