An unknown writer said, “This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.1 Romans 12:2 details for us the importance of renewing the mind with God’s Word. Why renewing the mind is important for soul development is what we’re looking at in this week’s Light on Life.
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- The mind must be renewed to think in godly channels.
- It’s not automatic.
- You cannot put Spirit life on autopilot.
- Just because you said ‘yes’ to Jesus does not mean you will automatically think about God.
- It takes a renewed mind to think God thoughts.
Psalm 10:4 (KJV)
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
- Once you come to Jesus, the title ‘wicked’ no longer describes you.
- You are now the righteousness of God in Christ.
- Righteous people think on the Lord.
- They have God in all their thoughts.
- They think on Him all the time.
- It’d just like true love.
- Your mind, once it has finished dealing with the mental requirements of a situation, gravitates back to God.
- So, begin the journey of bringing your thinking in line with His.
- And, it is a journey; a journey of discovery.
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- The New Living Translation
Don’t copy! the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform! you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (NLT)
- J.B. Phillips Translation
“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-make you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed.”
- The word conformed means to be or become behaviorally or socially similar to.
- A modern example of this is the ‘whole living together’ movement.
- The Bible teaches one-man one-woman marriage.
- The argument that ‘everyone is doing it’ falls apart when you look at this word conformed.
- Like one gentleman said.
- “I don’t smoke and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls who do.
- “Conformed” refers to the act of an individual assuming an outward expression that does not come from within him, nor is it representative of his inner heart life.
- Paul exhorts the saints, “Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world, an expression which does not come from, nor is it representative of what you are in your inner being as a regenerated child of God.” (Wuest)
- The word ‘conformed is present tense and passive and an imperative in the Greek.
- Present tense means this is an active ongoing process.
- This decision you make is not a one-time affair.
- You don’t go up the altar and make a ‘non-conforming dedication’ to God and then walk off and that’s all there is to it.
- Not conforming not to this world is an active ongoing process of the “living sacrifices” lifestyle found in Romans 12:1.
- The passive part of the word conformed means you can’t do it on your own.
- Have you figured this out yet?
- You need help.
- You need Holy Spirit help.
- He has to help you to not be conformed.
- You don’t do this in your own strength.
- Finally, you have the imperative part which means it’s a commandment to you so you have to exercise your will and desire the change.
- You have to consent to it.
- You have yield to it.
- Here’s a good translation from a highly respected Bible scholar. Cranfield
“Continue to let yourselves be transformed” (NIV Commentary pp. 607).
- What does this type of non-conforming living look like?
Titus 2:12 (KJV)
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
- Non-conformed living involves denial.
- You have to deny ungodliness and lust.
- If you’re not denying some things that are in the world, you are neck deep drowning in ungodliness.
- You have to say no and you have to say it boldly and without guilt.
- It involves sober living.
- What is sober living?
- The word sober used in the King James is the Greek word meaning self-control.
- Sober living is self-controlled living.
- If you are out of control, you are conformed to the world because that’s how they are.
- People who live by the world’s standard are an airplane crash just waiting to happen.
- A non-conformed lifestyle involves righteousness which, in this verse, means doing right.
- You don’t just say no too wrong. You also have to do what’s right.
- Finally non-conformed living involves godliness.
- What is godliness?
- Godliness is showing fitting or proper respect and reverence to God.
- You must reverence God and show Him respect.
- The word ‘transformed’ means to change in outward appearance or expression as manifesting a change in nature or essence.
Matthew 17:2 (KJV)
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
- The word transfigured used in Matthew 17:2 is the same word.
- Jesus outward expression was changed before them.
- His face shone as the sun.
- The the light of the glory of God, which was in Him, poured out of Him.
- The force was so strong it turned His clothing white as the light.
- The same life changing transformation will happen to you when you shut off all this stuff out here called the world and tap into the ‘eternal life’ of God on the inside of you.
- What Is the World?
- The world is where we allow the:
- From outside to become the focal point for the way we think and believe.
- What is the source of this worldly thinking?
- Where does it come from?
Galatians 1:4 (KJV)
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
- Galatians says this present world is evil.
- The Greek word ‘evil’ means morally bad or flat-out wrong.
- So, the thinking of the world is morally-bad, flat out wrong, completely evil.
- You don’t toy around with morally-bad, flat out wrong, completely evil.
- You don’t mess with it. You don’t engage it. Don’t even consider it.
- Stay with the truth of God’s Word.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
- This morally bad evil thinking is produced by men directly blinded by Satan.
- So the ultimate source for the worldly thinking believers are exhorted not to be conformed to, leads in a straight line directly to Satan.
- Worldly thinking is Satanic.
- The worldly way of doing things is pure evil.
1 Corinthians 2:6 (KJV)
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
- The wisdom of the world produces nothing.
- In fact, it produces less than zero.
- It’s worse than a goose egg.
- At least if you had a goose egg, you can get something out of it. Crack it open and make an omelet or something. But, you get nothing but death from the wisdom of the world.
- It’s all foolishness.
- It lacks good sense or judgment as the Greek word defines it.
- Lacking good sense? Did you get that?
- Scientists, philosophers, deep think-tank thinkers spend their days mentally producing, their wares are on display in the scientific journals of planet earth.
- They think their thoughts make such perfect sense yet it’s all deception, it’s all foolishness.
- It’s morally-bad, flat out wrong, completely evil.
- Only the wisdom which is from above, which is pure, peaceable, gentle and easily entreated has any lasting power or effect (James 3:17).
- The world does not factor God or His Word into its standard or practice.
- Everything is done without Him or apart from Him.
- You don’t want their kind of wisdom for your life.
- You want Gods input. You want the wisdom of the aged.
- You want the input from the God who produced heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is.
- The world has nothing to offer you.
- God offers you a rich spirit life full of the storehouses of His wisdom.
- A spirit life which is an inside job.
- A spirit life which is meant to be lived from the inside out.
- In God you can build your spirit up by praying out with tongues.
- In God you can build strength into your heart by feeding and meditating on the Word.
- This generates a faith which conquers mountains.
- Then, if that’s not enough, the Greater One, the Mighty Holy Spirit, comes alongside you to teach you and to lead you.
- You live life perceptive of His leading and conscious of His direction.
- He guides you to victory.
- He leads you into triumphant success at every turn.
- You live life out strongly confident, a testimony to Jesus.
- You’re not confused.
- You’re clear and alert.
- Your mind is sharp and full of the knowledge of God.
- What a life.
- There is nothing in the world out there that comes even marginally close to what you have in Christ in your spirit man.
- It’s your Father good pleasure to bestow all this on you (Luke 12:32).
Call to Action:
When Sharon was in the throes of dealing with the issues surrounding the brain aneurysm she faced, the doctor said to me ‘Keep your fingers crossed.’ Crossed fingers was the best the wisdom of the world had to offer me at that time. I am telling you Holy Spirit powered life produces victory in every case. And, you don’t have to cross your fingers to get it either. Faith does it. The love of God does it. The Name of Jesus does it. And after all this continual victory, we look forward to a new age, the kingdom of God in full manifestation at the appearance of Jesus.
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Question: What did you do to keep from allowing this world’s thinking, which is passing away, to change where you were headed in God? Please leave your comments in the comments section.
- Author unknown ↩