The Renewing of the Mind
The manner in which most Christians think and act is of concern to many in the body of Christ. At some point in our Christian journey we end up asking the question: Why is it I think and act in the manner that I do? After studying what the Apostle Paul and other New Testament writers have said in the Scriptures about this subject I am convinced that the real problem is in the mind of the believer and the exercise of the free will that all of us possess. The purpose of this Learning Activity will be to examine the part that the mind plays in our thoughts and actions.
For the most part, Christians have been seriously affected in their thinking through the numerous daily contacts they have had with other humans and the opinions of these people, including the effects of the media and previous religious training (which may have been quite unbiblical). What is it that the Bible has to say about this subject?
1. Romans 12:2
2. What does the verse above say is necessary in order to be transformed into what is the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God?”
3. 1 Corinthians 2:16
4. What major understanding do we gain from the verse above?
5. Philippians 2:5
6. What is it about the verse above that gives us insight into the renewal of the mind?
7. Ephesians 4:17
8. What does Paul warn the Ephesians about in the verse above?
9. Ephesians 4:18
10. From the verse above, what are the characteristics of walking in the vanity of your mind?
The two key points in Ephesians 4:18 are “darkened understanding” and “ignorance.” The verse goes on to say that a darkened understanding and ignorance alienates a person from the life of God! It is quite obvious from these two comments of Paul that what is in our mind and how we understand reality should be a serious concern of every Christian. Ignorance should not be tolerated as it has a profound effect on us as it alienates us from the life of God! We can be alienated from the life that is in us (Jesus Christ) by what is in our mind as it affects how we think and view reality. It seems to me that a key understanding with reference to the renewal of the mind is that as mind renewal takes place during our journey here on earth that we will express Christ to the world in a greater degree in our communication, thoughts and actions. This fact is so because the mind controls the body and as we let the mind of Christ become of greater and greater significance in our lives we will, to a greater degree, live the Christian life in a more spontaneous manner manifesting Christ within us to the world.
11. How then do you think our mind can be renewed?
If the Christian’s mind is not progressing in the renewal process, then a degree of double-mindedness exists in the believer. What does the Scripture tell us about double-mindedness?
12. James 1:18
This entire biblical concept of what we “know” is one that is constantly repeated in the language of the New Covenant.
13. Romans 6:6
14. 1 Timothy 1:9
15. James 1:3
16. 2 Peter 1:20
17. 2 Peter 3:3
18. In each of the five verses above, what word is used that reminds you of “mind renewal?”
19. Romans 6:3
20. Romans 6:16
21. Romans 7:1
22. 1 Corinthians 3:16
23. 1 Corinthians 5:6
24. 1 Corinthians 6:3
25. 1 Corinthians 6:9
26. 1 Corinthians 6:15
27. 1 Corinthians 6:16
28. 1 Corinthians 6:19
29. 1 Corinthians 9:24
30. 2 Corinthians 13:5
31. James 4:4
32. In each of the verses cited in #19 through #31 above, what phrase is used that reminds you of “mind renewal?”
In conclusion, my original objective was to attempt to show that our thoughts and actions are the products of the use of our individual free will as it acts upon the truth/beliefs that are resident in our mind. The products of this process are determined to a great degree by what truth/beliefs are stored in the mind of the believer. The “quality” of our thoughts and actions are highly dependent upon the degree to which our mind has been renewed to the truth that is found in Christ. Hence, it is imperative that the believer, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
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