The Renewed Mind

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Foundational Scripture
Romans 12:2

  And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.

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In the life of a Christian believer there are two basic things which occur when they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The first of which is that by their heart filled acceptance of Jesus as Savior and through the profession of their faith, they receive salvation through the forgiveness of their sins which comes through His finished work.

(Rom 10:8)  But what saith the scripture?  The word is nigh thee; even in thy mouth and in thy heart. This is the word of faith, which we preach.

(Rom 10:9)  For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(Rom 10:10)  For, with the heart, we believe unto justice: but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.

The problem within the body of Christ today, as I see it, is that many believers believe their salvation, in and of itself, was the purpose of Christ’s coming and the end all of His ministry here on Earth.  Subsequently these people remain as spiritual babes in Christ.  They never really mature in their spiritual lives.  They believe that the cleansing and remission of their sins makes them completely born again and that they are now in the image and likeness of our Lord Jesus.

This is simply not the truth.

Yes they have become perfected in their spirit and given all of the tools that they need to become like Him, but at this time there has been no transformation in the soul.  They have not been renewed of mind and have not begun their transformation into the image and likeness of Christ.  They still think like the world thinks, speak as the world speaks and, for the most part, act as the world acts.

They have accepted what the world has told them about receiving Christ as Savior but have ignored the Word of God in terms of receiving Him as Lord!

Jesus makes the claim that in order for one to be “born again” he/she must do two things.

(Joh 3:5)  Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Notice here that Jesus begins with the words; amen, amen (so be it, so be it).  When a word is repeated in scripture it is the same thing as using all capitol letters or making the letters bold and or underlining words on a word processor.  It means that this is of great importance.  In this case Jesus is establishing the importance of being born again.

Unless a man/woman be born again OF WATER AND THE HOLY GHOST, he/she can’t enter into the Kingdom of God.  Let’s take a closer look at what our Lord is telling us here:

The term born again (gennaō ) means to be regenerated.  Scripture does not say that we are regenerated when we accept Jesus as Lord for Jesus Himself is telling us otherwise.  Salvation (forgiveness of sin) and regeneration (being born again) are two separate events.

  • Salvation, cleanses us of all sin and puts us in right standing with God so that we will escape the wrath of God which is to come.  Salvation is something that happens in the now but is purposed for a future time or event.
  • Regeneration encompasses  the change within the inner man, which happens at the time of salvation, so that we can be changed into the image and likeness of our Lord Jesus and is purposed for the here and now.

When we receive our salvation it means that the price for our sins, past, present and future have been paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.  This is not regeneration it is sanctification!

Regeneration begins when we are “born again of water and the Holy Ghost” and continues as we are transformed into the image of our Lord from faith to faith and transliterated into the kingdom of God as spirit beings while we are present on the earth.

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Being Born Again of Water

Now many interpret this as being water baptism which is an outward expression of an inward change.  Water baptism does not, in and of itself, cleanse you of anything.  It is, among other things,  an expression or  admission or confession, if you will, that you are a sinner and you’re need to be cleansed from sin.  When we make this confession we are given the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

The water Jesus is speaking of here is the cleansing of the church (the called out) by the word of God.

(Eph 5:26)  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

(Eph 5:27)  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

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(Joh 4:14)  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Jesus is saying that when we drink the water of His word it shall be in us, as wells of water, springing up into ever lasting life.  This water, His word, is the same water that cleanses our mind (soul).  His words have the power to remove us from the ways of the world by renewing the way we think (which is literal repentance).  His words lead us onto all truth.  His words are spirit and they are life!

(Joh 6:63)  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

It is the spirit that is regenerated and made perfect at the time of salvation.  Regeneration of the soul begins with the renewing if the mind which  comes from the washing or cleansing of our mind through receiving (taking hold of) the words of our Lord.  His words are our spiritual our food and drink.  They are our spiritual manna from heaven.

Glory to God and to The Lamb.

(Joh 6:57)  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

(Joh 6:58)  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

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Being Born Again of The Holy Spirit

(1Pe 1:22)  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

(1Pe 1:23)  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

(1Pe 1:24)  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

(1Pe 1:25)  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

It is FIRST by the washing of the word and the abeyance of that word “through the Spirit” which purifies (makes clean) our souls (minds)!

(Rom 8:5)  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

When we sound like the world, act like the world and think as those who are in the world, we must question if we are obeying what Jesus is telling us here.  At the very least we must question our spiritual growth in terms of the renewing of our minds in relation to how we live our lives.

Are we living a truly spiritual life or a carnal one that looks spiritual on the outside?

The mind in the process of renewal begins to set aside what the ways of the world and stands on the word of God alone.  When we are spiritually born again we are born of incorruptible seed by the word of God (1Pet 1:23) and we put off the world when the seed planted at salvation is watered by the word of truth.

Accepting Jesus as Savior (our salvation) is only the first step.  The actual cleansing and regeneration of our soul comes when we receive the word of God, as revealed by the Holy Spirit, into our soul and do that which we have learned.  This is receiving Jesus as Lord just as Jesus received the Father as His Lord!  We change from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive.  That however does not mean that we are made immediately wholly matured in Christ.

The problem within the body of Christ today is:

(Ecc 1:9)  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Christians are still following the precepts of men and not the precepts of God.  These are religious and not spiritual people.  They live in the flesh, pray in the flesh, worship God in the flesh, even having a fleshy (carnal) kind of faith and all of the time believing that they are operating in the spirit they are in fact operating out of their flesh.

Now these brothers and sisters are not doing these things deliberately or even knowingly. The simple truth is that they have been mislead by false preachers and teachers who have, for all intent and purposes, shut off the kingdom of heaven to them.  These people are believing the words and doctrines of men and not standing firmly on solid scriptural ground.

Where these people are held accountable however is in not proving all spirits, reading the word of God for themselves and not accepting the word of truth from God’s true oracles or by direct divine revelation from God Himself through His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Why do these not accept the true word of God?

Because there is nothing new under the sun.  It was the same in the days of old, it is the same today and it will be the same tomorrow.

One of the biggest lies believed by Christian believers, that is come straight out of the pits of hell, is that God created and made man carnal beings.  Believers view themselves as physical bodies with spirits.  They do so because that is what the world tells them to believe.  And this because the world is at enmity with God and the word of God clearly tells us something completely different from what the world tells us.  These have not washed and renewed their minds.  Subsequently there is no true transformation.

Do we, as born again believers, use our physical eyes, ears, heart and mind to understand the deep things of God or do we rely on spiritual discernment, revelation knowledge and God given wisdom?   Do we truly understand the difference between the carnal and the spiritual?  Do we even believe there is a difference?

Let’s begin here:

(Joh 6:63)  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

We have already seen that the word “quickeneth” means to regenerate.  To further illustrate the point our Lord claims; “the flesh profiteth nothing”.  Jesus is saying that the flesh doesn’t profit directly from His words.  His words are “spirit” and they are “life”.  His words transform the spiritual man (the soul) not the carnal man (flesh).

Why is it so important to see ourselves as spiritual beings and not carnal?

Because what we believe is what we become.  If we believe that we are physical beings we will not grow spiritually.  If we believe that the Spiritual gifts ended with the apostles we will never operate in those gifts.  If we believe in our human understanding above Spiritual revelation we will never gain true wisdom.  No where does it say within the word of God that faith comes from our own understanding of the word of God.  The word says “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17).

You see brothers and sisters many Christians are in the midst of an identity crisis (Click Here  for more on this topic).  What and who they believe they are is based on their own understanding (not divine revelation) and subsequently the kingdom of God has been shut off to them (Click Here for more on this topic).

When these people look at the natural, physical world they believe what their natural senses (carnal eyes, ears and understanding) are telling them and not in what the word of God is telling them.

The bible is our spiritual mirror and shows us who we truly are in Christ and how our Father in heaven sees us.

Which mirror do you believe?

Who’s words do you stand on?

God tells us that we were created in His image and likeness?

Is God a spirit being or a carnal being?

The first step in the renewing of your mind is to cleanse it by reading the word of God or to hear that word of truth from a true anointed oracle of God.  The second step is to receive the word of God into your inner man/woman as being the truth in spite of what the world tells you and that which your own understanding tells you.  We are to accept the truth of God’s word as given to us through the Holy Spirit above all else even when it seems to defy logic and reason because the ways of God are higher than our ways.  Amen!

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The Process – God’s Method

The first thing that ALL must do is Repent!

This is the clarion call of our Lord from the very beginning of His earthly ministry.  It was also the call of John the Baptist before Him who was sent to make straight the path for our Lord’s ministry.

To repent literally means to change the way one thinks.  In biblical context it means to shed the old man and put on Christ.  To shed old customs and traditions and follow the ways of Jesus.

The Second Thing is to Receive Jesus as Savior!

Having changed the way we think, we come to the knowledge and understanding that we are filthy rags and sinners who woefully fall short of the will of our holy God and that because we can not meet His standard of righteousness we are in desperate need of a Savior.

The Third Thing is to Receive Jesus as Lord!

Receiving Jesus as the atonement for the remission of our sins is not the same as receiving Him as Lord.  Receiving Him as Lord means that we subjugate our selves to His Lordship.  It means that we recognize and accept Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that we do His will just as He did the will of the Father.

It means that He alone is our Shepard and that we have become His sheep.  It means that we willingly yoke ourselves with Him so that we walk with Him and He with us and within us through the person of the Holy Spirit.

The Forth Thing is to Cleanse and Renew our Soul (mind)!

We wash our mind by reading the word of God.  The water of the word of truth cleanses our minds of the ways of the world.  We make the willful decision to only believe the word of truth.  We do not rely on what our natural senses, the wisdom of the world or what our own understanding tell us.

(1Co 1:19)  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

The Fifth Thing is to Prove The Will of God

Romans 12:2 tells us that the purpose of the renewing of our mind, the reason for our transformation, is to prove (test) the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Now our Lord Jesus is not only the fulfillment of the law and the perfect atonement sacrifice for the sins of the world,  He is also the good and acceptable and perfect will of God manifested in the flesh.  He only spoke the words that the Father told Him to speak and only did what He saw the Father do.

Therefore proving or testing the will of God means to take that which you have learned through not conforming to the world, through the washing by the word of truth, through the renewal of your mind, and the beginning of your transformation process and apply them to your life.

In other words become doers of the word and not hearers only, or walk the talk and not just talk the talk!

As we know the word of God does not come back void.  If Jesus says ask and  you will receive, then ask.  If He said that good will overcome evil do not respond to evil with evil respond by doing good and see the results.  If Jesus said love your enemy, bless those who curse you and forgive those who wrong you, then do these things and see for yourselves that the word of God is the word of truth. If Jesus says to resist the devil and He will flee from you do it and watch Him run!

Put all that Jesus has said to the test and see for yourselves that the word of truth is the absolute truth.  Glory to God!

As you prove the word of God your belief becomes refined as does gold.  The more the impurities (doubt – fear – worry) that are burned away (proving)  the greater value the word becomes to you.  Therein is our faith perfected and we begin to call that which is not seen in the world into the world.

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Conclusion

The renewed mind knows one simple truth and that is that we, in and of ourselves, are unable to understand the things of God,  walk within His will, or please Him in any way through our own efforts.

(Rom 8:5)  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

(Rom 8:6)  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

(Rom 8:7)  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

(Rom 8:8)  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

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(Joh 14:16)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

(Joh 14:17)  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

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(Joh 14:26)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Holy Spirit Line(Joh 16:13)  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

(Joh 16:14)  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

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 The person who’s mind is being renewed has put off the old man.  He has cast out the ways of the world and receives only the things of God.  He or she relies not on themselves, their own wisdom or understanding, they rely on the power of the Holy Spirit of God to lead them and teach them the ways of God which are foolishness to the minds or men (carnally minded).

They have put on Christ and have began to become like Him.

You see brothers and sisters our transformation into the image and likeness of our Lord is not about the do’s and don’ts of religion it is about building a relationship of trust and faith with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and each other as members of the unified body of Christ, tightly knit together as one in all and all in one!

And this through the renewal of the mind, receiving the doctrines of our Lord and beginning to live “the way” that Jesus intended us to live to the end being overcoming the world and becoming sons and daughters of God.

May the Lord bless us all with His knowledge, wisdom, understanding, peace, rest and most of all with His Love, in the name of Jesus.  Amen!

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One Response to The Renewed Mind

  1. Randy Johnson says:

    My dad has leukemia. His name is Charles Johnson. After having a bunch of chemotherapy treatments, they thought he was cured but sadly it has returned. I’m praying for him. I’ll really appreciate it if everybody who reads this prays for him also. Thank you for your prayers.

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