enewing one’s mind in the promises of God’s Word is perhaps the single most important aspect of the Christian life.  In the modern church, a false idea exists. Somehow, in our pursuit to live in the abundant grace of God, we forget that our faith requires action (see James 2:14).  In order to activate God’s promises into our lives, we have to take the necessary steps to crucify our flesh.  

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)

In this scripture, Paul raises the expectation of every believer.  Those who truly belong to Christ and not to the enemy have crucified their flesh.  Why is this such a big deal?  Because Paul knows the flesh is the single most influential part of the mind.  

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Old vs New Creation 

God’s Word declares that anyone that has accepted Jesus into their lives is a new creation.  This is an amazing reality!  When a person steps into the kingdom of heaven, their old life is washed away under the power of the blood of Jesus.  Their new life, found in the power of Jesus, begins.  

This new reality of life is available to anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord for salvation.  God shows no partiality and loved the world so much that He gave his only Son as a ransom for all the world (see John 3:16).

This new creation language that Paul speaks of direct indicator of the type of life that is available to all those who call upon the name of the Lord for salvation.  Although this is incredible news, many fail to activate a lifestyle of new creation.  Instead, after being saved, they fall back into the same manner of thinking as they did in their “old” creation.  Paul warns the Ephesian church of this exactly.  

How To Renew Your Mind 

“This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,  being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,  and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)

Many believe, that because of God’s grace, we do not have to activate walk in the new creation.  They adopt a “God’s grace has already done it for me” attitude towards life.  If this were true, Paul would have never written this scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Paul revealed to us the corruption behind the old self, and why, as Christians, we should crucify it.  In our old self, like the Gentiles, we walked in the futility of our minds and the hardness of our hearts towards faith.  Although we wouldn’t have categorized it that way, because of our ignorance, this was exactly what was happening.  This is tragic and leads to a lifestyle of slavery to sin, but Jesus has delivered us from that!  Or has He?

Paul instructs the Ephesian church to spiritually put on the new self, which is created in the “likeness of God” in righteousness and the holiness of truth.  How does one put on the new self?  By renewing our minds.  

Paul reveals to us how to step into a lifestyle of new creation. It is the believer’s responsibility to renew their own minds in God’s Word.  Paul expounds on this in Romans 12. 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-3)

In order to be transformed into the new creation Jesus has positioned us to have through the cross, we have to renew our minds.  This is the believers responsibility and privilege as a follower of the man who hung between two criminals.  When we renew our minds in God’s Word, we actively transform our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Take Every Thought Captive 

Now that you understand the importance of renewing your mind and the responsibility you have as a believer to do it, you may be asking, how do I do it?  As always, we are not left without instruction due to God’s Word.  

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ..” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Every thought or opinion that doesn’t hold water in Scripture, is strategically sent by the enemy to bring about the bondage of the old creation.  Fear, anxiety, stress, doubt, depression, hopelessness, are many examples of this.  As believers, our joy is to “take captive” every opinion of the enemy and to raise it against the truth of God found in His Word. 

As we take captive the strategic arrows of the enemy, we position our minds to be transformed into the full image of Jesus.  In this, we put on the new self that was created in righteousness and holiness.  Therefore, our minds become a sanctuary of heavenly realities.  

“Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.” (Colossians 3:2, The Passion Translation)

May 26, 2020

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