Being a Christian (9)
12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.
God is at work in His people molding us into His image. In a season of busyness and confusion, let Him work and be obedient to follow Him wherever He leads.
The Gospel and Your Mind
Our minds are complex and carry out millions of processes every single day. For years the mind has fascinated doctors and scientists alike as they’ve tried to uncover how and why our minds do what they do.
As one leadership professor put it, “If you don't make up your mind, your unmade mind will unmake you.”
The mind is a powerful thing, but that power can also undo people. A simple definition of our mind is this, “The sum total of man’s mental and moral state of being.” This definition is helpful as we think about our brain/mental aspect and our moral standing as humans. Our mind has much power to do good but it also has the power to do bad.
Mind (nous) shows up 25x in the New Testament but the root in the Greek is also where we get the word repent which shows up 34x in the New Testament.
Why do you think the words repent and mind are connected to one another?
Because the mind (especially from a moral sense) must be renewed in order to follow after Jesus Christ!
Repentance requires a conscious effort to turn to Jesus
Why do you think our mind is so important to God?
Because He created it for His glory and our good
Because He wants us to use it for His purpose
As Christians, if we know what is right, why does our mind fight against that truth?
Because of sin!
As a result of this truth, we must continue to let the Gospel change our mind day by day as we seek to honor God and glorify Him in all that we do
As we’ve been studying in the Sermon on the Mount, our thoughts are extremely important to Jesus because sin isn’t just found in actions, it almost always starts inside. Because of this, we need to daily deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus. This starts with the war being waged in our mind and heart.
Noetic Consequences of Fall
Lust in mind - need to renew
Greed in mind - need to renew
Bitterness in mind - need to get out of mind
1 Cor 2:16 shares that we receive the mind of Christ and we can have these old ways of thinking lessened
16 For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
God accomplishes this work in us through His Holy Spirit… We are responsible to walk in this truth. We seek to strengthen this truth by walking in the Word
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Questions from Video:
What are some of the goals of renewing your mind? Why would God’s Word stress this truth (Romans 12:2)?
To remind us that our minds are corrupt
We should seek to go back to what God’s Word says
Remember God’s faithfulness
Reflect on our shortcomings + His greatness
Paul uses mind to talk about our moral consciousness and thoughts. As Christians, we’re raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4) and we walk in the Spirit (Romans 7:6). As a result, our mind and entire being are re-programmed but this process, sadly, takes time. Do you remember the old PC computers that would give you the estimated time remaining popup and sometimes it would say that you had weeks, months, or years remaining? That’s kind of what this process looks like - this is what it means to have a renewed mind. It means that the Holy Spirit is working in us slowly, but surely, to make us more like Jesus Christ. This is done, according to Romans 12:2 in accordance with God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will.
Leon Morris and Douglas Moo have 2 of the absolute best commentaries on Romans out there and Morris shares this concerning this verse: “The renewal of the mind enables the believer to discern what is good, what is pleasing, and what is perfect. Having discerned it, that same renewal sets him to the task of performing what is seen as the will of God.”
In other words, because we have a renewed mind, we know what’s right. Because of the Spirit’s presence in our lives, we now are supposed to do what is right. This is how the Gospel must impact and change our mind and our actions.
Think about the consequences of sin in Genesis 3 as page 110 talks about. How do you think our conversations and life as a whole would be different had there been no fall?
We wouldn’t have a mind bent toward sin and make foolish decisions
We wouldn’t have betrayal and lying
We, as humans, would seek actual truth instead of living for our own truth
The Pharisees had sharp minds but they used them for human approval more often than not. Read Matthew 22:34-38. What else do we need beside a mind that loves God?
A heart and soul that do the same! Mental knowledge is good - we should strive to know more of God’s Word, but mental knowledge doesn’t save (James 2:14-26). We need a new heart and we need a soul that has been set on fire by Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ as believers - yet we know that we still fall short and have to grow in having our minds be renewed. What is a practical way that you’ve grown with your mind as a follower of Jesus?
Thinking of things through God’s point of view instead of my own more often (still not as often as I should!)
Our minds are under attack by the enemy. What is a way that we can better guard our mind?
Put on the armor of God and pray for His protection
Spend more time in the Word consistently
Read Psalm 1:1-3. What are some benefits of meditating on God’s Word consistently?
Stand firm in hard times
Bear fruit consistently
How can we renew our mind?
Fill Our Mind
If garbage is going in, garbage will go out as well!
Fill your mind with Scriptural truth - reading God’s Word and listen to His Word preached/taught. Reflect on God’s Word and pray that God would help us apply it correctly.
See Joshua 1:8/Psalm 1:1-3 and meditate on God’s Word consistently
Guard Your Mind
Take captive every thought - Phil 4:6-8. Dwell on the things above!
Frame Your Mind
Cultivate a Biblical worldview that helps you process things going on with what the Bible says
“Sign of the times” - everyone says this after every single war for the last 1000 years and the disciples believed 2000 years ago that Jesus was coming back in their own life.
Don’t go with the flow, per say. Dive into the Word and allow the Word, not tradition or society, to help you view things correctly
This change doesn’t happen overnight - it takes time and it takes intentional effort. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at a specific habit or skill. If we spend 5 minutes a day in prayer/reading our Bible each day then that comes out to be 30 hours a year. It’ll take us 333 years to read that 10,000 threshold. I’m not saying that it takes 10,000 hours to figure it out, but the point is that this process will take time and it requires us to be disciplined. It requires us to seek God’s Word daily and to grow as we do this practice. Just as Jesus wants to change our heart He also wants to change our mind. As we go throughout the rest of our week, pray that He would continue to work on you and prayerfully consider how you can develop a habit of spending time with Him.