Janet Smith – May 18, 2017©gardenministries.org
A person whose mind if fully renewed is a free person. Their spiritual vision is fixed on things above and is no longer veiled by the natural man’s fleshly wants and desires that come from fixations on the things of earth and this present age. (Colossians 3:1-6) The new nature, fully renewed mind is filled with the peaceable wisdom that comes from God (James 1:1-8, 3:17) and cannot be tossed back and forth under the dark influences of middle heaven’s lies that seek to promote fear, doubt, unbelief, and double-mindedness. A person with a Holy Spirit renewed mind feels peacefully stable and is life-giving (versus life-depleting) toward others.
Romans 8:5 (NET version): For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
A shaped outlook means: on who, what, and where do I set my sights? Matthew 6 draws distinctions between seeking natural man’s rewards or eternal ones. The natural man mindset subjects us to fear and worry as we invest time and money into acquiring the things that comfort our flesh but never seem to reach and satisfy the deeper longings of the heart. An eternal mindset realizes that these things of the flesh are a hindrance to the real treasure of the heart. A renewed mind has eternity in view and is free from the hooks and pull of this present age.
Even though we believe in Jesus Christ, without undergoing the process of mind renewal, we are still subject to the negative effects of our unrenewed mind. A mindset based upon this present age and a mindset that focuses on Christ and becoming one with Him in the age to come directly reflects my level of willingness to embrace the painful, humbling process of Spirit-led mind renewal. Spirit-led suffering and obedience, though grievous at the time, is an essential part of mind-renewal and facilitates sonship maturity. We cannot function or dwell in the glory of God with an unrenewed mind.
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the [Greek: “huios” mature] sons of God.
Embracing the sufferings of Christ often means that we are not to seek temporal and material mind-and-body comforts that the present age has to offer. Instead, we are asked to aim much higher and seek the eternal benefits and blessings of becoming one with Jesus Christ. Like Paul, our resolve to “know Christ and Him crucified” will elevate our outlook as we daily yield our fearful, stubborn, greedy and self-centered wills to the Holy Spirit’s challenges to endure hardship for His Namesake. Through His loving discipline, the Holy Spirit is renewing how we view and trust God by teaching us through the Word of God, how to discern what part of our outlook in life is rooted and grounded in truth and what is still based on my self-centered fear and greed. This elevation of outlook is the process and the journey of mind renewal—the path toward literally knowing the truth that sets us free.
Romans 8:12-15 So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 8:13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the [Greek: huios] sons of God. 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:16-25 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. 8:17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him. 8:18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. 8:19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God who subjected it – in hope 8:21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 8:23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 8:24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.
To share in Christ’s sufferings and glory means that we have undergone the necessary preparation, especially the renewing of our mind unto transformation. The Spirit of God is transforming us so that we are ready to receive our bridal inheritance and enter the holy city, the New Jerusalem, the city that possesses the glory of God! The process of mind renewal takes faith and patience to complete and can feel grueling at times but just look at the fruit! We are undergoing a metamorphosis—we are being transformed! We are feeling much less fearful and much more hopeful. Our outlook has joyfully discovered the real reason to hope: Jesus Christ wants to marry us! We can finally see and eagerly anticipate what the age to come has to offer—the New Jerusalem, our bridal identity in Christ!
Revelation 21:2, 9-10 I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… 9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb!” 10 So he took me away in the Spirit to a huge, majestic mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 The city possesses the glory of God; its brilliance is like a precious jewel, like a stone of crystal-clear jasper.
Galatians 4:6 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. 2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
1. What is the Romans 12:2 “world?”
Greek Aioni = Age = a cycle of time.
2. What does it mean to conform to this “cycle of time?”
CONFORM: Greek Suschematizo: means to be identified with, having outward shape following the same pattern/mold. To assume a certain form. To fashion yourself according to the age.
3. Renewal of the mind: Greek Anakainosis: means to “complete a process”—a process that makes the mind fresh and new by God’s power. Titus 3:4-5 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
TRANSFORMED – Greek metamorphóō (“change after being with” and “changing form in keeping with inner reality”) – in other words: transformed after being with; transfigured.
Matthew 17:2 And he [Jesus] was transfigured [Greek: metamorphóō] before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
2 Corinthians 13:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed [Greek: metamorphóō] into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
RENEWING – Greek anakaínōsis (“up, completing a process,” “make fresh, new”) – in other words, a new development; a renewal, achieved by God’s power.
MIND – Greek Noús – the God-given capacity of each person to think (reason); the mind; mental capacity to exercise reflective thinking. For the believer, (noús) is the organ of receiving God’s thoughts, through faith.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, 2:16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. 2:17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.
When we accurately discern, and do the proper, pleasing, perfect will of God, 1 John 2:17 promises that we will “remain forever” with Him. “Remain” in Gr. = menó means to tarry, not depart, sojourn, stay behind, abide, endure, continue.
The following is an excerpt from “Our Daily Bread” (https://odb.org/2012/12/03/the-spirit-of-the-age/):
“Ephesians 2:1-2 You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world.
Every age has its own thoughts, ideas, and values that influence the culture, the “spirit of the age.” It is the kind of growing consensus that morally lulls us to sleep, gradually causing us to accept society’s latest values.
The apostle Paul called this corrupting atmosphere the “course of this world.” Describing the lives of the believers at Ephesus before they encountered Christ, he said that they were “dead in trespasses and sins” and “walked according to the course of this world” (Eph. 2:1-2). This is the world’s peer pressure—a satanically inspired system of values and ideas that cultivates a lifestyle that is independent of God.
Jesus intends for us to live in the world (John 17:15), so worldly influence is nearly impossible to escape. But He’s given us His Word to so permeate our thinking that we don’t have to become conformed to the world’s values (Rom. 12:1-2). Instead, God helps us walk in His light (Eph. 5:8), in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), in love (Eph. 5:2), in truth (3 John 4), and in Christ (Col. 2:6).
As we walk in God’s power and spend time in His Word, He gives us the strength to live according to kingdom values and not the spirit of the age.
Father, You have made us alive in Christ and now we have a new kind of thinking that differs from the world. Teach us Your kingdom’s values that we might learn to walk in love. Amen.” – Daily Bread, 3-12-2012