BIBLE READING: EPHESIANS 4:17-24; TITUS 3:3-7; ROMANS 1:21-32
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and Perfect Will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV).
In Romans 12:2, Paul focuses on one essential means of transformation which is the renewing of your mind. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Oh, how crucial this is!
If you long to be free from mere duty-driven Christianity and do what you love to do simply because it is what you ought to do, then give yourself with all your might to pursuing this: The renewing of your mind. The Bible says that this is the key to transformation.
There are many who think that the only problem with the human mind is that it doesn’t have access to all the knowledge it needs. There are many people who are educated who use their minds to invent elaborate scams, sophisticated terrorist plots and complex schemes for embezzlement (see Job 5:12). The Bible has a far more profound analysis of the problem.
In Ephesians 4:23, Paul uses a striking phrase to parallel Romans 12:2, he says; “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” The human mind is not just a sophisticated computer managing data, which it then faithfully presents to the heart for appropriate emotional responses. Rather, the mind has a “spirit.” In other words, our mind has what we call a “mindset.” It doesn’t just have a view but a viewpoint. It doesn’t just have the power to perceive and detect but also has a posture, a demeanor, a bearing, an attitude or a bent.
Transformation is the Work of the Holy Spirit. He is the one that renews the mind. This is first and decisively His Work, hence we are radically dependent on Him. Our efforts follow His Initiatives and Enabling.
The Holy Spirit does a dual Work in the Process of Transformation and the Renewing of the mind. 2 Corinthians 3:18 states: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the Glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the Same Image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit effects the renewing of the mind which leads to transformation by enabling us to “behold the Glory of the Lord.” This is how the mind is renewed: By steadfastly gazing at the Glory of Christ for Who He really is (see Ex. 33:18). But to enable us to do that, the Spirit must do a Dual Work i.e., from the outside in and from the inside out.
He works from the outside in by exposing the mind to Christ-exalting Truth. In other words, He must lead us to hear the Gospel, to study the Bible, to study Christ-exalting writings of great spiritual men, to meditate on the Perfections of Christ and also empower us to obey the Word of God. This is exactly what our great enemy does not want us to do according to 2 Corinthians 4:4 (AMP): “The god of this world [satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the Light of the Gospel of the Glory of Christ.” To see the Glory of Christ for who He really is, as Paul says, will renew the mind and transform the life and produce unending worship.
The Spirit must work from the inside out by breaking the hard heart that blinds and corrupts the mind. In a nutshell, He works from the outside in through Christ-exalting Truth and from the inside out through Truth-embracing humility. Simply put, the former without the latter would lead to the Truth being despised and rejected while the latter without the former would leave no Christ to embrace and no genuine worship to occur.
Our duty in the process of the renewing of the mind is to join the Holy Spirit in His Precious and All-important Work through the following ways:
- Praying the Pauline Prayers for ourselves daily: There are myriads of testimonies regarding praying according to the doctrine taught by Apostle Paul (see Eph.1:17-23; Eph. 3:16-19; Col. 1:9-12)
- Engaging the habit of reading, studying and memorising the Scriptures: It is impossible for one to imitate a Person Whose Mind and Methods one is unaware of (see Jn. 8:31-32).
- Spending time to meditate on the Scriptures daily: Meditation is equivalent to Spiritual Digestion (see Ps. 1:1-3; Josh. 1:8).
- Becoming a doer of the Word: The blessing lies in the obedience of God’s Principles (see Jam. 1:22-25).
Father, I pray that You fill me with the Knowledge of Your Will in all Wisdom and Spiritual Understanding in Jesus’ Name. Amen.