View Full Version : How does one renew their mind?

Christ Warrior
Jul 15th 2010, 05:59 PM
Romans 12:2 says that we must "renew our minds". What does this mean exactly? Is this like replacing negative thoughts with scripture?

Jul 15th 2010, 06:44 PM
I believe that rest of the chapter, Romans 12, goes on to explain how we are to renew our minds. To turn from the world and not conform to it's ways. We are renewed in Christ. Our hearts and minds are to follow His ways.

Dani H
Jul 15th 2010, 06:52 PM
It's changing your thinking, your viewpoint, your attitude. Learn to think how Jesus thinks, see what He sees, get His viewpoint and attitude on things, etc. Getting understanding. Seeking to learn.

How? By studying Scripture, by listening to the Lord, by following Him, but being open-minded to His instruction, by meditating (thinking about) God and His Word and His ways, all those things.

Mr King
Jul 16th 2010, 08:25 PM
One of my favorite books that I've read is, 'Renewing Your Mind' by James M. Boice. He does a terrific job with proving a commentary on Romans 12:1-2.

Jul 19th 2010, 06:15 PM
Hi everyone,

How a persons renews there mind is through reading the word of God, the word of God is truth so when we read our fathers word it transforms our mind and we become more fruitful and more Christ like.

This transformation is part of our growing and learning process in our personal relationship with Jesus, and through the promises and truths of our fathers word, we use this a legal precedence to build upon our foundation and understanding about who we are in Christ Jesus and to grasp the revelation of what we have actually inherited and our full potential in Christ.

There are many other aspects to Christianity but that’s some of the basics.



Scruffy Kid
Jul 19th 2010, 06:57 PM
How does one renew their mind?

Romans 12:2 says that we must "renew our minds". What does this mean exactly? Is this like replacing negative thoughts with scripture?
Christ Warrior asks a very, very important question: one that is at the center of our Christian life (IMO).

This verse -- Romans 12:2 -- follows up Paul's injunction (Rom. 12:1) to to give ourselves wholly to Christ.

I think it helps to read the entire passage -- Romans 12 and 13 is basically one unit of thought in Romans -- together as a whole!

I appeal to you brothers and sisters, therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [Rom. 12:1] Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may show-forth and explore what the will of God is -- what is good and acceptable and complete. [12:2]

For by the grace given to me I tell every one among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has given that person. In one human body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function. Likewise we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them to serve one another: let's use prophecy, in proportion to our faith; the gift of helpfulness by helping others out; whoever teaches, by teaching; whoever exhorts by that exhortation; whoever can contributes resources, generously; whoever helps those in need, diligently, whoever engages in acts of mercy, with cheerfulness! [12:3-8]

Let love be genuine: hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with the affection of sisters and brothers in a loving family: outdo one another in showing honor.
Never cease to be enthusiastic for God; be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in your hope, be patient in trouble and suffering, be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. [12:7-13]

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. [Rom. 12:14-18]

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. [Rom 12:19-21]

Let every person be subject to governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and God allows existing authorites to function. Therefore he who resists these authorities resists what God has put in place, and will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he carries a small sword as a mark of his authority for a purpose when he serves God by executing wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must behave obediently, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are servants of God, attending to this very thing. [Rom. 13:1-6]

Pay all of them what is due to them: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [Rom. 13:7-10]

Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is high time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Then let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let's behave ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. [Rom. 13:11-14] Verses 12:1 & 2 seem to give the topic of the passage as a whole. Verse 13:14 sums the passage up, with 13:11-13 explaining that this is because we hope for God's kingdom, God's salvation, in setting us free from the evil of this world, from sin and death, and bringing us into the fullness of heaven.

Paul starts off the detailed explanation in the passage -- in 12:3-8 -- by telling us not to be conceited or self-centered. For Paul this seems to mean using whatever gifts we have to serve others!! This makes sense, for Christ is our goal and the source of our life, and so we are "members of one another" and should be serving others -- just as Christ came to serve!!

Then (12:9-13 & 14-18) Paul gives a long list of ways of acting, or godly patterns for our life, which we should make our habitual practices. These include hope and joy in God, and trust in Him, and serving and loving others. Especially (14-18) we must do good, and bless, even those who do us wrong!! In this way we really transform the world, and ourselves, along the model that Christ gave us, and "overcome evil with good", rather than copying the ways of the world (and so, conforming to, and thus being overcome by, its evil ways)!!

Being respectful to those who have a high position in this world -- such as rulers -- is a part of this. Rather than a rebellious attitude, we should have a supportive attitude, to rulers -- even if they are part of a bad system -- just as to other sinners and sinful structures in this fallen world. (13:1-6)

This is part of the larger picture of doing good to all, and thus overcoming evil with good!! So we ordinarily give everyone what is due them -- even according to the imperfect standards of our own society (whatever society that is) -- because this shows love and respect, and "love is the fulfilling of the law." (13:7-10)

In this way, we act according to God's generosity, not our own selfish tendencies, and so imitate Christ, or cloth ourselves in His ways! All the more, because through Christ God's final victory and kingdom is coming nearer and nearer! (13:11-14)

Brother Mark
Jul 19th 2010, 07:05 PM
Romans 12:2 says that we must "renew our minds". What does this mean exactly? Is this like replacing negative thoughts with scripture?

There are two places in scripture where Paul talks about being transformed. One is the verse you mention.

Rom 12:1-2

12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

The other, IMO, he tells us how to be transformed and how the mind is renewed.

2 Cor 3:18
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

When one sees Jesus, he is transformed. When we behold the glory of the Lord (his character and who he is), then it has an impact on us. He explains it or fleshes it out a little more in previous verses.

2 Cor 3:15-17
15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

We turn towards Jesus and the veil is removed. Our hearts are then open to Him and what he says. At that point, we begin to study Him and see Him and He changes us as we behold who he is.

Scruffy Kid
Jul 19th 2010, 07:48 PM
Brother Mark makes important observation, in emphasizing that the real source of transformation in our lives is looking to Jesus. He gives several helpful and important Scriptures which point this out.

Other verses which also show how it is by setting our heart and mind upon Jesus that God works to transform us include Hebrews 12:1-3

So since we also are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes upon Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him -- for He endured such opposition from sinners against Himself -- so that you don't get tired out and faint in your minds. The importance of looking to Jesus, gazing upon Him and how that transforms us, is also explained by John in I John 3:1-3

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called God's children -- and so we are! The world doesn't understand us because it didn't understand Him! [that is, Jesus!] Beloved, we are God's children already, but we don't yet see what we are going to be! For we know that when He appears we shall be like him, since we shall see Him as he is. And this hope in Him purifies every one who does hope in Him, since He is pure.
Knowing Jesus, abiding in Him, looking to God and hoping in God, are the things that open us up to God's mighty work in us.

He must do the work, for we cannot!

Nevertheless -- this opening ourselves to Him in faith is not just a matter of thought and prayer, but also of obediently and lovingly doing our best to live according to His commands, and His ways and His love -- to imitate Jesus -- day by day. We must try to do this, and, knowing our weakness and our many mistakes and faults, ask Him to keep working in us, in His timing, because our trust is in Him, not ourselves!

Jul 21st 2010, 09:02 AM
Wow, what timing! I actually just spoke with a parent yesterday (I'm a teacher) and this mom is saved. So I told her how I taught Romans 12:2 to the kids without saying it was from the Bible (it's a public setting). Basically challenged the kids to have positive thoughts vs. negative thoughts. I used a kid's book which showed two classrooms from two different points of view. One saw the classroom as well behaved kids (the positive thinker) while the other picture was one of sheer chaos (the negative thinker). The mind is a powerful thing!

So indirectly, I was able to share with the kids how we need to renew our minds, attitudes and ways of thinking. Praise God. Very teachable moments that come from Him and His strength. I'm just His vessel doing my best to be a channel of His blessings and pass it on.

Jul 23rd 2010, 05:25 PM
Renewing the mind requires a certain degree of brain washing.

Jul 24th 2010, 12:00 PM
In my opinion, it starts at the cross. When we repent of our sins, there is a change. A change from our sinful nature, to a renewed life and mind in Christ, by the Holy Spirit.

(Rom 8:5 NIV) Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

(Rom 8:6 NIV) The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
(Rom 8:7 NIV) the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
(Rom 8:8 NIV) Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

By Gods word and the holy spirit we start to live by the spirit of God. The spirit of god lives in us and changes us.

(Rom 8:9 NIV) You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Part of the renewing of the mind is to have spiritual wisdom. The spiritual wisdom that comes from God.

(1 Cor 2:11 NIV) For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

(1 Cor 2:12 NIV) We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

And in.

(1 Cor 2:13 NIV) This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

(1 Cor 2:14 NIV) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.