|Posted on May 27, 2020 at 3:30 PM|
One of the most critical functions of the indwelling Spirit is called the “renewing of the mind”. Even though all believers have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:14) when they were created in Christ Jesus, the “carnal mind” of the flesh is still present in these mortal bodies we still inhabit. To use the mind of Christ rather than the mind of the flesh in our daily lives requires the power of the indwelling Spirit who is continually teaching us and guiding us into all truth. As with all other issues in the believer’s life this renewal process requires the exercise of faith on our part as well as the resurrection power of the Spirit.
In Romans 12: 1,2 Paul tells us to present our bodies as “living sacrifices to God” by refusing to be conformed to the natural conditioning of this world system and allowing our selves to be transformed “by the renewing of the mind”. Likewise, in Ephesians 4: 17-24 he counsels us to put off the old lifestyle and “be renewed in the spirit of the mind” so that we might live a new lifestyle of holiness and true righteousness. The key to healthy, functional living in this world is the spiritual enlightenment from the indwelling Spirit changing our natural, self-centered thinking. This is a process, not an event, that will continue from the moment we are “born again” until we are glorified.
Our part in the renewing of our minds is a willingness to allow the Spirit to change the way we think, feel, and act. Like King David said after the Bathsheba affair, “Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me” we too must acknowledge our need for renewal and trust God to do the changing. The same inner transformation is described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3: 18, “But we all, with open face beholding in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”. What Paul means by the phrase. “with open face beholding in a glass the glory of the Lord” is an honest and continuous study of the Bible (the glass or mirror) to see who God has made us to be in Christ. The Bible is not a rule book to tell us what we must do to change ourselves, but a revelation of what God has already done to make us brand new persons. When we look into the glass or mirror, we see ourselves in Jesus! Believing in our new identity is our part, changing us into the image of Christ is God’s part.
By continually seeing ourselves in Christ Jesus we are changed (passive voice in the Greek) into the same image. We do not change ourselves but rather are changed “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”. Our part then is to believe what the Word of God says about who we are and be willing to allow the Spirit to change us from the inside out. This is why Paul told Timothy to “study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” (2 Timothy 2: 15). Rather than worry and fret over how we are going to change ourselves, we simply believe who God said he made us to be and trust his Spirit to transform us from the inside out by the renewing of our minds. It is this simple, child-like faith in our new identity in Christ that gives us “access into this grace wherein we stand” and allows us to “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God”. Our part is to want to believe what God says he has done for us; the Spirit’s part is to make it real to us in our daily lives.