Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Renewing Your Mind


Romans 12:1-2


Introduction:

·         The reality is that the battleground of the mind will make a great difference in how you live your life. Victory or defeat?

·         Just ask Paul! Rom 7:19-25- battleground of the mind

o   But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind

o   In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

o   There is a law/principle at war against the mind!

·         Wrong thinking leads to wrong doing.

·         The Devil is after our minds! An idle mind is the devil’s playground they say.

·         One preacher said, “God gives us the revelation of sacred Scripture in order for us to have our minds changed so we begin to think like Jesus. Sanctification and spiritual growth is all about this. If you just have it in your mind and you don’t have it in your heart, you don’t have it. But you can’t have it in your heart without first having it in your mind.”

·         One of the reasons I especially enjoy the ministry of John Van Gelderen is that he not only stirs our hearts, but he stirs our minds- he causes us to think. There is the reality that knowledge puffs up, but this is not just about acquiring data- it’s a pursuit of the mind of Christ!

·         We are talking about getting and maintaining a spiritual mindset. Because we have this mindset, it ought to permeate how we view life, and the world! Our worldview, our politics, our business, our philosophy ought to be viewed in light of our renewed mind!

·         Interestingly when we are saved, we can think how Christ thinks (having the mind of Christ).

·         If we desire to continue in whatever victory God has given us, it will only happen by renewing our minds!

 

I.                   The Renewed Mind- Romans 12:2, Eph. 4:23

a.       Jesus said “Ye must be born again!” We need the new birth, regeneration, to have our sins washed away and have a home in heaven. This comes by faith in Christ. It is then, and only then we can be made new in Christ. When we are saved our spirit is made new- partakers of the divine nature, our body will one day be new, but our minds are becoming new. We must constantly renew our minds in following the Lord.

b.      Prov 21:27- The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?” Works before salvation- don’t work! They are just dead works!

c.       Romans 8:5- Because the carnal mind is enmity against God

d.      Col 1:21- And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

e.      Romans 12:2 warns us that the “world system” – the popular culture and manner of thinking that is in rebellion against God – will try to conform us, mold us into its ungodly pattern, and that process must be resisted.

f.        Music, movies, entertainment, politics, philosophy, etc. The world will continue trying to force you into its mold. The solution is to continue allowing your mind to be transformed and renewed!

g.       We don’t just check our minds at the door when we come to church!

h.      Sometimes our minds have questions- is this for real? Should I be doing this? We’ve all been there- but this is why we must have our minds renewed continually.

i.         The battle ground between conforming to the world and being transformed is within the mind of the believer. Christians must think differently. We need a renewed mind!

j.        This renewed mind is not a feeling, it is a knowing!

k.       The life by feeling will never know the consistent, and continual transforming power of God, because it ignores the renewing of the mind.

l.         Guzik: God is never against the principles of feeling and doing. He is a God of powerful and passionate feeling and He commands us to be doers. Yet feelings and doing are completely insufficient foundations for the Christian life. The first questions cannot be “How do I feel?” or “What do I do?” Rather, they must be “What is true here? What does God’s Word say?”

m.    Don’t be conformed, be transformed: This is the ancient Greek word metamorphoo – describing a metamorphosis. The same word is used to describe Jesus in His transfiguration (Mark 9:2-3). Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration. This is a glorious transformation!

n.      The only other place Paul uses this word for transformed is in 2 Corinthians 3:18. For Paul, this transformation and renewing of our minds takes place as we behold the face of God, spending time in His glory.

o.      Only the Holy Spirit can transform!

p.      I point this out for one reason: to make the point that the nonconformity to the world doesn’t just mean avoiding worldly behaviors. That’s included. But you can avoid all kinds of worldly behaviors and not be transformed inside out- Matthew 17:2ff

q.      Transformation is not switching from the to-do list of the flesh to the to-do list of the law. It’s not a new list of moral behaviors. It is the triumphant power and transformation of the Holy Spirit!

r.        In Romans 12:2 Paul now focuses on one critical way we are transformed— “the renewal of your mind.”

s.       What’s wrong with the human mind? Why does our mind need renewing? And what does this renewal look like? And how can we pursue and enjoy this renewal?

t.        The problem with our minds- the fallen mind needs to be regenerated. We are made new at salvation but there is a sense we are to continue this renewal as a part of our sanctification- our daily walk

u.      Eph. 4:23- The mind has a “spirit.” In other words, our mind has what we call a “mindset.” It doesn’t just have a view, it has a viewpoint. It doesn’t just have the power to perceive and detect; it also has a posture, a demeanor, a bearing, an attitude, a bent. “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

v.       Our minds have a bent, a mindset that is hostile to the absolute supremacy of God.

w.     Rom. 12:1 deals with yielding and surrendering our entire beings to God- this would include our minds!

x.       Now it makes perfect sense when verse 2 says that, in order for that to happen, our minds must be renewed. Why? Because our minds are not by nature God-worshiping minds. They are by nature self-worshiping minds.

y.       2 Corinthians 3:18  What does the Spirit do to “transform” us into the image of the Son of God? He enables us to “behold the glory of the Lord.” This is how the mind is renewed — by steadfastly gazing at the glories of Christ for what they really are. He exposes the mind to Christ-exalting truth. That is, he must lead us to hear the gospel, to read the Bible, to study Christ-exalting writings of great, spiritual men, enjoy fellowship with spiritual believers in the church, etc.

z.       What should we do to obey Romans 12:2- We partner with the Holy Spirit in his precious and all-important work. We pursue Christ-exalting truth and influences!

aa.   Church attendance, bible reading, reading good Christian books and biographies. Continue fanning the flame of revival!

bb.  Vines on renewal- the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life; in Tts 3:5, where "the renewing of the Holy Spirit" is not a fresh bestowment of the Spirit, but a revival of His power, developing the Christian life; this passage stresses the continual operation of the indwelling Spirit of God; the Romans passage stresses the willing response on the part of the believer.

II.                 The Humble Mind- Philippians 2:5-8

a.       Christ wanted to fulfill God’s will above all else- that is the highest form of humility

                                                               i.      Not my will

                                                             ii.      Not my power

b.      Pride is a wicked sin which God hates! God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble

c.       The humble minded Christian is not phased by peer pressure

                                                               i.      The fear of man brings a snare

                                                             ii.      The righteous are bold as a lion!

                                                            iii.      Humility is all about obedience to God!

III.              The Sound Mind- II Tim 1:7- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

a.       Sound- “free from injury, damage, defect, disease, etc.; in good condition; healthy; robust.”

b.      Mark 5:15- And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

c.       There is an inbox, and an outbox

d.      Col 2:8- Rejecting the world’s wrong philosophies and traditions

                                                               i.      Evolution, Abortion, Homosexuality- all immorality!

                                                             ii.      Secular Humanism- Man’s attempt to have a fulfilled life apart from God.

e.      Embrace things that exalt Christ (books, fellowship, etc.)

f.        Double-minded Christians are unstable.

g.       Is. 26:3- Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

IV.              The Ready Mind- Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;- I Peter 1:13

a.       Gird up your loins! Be sober- serious-minded!

b.      At salvation we were given a new mindset, a new moral compass- are you following the compass? Are you keeping the compass in tune with God?

c.       “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…” I Chronicles 28:9

d.       “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”-Acts 17:11

e.      Nehemiah 4:6- the people had a mind to work!

f.        The point is not just to sit at home as “super-Christians” but to be ready to impact the world as beacons of God’s glory!

g.       Phil. 3:19- Warns about believers who mind earthly things.

 

Conclusion: “Let the mind of the master be the master of your mind.” Have you been thinking wrongly in some areas of your life? You can have the mind of Christ, thinking right, so that you do right! But, you have to make a decision! Thinking wrongly can make the difference between Heaven or Hell, or victory and defeat in the Christian life!

·         Illustr- butterfly- This picture of a monarch during metamorphosis is a loose comparison to the change a believer undergoes in the cocoon of divine grace. We know this change to be sanctification (John 17:17), a daily and growing separation from the old life to the new life in Christ (1 Peter 1:15; Hebrews 12:14). This change can take a lifetime.

·         Within our individual cocoons the power of sin begins to dissolve away as we learn to shed impure thoughts, unkind words, wrong actions. What was once appealing and necessary to crawl about in the world is now no longer desirable or well-suited for our new life. We have new desires, new hope, and a future. We learn to give up what belongs to the old to take what is part of the new

·         God inspires us to read the Bible, pray, and walk in His holy ways with the understanding there will be struggle (Ephesians 6:12).

·         Just as the monarch is not a passive player in its transformation, neither are we, and herein the hard part about living the Gospel. Though we struggle daily to live the life of Christ, the monarch struggles too but in a different way.

·         According to biologists, the struggle put forth by the monarch in its cocoon is necessary to strengthen the flight muscles!

·         So we must cooperate with the spirit as He transforms our minds.