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Watchman
May 20th 2012, 03:56 PM
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

This is a rich and deeply instructive passage. We are being told to place our bodies at the disposal of our Father. And we are being told not to conform to the world—not to assume an outward expression that comes from our surroundings. Rather, we are to be transformed. This is a passive act. Passive does not mean inactivity. We are actively submitting to the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to renew our minds.

What of this mind renewal? Of what does it consist? In short, it means that we are habitually ordering our behavior in the sphere of the Spirit, and by means of the Holy Spirit. As we order our behavior in such a manner, the Spirit makes our minds new. Our old minds were focused on self and on the world—a mindset which Paul terms carnal in Romans 8. A carnal mind is death and is the enemy of God.

A renewed mind is no longer focused on self…it is focused on our Helper, the Spirit of Christ. This renewal is difficult because we are accustomed to operating via the power of our minds when we are reborn. Our new minds receive instruction from our spirits, which are one spirit with the Lord. Our new minds do not begin to rationalize, to reason, to think until moved by the Spirit with instruction. Then the mind comprehends the spiritual instruction, the will chooses to execute the instruction, and the body obeys.

When we place our bodies at God’s disposal, and when we place our minds at the disposal of His Spirit, then, and only then, will we be transformed into the likeness of Christ. What say you?

blessings,

Watchman :)

episkopos
May 20th 2012, 06:00 PM
Romans 12:1-2I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

This is a rich and deeply instructive passage. We are being told to place our bodies at the disposal of our Father. And we are being told not to conform to the world—not to assume an outward expression that comes from our surroundings. Rather, we are to be transformed. This is a passive act. Passive does not mean inactivity. We are actively submitting to the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to renew our minds.

What of this mind renewal? Of what does it consist? In short, it means that we are habitually ordering our behavior in the sphere of the Spirit, and by means of the Holy Spirit. As we order our behavior in such a manner, the Spirit makes our minds new. Our old minds were focused on self and on the world—a mindset which Paul terms carnal in Romans 8. A carnal mind is death and is the enemy of God.

A renewed mind is no longer focused on self…it is focused on our Helper, the Spirit of Christ. This renewal is difficult because we are accustomed to operating via the power of our minds when we are reborn. Our new minds receive instruction from our spirits, which are one spirit with the Lord. Our new minds do not begin to rationalize, to reason, to think until moved by the Spirit with instruction. Then the mind comprehends the spiritual instruction, the will chooses to execute the instruction, and the body obeys.

When we place our bodies at God’s disposal, and when we place our minds at the disposal of His Spirit, then, and only then, will we be transformed into the likeness of Christ. What say you?

blessings,

Watchman :)


We see that there are 2 great commandments. Loving God and also loving others as Jesus loved them (loves them).

We also see that when people are truly apprehended of God...a divine expression of community in the Spirit takes place...as in Acts 2. So then the mind being renewed is as you say...no longer focused on ourselves but on the things of the kingdom....no longer on what we have individually but counting all things together not considering them as ours only. When the world sees this love and unity which far surpasses any worldly standard many will come to see the life that this selflessness brings. This is truly what is missing in the world. We will have heaven when men change. We are to be the firstfruits of a new creation. We somehow have missed the depth of this calling in favour of an individualistic notion of heavenly attainment. We have left off being truly the light of the world....together.

BroRog
May 20th 2012, 07:28 PM
What say you?

blessings,

Watchman :)

Let's back this up a few verses and put this in context;


30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him the glory forever. Amen. 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, [B]by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,

Here the Greek word "dia" is being translated "by", which is certainly a valid option, but which makes it sound like the mercies of God are instrumental in Paul's urging the brethren. I think, however, what Paul meant to say is,


Therefore I urge you, brethren, in view ofthe mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,

In view of the mercies he just mentioned, what should be our response to them? How should we respond to God in light of his mercy? What should we do? Does God want me to give him something or do something for him? Should I become a minister, or enter the ministry? Should I dedicate my life to missions or philanthropy? Our natural instinct is to do something for God, give back somehow.

I think Paul would say that this natural desire to do something for God is to be conformed to this world. The idea that we should do something for God, to perform some kind of service for God, or to give something back to God is just what the world would think. The rest of the world and those who belong to this world system believe that in view of God's mercy, a person is obligated to perform some kind of ritual, or some kind of good act, or some form of ministry, or give vast amounts of money back to God. Paul wants us to change our mind about that. We need to transform our thinking, taking into account what we now know about God and the faith. That is, we need to learn that God doesn't need or want anything from us.

Rather, the NEW way of thinking about the faith understands the faith, not in terms of what we DO for God, but in terms of WHO WE ARE. He doesn't want us to DO something special; he wants us to BE someone special. Paul will go on to describe what kind of person we should BE, which is summarized as "be holy." For example,


3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

The verse above give us the first example of changing the mind. People of the world, those who serve this world system, always think more highly of themselves than they ought to think, and in a religious context, this would involve a self-righteousness based on ritual practices and pious acts. If I am thinking like the world thinks, I think I am better than other people because I am doing what God wants. I'm better than you because I tithe all my income, I pray regularly, I go to church three times a week, I give to charity, I attend charity events, I volunteer at church, I vote for the right candidates, I eat the right food, I listen to Christian music, I watch Christian movies, I smoke Christian smokes and etc. As I measure myself against other people, I am better than most people because God honors my service to him.

Paul is asking his readers to re-think that position. If this is how I think about myself, I need to change my mind. I need to transform my thinking and not conform my thinking to what the world thinks, but conform my thinking to what God thinks. Unlike the world, God doesn't think that I am better than other people for all my giving, and ritual practice, and dedication, and etc. I shouldn't think more highly of myself than I ought to think, especially in view of my spiritual gift.

The world would classify the spiritual gifts according to the efficacy of one's ministry according to how many converts he or she makes for God. Paul says we need to change our mind about our spiritual gift and not think that God wants or needs our gift. Our ministry is God's gift to us, not our gift to God. Paul says that his ministry is a grace God gave to him; by his grace he has granted Paul the opportunity to play a role in teaching the body of Christ. But He doesn't consider himself better than anyone else or that he is more worthy of God's blessing because he is an apostle, rather than a person with the gift of administration. Your gift is not something you give to God; it's a grace, a blessing he grants to you. And although the world would classify the various gifts according to those that seem "more important", or "more critical", or "more powerful", or "more authority", or some other criteria, Paul wants me to change my mind about that and to not classify the gifts according to how the world might think about them.


6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, [each of us is to exercise them accordingly]: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Paul says that we should change our mind about that. The gift of apostle might be more important or more significant to the body of Christ than the gift of giving, but having such a gift doesn't make the Apostle more worthy of God's love or his blessing than the person with the gift of giving. So WHAT does Paul want us to do in view of God's mercy? If our spiritual gifts are God's grace to us, then what does God want from us? The answer is, God wants us to be a certain kind of person: a holy person; a person that has good motives; a person that strives for new ways to love someone else.

Let's take the spiritual gift of "giving" for instance. The world would think that the spiritual gift, though not as important or significant as the gift of apostle, is still quite necessary and that a person would do well to use that gift in the service of God. However, Paul wants the giver to be a certain kind of giver, i.e. one who gives with liberality. Another person might have the gift of leadership. This gift is God's grace to the leader. But if that leader wants to give God a "holy sacrifice" that leader should lead with diligence. The issue isn't whether I have the gift of leadership; the issue is what kind of leader I am going to be. The issue isn't whether I have the gift of mercy; the issue is whether I am cheerful.

In other words, the world measures a person's devotion to God according to the things we might DO for God, but Paul wants us to change our thinking such that we measure our devotion to God in terms of what we ARE for God.


Let love be without hypocrisy

chad
May 20th 2012, 09:17 PM
When we renew our minds, we fill it with the things not of the world, of our former lives of sin, of worldliness and the worlds values, but instead with the truth and word of God.


John 17:16-17
(16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (17) Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Watchman
May 20th 2012, 09:52 PM
In view of the mercies he just mentioned, what should be our response to them? How should we respond to God in light of his mercy? What should we do? Does God want me to give him something or do something for him? Should I become a minister, or enter the ministry? Should I dedicate my life to missions or philanthropy? Our natural instinct is to do something for God, give back somehow.

I think Paul would say that this natural desire to do something for God is to be conformed to this world. The idea that we should do something for God, to perform some kind of service for God, or to give something back to God is just what the world would think. The rest of the world and those who belong to this world system believe that in view of God's mercy, a person is obligated to perform some kind of ritual, or some kind of good act, or some form of ministry, or give vast amounts of money back to God. Paul wants us to change our mind about that. We need to transform our thinking, taking into account what we now know about God and the faith. That is, we need to learn that God doesn't need or want anything from us.

Rather, the NEW way of thinking about the faith understands the faith, not in terms of what we DO for God, but in terms of WHO WE ARE. He doesn't want us to DO something special; he wants us to BE someone special. Paul will go on to describe what kind of person we should BE, which is summarized as "be holy."
Good words. Do you see any sort of contradiction in the bolded ones? The global context of scripture is that God desires children--a family. He doesn't want us to do stuff for Him, rather He wants to make us very like Him. IOW, like Father, like son(s). Undoubtedly, He has the power to call sons out of nothing; however, He chose another path. In that path, He shows us that He is a giver: a giver of life, a giver of love, a giver of Himself. The result of His giving is that He gets children who have grown to be like Him.

W :)

Noeb
May 20th 2012, 10:15 PM
we are to be transformed. This is a passive act. Passive does not mean inactivity. We are actively submitting to the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to renew our minds.

What of this mind renewal? Of what does it consist? In short, it means that we are habitually ordering our behavior in the sphere of the Spirit, and by means of the Holy Spirit. As we order our behavior in such a manner, the Spirit makes our minds new.

This renewal is difficult because we are accustomed to operating via the power of our minds when we are reborn. Our new minds receive instruction from our spirits, which are one spirit with the Lord. Our new minds do not begin to rationalize, to reason, to think until moved by the Spirit with instruction. Then the mind comprehends the spiritual instruction, the will chooses to execute the instruction, and the body obeys.

When we place our bodies at God’s disposal, and when we place our minds at the disposal of His Spirit, then, and only then, will we be transformed into the likeness of Christ. What say you?


Not about a long process, and does not say it is the Spirit's task to renew your mind. It says.....
Because of God's mercies (before mentioned)
change (renew) your mind to what I have said (therefore)
be willing to live for him as one alive from the dead (living sacrifice Romans 6:13)
and you will be transfigured.

Where's the long process?

amazzin
May 20th 2012, 10:19 PM
Noeb

Your posts are very confusing to follow., When you are answering another poster can you please use the "Reply with Quote" button. Otherwise your posts make no sense to people

Thank you for your kind cooperation

The Admin


Not about a long process. It says.....
Because of God's mercies (before mentioned) change your mind to what I have said (therefore), be willing to live for him as one alive from the dead (living sacrifice Romans 6), and you will be transfigured.

Where's the long process?

Noeb
May 20th 2012, 10:33 PM
Noeb

Your posts are very confusing to follow., When you are answering another poster can you please use the "Reply with Quote" button. Otherwise your posts make no sense to people

Thank you for your kind cooperation

The Admin

Thanks! Better?

amazzin
May 20th 2012, 10:36 PM
Sure, but let's keep this serious.


Thanks! Better?

LookingUp
May 21st 2012, 12:35 AM
Good words. Do you see any sort of contradiction in the bolded ones? The global context of scripture is that God desires children--a family. He doesn't want us to do stuff for Him, rather He wants to make us very like Him. IOW, like Father, like son(s). Undoubtedly, He has the power to call sons out of nothing; however, He chose another path. In that path, He shows us that He is a giver: a giver of life, a giver of love, a giver of Himself. The result of His giving is that He gets children who have grown to be like Him.

W :)Here’s my unsolicited take. What it means to say that “God doesn’t need or want anything from us” is that God doesn’t need us to DO something for Him, as if the more you DO, the better off you are with God. You’re as “better off with God” as you can possibly get—you’re in Christ! God wants/desires (not “needs”) us to BE something/someone, as in whatever it is you do DO, your reason for doing it is motivated by holiness. It’s all about quality rather than quantity. God is not transforming us into worker bees; He’s transforming us into butterflies. God wants/desires us to live the joy of freely loving one another. Whatever it is God has given you the grace to DO (whether many things or a few things); He wants/desires you to do it fully—with unadulterated, abundant love. This is experiencing the transforming power of God.

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 12:37 AM
Not about a long process, and does not say it is the Spirit's task to renew your mind. It says.....
Because of God's mercies (before mentioned)
change (renew) your mind to what I have said (therefore)
be willing to live for him as one alive from the dead (living sacrifice Romans 6:13)
and you will be transfigured.

Where's the long process?
Be transformed is in the present tense...it does not refer to punctiliar action. While it is true Paul did not say here that the Spirit renews our minds, he wrote to Titus about the renewal of the Holy Spirit. He saved us according to His mercies. If I can be transformed by renewing my own mind, then I don't have a lot of need for the Holy Spirit. Paul had a bit more to say about this very real process:

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 by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

This process is easily seen in scripture. The renewal of our minds is not instantaneous.

blessings,

Watchman :)

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 12:41 AM
Here’s my unsolicited take. What it means to say that “God doesn’t need or want anything from us” is that God doesn’t need us to DO something for Him, as if the more you DO, the better off you are with God. You’re as “better off with God” as you can possibly get—you’re in Christ! God wants/desires (not “needs”) us to BE something/someone, as in whatever it is you do DO, your reason for doing it is motivated by holiness. It’s all about quality rather than quantity. God is not transforming us into worker bees; He’s transforming us into butterflies. God wants/desires us to live the joy of freely loving one another. Whatever it is God has given you the grace to DO (whether many things or a few things); He wants/desires you to do it fully—with unadulterated, abundant love. This is experiencing the transforming power of God.
Amen, with one small exception. I have no desire to be a butterfly because He has called me to be His son. I understand the metaphor, though.

W :)

LookingUp
May 21st 2012, 12:43 AM
Amen, with one small exception. I have no desire to be a butterfly because He has called me to be His son. I understand the metaphor, though.

W :)hee hee, very funny! :-)

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 01:31 AM
hee hee, very funny! :-)
Yeah, if I get any funnier, someone'll yawn. :spin:

The point is, that while we have a part to play in our transformation, we cannot do it apart from the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We must actively submit to His work within us.

W :)

LookingUp
May 21st 2012, 02:36 AM
Yeah, if I get any funnier, someone'll yawn. :spin:

The point is, that while we have a part to play in our transformation, we cannot do it apart from the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We must actively submit to His work within us.

W :)Amen! (not on the part about yawning) :)

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 04:32 AM
Be transformed is in the present tense...it does not refer to punctiliar action.Correct. Freedom from sin is a walk (moment by moment, day by day) in newness of life through our baptism in his death, burial, and resurrection, but you can continue in sin if you want to.



While it is true Paul did not say here that the Spirit renews our minds, he wrote to Titus about the renewal of the Holy Spirit.This applies to Romans 12 how? Besides the point after all. Spiritual truths are revealed through the Spirit.



He saved us according to His mercies. If I can be transformed by renewing my own mind, then I don't have a lot of need for the Holy Spirit.You need the info don't you? You can't make the choice until you are given one.



Paul had a bit more to say about this very real process:

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 by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18We are born of the Spirit, with patience and hope stay in the faith, and are resurrected.



The renewal of our minds is not instantaneous.It is. Those that heard the letter were to renew their mind to what Paul was telling them and by doing so would be transformed so as to be able to prove the will of God. Why would this be a one time thing? If they continued in what Paul wrote they would continue to prove the will of God. It's a walk in newness of life after all.

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 04:41 AM
Correct. Freedom from sin is a walk (moment by moment, day by day) in newness of life through our baptism in his death, burial, and resurrection, but you can continue in sin if you want to.
Who said I wanted to continue in sin? Where did that little gem spring from?


This applies to Romans 12 how? Besides the point after all. Spiritual truths are revealed through the Spirit.
Renewal is renewal...doesn't particularly matter to whom Paul was writing.



You need the info don't you? You can't make the choice until you are given one.
???



We are born of the Spirit, with patience and hope stay in the faith, and are resurrected.


It is. Those that heard the letter were to renew their mind to what Paul was telling them and by doing so would be transformed so as to be able to prove the will of God. Why would this be a one time thing? If they continued in what Paul wrote they would continue to prove the will of God. It's a walk in newness of life after all.
You've made up your mind. Your pov is noted and I disagree...but will not get into a protracted back & forth about it. Scripture and the Spirit are quite clear to me...love you anyway!

ybiC,

W :)

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 06:15 AM
Who said I wanted to continue in sin? Where did that little gem spring from?No one! "Therefore" in 12:1 is "there-for" a reason. He is talking about the transformation that occurs when walking in the Spirit - in Christ's death, burial, resurrection.



Renewal is renewal...doesn't particularly matter to whom Paul was writing.

???If you don't know and understand (spiritually discerned), how can you make a choice to renew your mind? It does matter, because through the Spirit Paul wrote Romans 1-11 before he wrote chapter 12.




You've made up your mind. Your pov is noted and I disagree...but will not get into a protracted back & forth about it. Scripture and the Spirit are quite clear to me...love you anyway!

ybiC,

W :)Based on your statements and question marks above, you don't know my mind or pov, but I love you anyway too! ybiC!

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 11:36 AM
No one! "Therefore" in 12:1 is "there-for" a reason. He is talking about the transformation that occurs when walking in the Spirit - in Christ's death, burial, resurrection.


If you don't know and understand (spiritually discerned), how can you make a choice to renew your mind? It does matter, because through the Spirit Paul wrote Romans 1-11 before he wrote chapter 12.



Based on your statements and question marks above, you don't know the mind or pov, but I love you anyway too! ybiC!
Noeb,

Your statements are very nebulous and difficult to follow; however, that meaneth not that I don't know what I'm talking about. We're I to be the sort to take offense, then your statements could be taken in a quite negative way. I know Christ and am coming to know His mind, the longer I am His. The potential to know Him as He knows me was given when I was born again. But just as it takes a baby awhile to learn to walk, then to talk, then to actually be mature, likewise is our walk with Christ. I don't mind discussing with you, but would appreciate it if you'd give something of substance with which to work.

W :)

John 8:32
May 21st 2012, 12:28 PM
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

This is a rich and deeply instructive passage. We are being told to place our bodies at the disposal of our Father. And we are being told not to conform to the world—not to assume an outward expression that comes from our surroundings. Rather, we are to be transformed. This is a passive act. Passive does not mean inactivity. We are actively submitting to the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to renew our minds.

What of this mind renewal? Of what does it consist? In short, it means that we are habitually ordering our behavior in the sphere of the Spirit, and by means of the Holy Spirit. As we order our behavior in such a manner, the Spirit makes our minds new. Our old minds were focused on self and on the world—a mindset which Paul terms carnal in Romans 8. A carnal mind is death and is the enemy of God.

A renewed mind is no longer focused on self…it is focused on our Helper, the Spirit of Christ. This renewal is difficult because we are accustomed to operating via the power of our minds when we are reborn. Our new minds receive instruction from our spirits, which are one spirit with the Lord. Our new minds do not begin to rationalize, to reason, to think until moved by the Spirit with instruction. Then the mind comprehends the spiritual instruction, the will chooses to execute the instruction, and the body obeys.

When we place our bodies at God’s disposal, and when we place our minds at the disposal of His Spirit, then, and only then, will we be transformed into the likeness of Christ. What say you?

blessings,

Watchman :)

This renewing of our minds occurs daily...

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

by Bible study, prayer and meditation.

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 12:29 PM
Daily...day by day...indicates a process, not an event.

W :)

John 8:32
May 21st 2012, 12:31 PM
Daily...day by day...indicates a process, not an event.

W :)

Kinda sorta what renewING would indicate. (Present progressive tense.)

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 12:42 PM
I'm sorry Watchman. Typo. I meant you don't know my mind and pov.

episkopos
May 21st 2012, 01:15 PM
I'm sorry Watchman. Typo. I meant you don't know my mind and pov.

Seeking obscurity in this world is good in regards to the worldly ambitions. Seeking this obscurity towards the brethren is not as profitable.

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 01:18 PM
Renewal is not forced. If you don't accept the truth why would we be renewed and transformed? It seems obvious to me the focus in the verse is on what the reader/hearer should do based on what has been said. It's like repentance. When we hear we don't have to change our mind, but if we do the Spirit can work. Does that make more sense? When commenting on this verse you never hear anyone mention our part, which seems like the point of the verse to me.

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 01:20 PM
Episkopos? Seeking?

Rullion Green
May 21st 2012, 01:42 PM
Noeb you need to ditch the phone and get a laptop. It must be torture typing stuff out on a phone and we are feeling the effects.

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 01:44 PM
My last two post were on my phone. What's wrong with them? Haven't used my phone since last week.

Rullion Green
May 21st 2012, 01:53 PM
My last two post were on my phone. What's wrong with them?

Nothing they were clear but i had this exact same trouble with you on the other thread...it can be hard to follow you sometimes as has been pointed out more than once in this thread also. Just some friendly advice take it or leave it.... if a phone is all you have then by all means use it, but i want to hear and understand what you say clearly...you have good important things to point out and they are deep things and clarity is of the utmost importance...It can mean the difference between alianiting someone and connecting with them :2cents:

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 01:57 PM
Thanks Nobunaga! I will try to not use the phone and wait for when i can use my tablet and desktop! Even though I used the desktop all weekend and people still don't understand me.

Rullion Green
May 21st 2012, 02:04 PM
Thanks Nobunaga! I will try to not use the phone and wait for when i can use my tablet and desktop! Even though I used the desktop all weekend and people still don't understand me.

No...if thats all you can use at the moment then use it..please. Just bear in mind clarity when typing on a phone as it gets lost sometimes. This was also for the benefit of others who have had a hard time following you...just to let them know the reason why.

This theme is the most important i've come across in my time at Bibleforums...so dont stop posting..... even by phone !

Rullion Green
May 21st 2012, 02:35 PM
This theme has come at the right time for me personally as i was very depressed about my failures as a Christian and felt like giving up and i mean giving up. I used to pray Lord give me strength for "such and such" and strengthen me to do "this or that"...and this way really made me mad at God because i seemed to be getting nowhere fast (or even slow) my prayers where unanswered.

Now i have realized by the Holy Spirit through my own experience and watching these threads that... its finished ! i'm dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus...Now my prayer go something like this Lord i can do nothing without you, by your Holy Spirit work through me the patients i need to do "such and such" and by your Spirit manifest in me the confidence I lack to do "this or that". Do you see the difference ?

First way... i was asking to be strengthened in the flesh so i could do (insert good work here)
Now.... I am reckoned dead so i ask Him to do by His Spirit what is impossible for me to do (insert good work here)

This is a renewal of the mind for me.

Now its in my weakness He is shown to be strong.. i can do nothing ! and this is not fake keyboard humility because i really tried to do stuff and failed, i know for a fact... i can do nothing apart from Him who strengthens me. Now the battle for me at this stage is abiding in Him and trusting in Him continually...which is living by faith...I know when i think i can stand on my own i'm going to fall...and this will happen again no doubt but for now it's the good times. This is probably old ground for most of you but this is really exciting for me :)

BTW as i said i'm just starting out so to speak.... any advice/correction welcomed.

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 04:21 PM
I'm sorry Watchman. Typo. I meant you don't know my mind and pov.
Thanks for the clarification! :hug:

Andy :)

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 04:25 PM
Renewal is not forced. If you don't accept the truth why would we be renewed and transformed? It seems obvious to me the focus in the verse is on what the reader/hearer should do based on what has been said. It's like repentance. When we hear we don't have to change our mind, but if we do the Spirit can work. Does that make more sense? When commenting on this verse you never hear anyone mention our part, which seems like the point of the verse to me.
Good point. We definitely have a part to play. Paul uses the phrase, communion (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit, in one place. I view koinonia as 'joint participation.' We have a part to play...but we cannot do it alone. The Spirit will not force us to do anything.

W :)

RockSolid
May 21st 2012, 04:37 PM
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

This is a rich and deeply instructive passage. We are being told to place our bodies at the disposal of our Father. And we are being told not to conform to the world—not to assume an outward expression that comes from our surroundings. Rather, we are to be transformed. This is a passive act. Passive does not mean inactivity. We are actively submitting to the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to renew our minds.

What of this mind renewal? Of what does it consist? In short, it means that we are habitually ordering our behavior in the sphere of the Spirit, and by means of the Holy Spirit. As we order our behavior in such a manner, the Spirit makes our minds new. Our old minds were focused on self and on the world—a mindset which Paul terms carnal in Romans 8. A carnal mind is death and is the enemy of God.

A renewed mind is no longer focused on self…it is focused on our Helper, the Spirit of Christ. This renewal is difficult because we are accustomed to operating via the power of our minds when we are reborn. Our new minds receive instruction from our spirits, which are one spirit with the Lord. Our new minds do not begin to rationalize, to reason, to think until moved by the Spirit with instruction. Then the mind comprehends the spiritual instruction, the will chooses to execute the instruction, and the body obeys.

When we place our bodies at God’s disposal, and when we place our minds at the disposal of His Spirit, then, and only then, will we be transformed into the likeness of Christ. What say you?

blessings,

Watchman :)

I don't think that is what Paul is speaking of here.

Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Paul says "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God,...". He says "therefore", this means he is relating what he is about to say to something he just said. He had just discussed "the mercies of God" in chapter 11.

Rom 11:30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,
Rom 11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Paul is giving this exhortation to the Gentiles only.
Rom 11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry

How they (the Gentiles) were grafted into the olive tree (11:13-24)
How Israel was partially hardened for their (Gentiles) sakes (11:25-29)
How they (Gentiles) recieved mercy from Israel's disobedience (11:30-32)

These are the "mercies of God" that Paul was "therefore" appealing to them (Gentiles) to "present your bodies as a living sacrifice" by.

This carries on into chapter 12, if you read it as full letter instead of a "book with chapters".
He is still adressing the Gentiles in 12:1-2.

Paul is making sure that they don't depend upon the law, which was works based, but instead to depend upon mercy, which is not based on works.

Sacrificing of the animals was part of the Old Covenant "worship" or religious service. Here the Gentiles were to be a living sacrifice, which would be their "spiritual worship".

Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Unfortunatley, "age" here is translated "world" in some versions. The Greek word is "aion", which means "age".
Paul is telling the Gentiles not to be conformed to that age, the old covenant, old law age. He wasn't telling them not to be like the "world". They were Christians, they already knew that. What they were confused about was some of the Jewish Christians were trying to hold them to circumcision and other various old covenant laws. The temple was still standing, the old covenant was still around, they were being confused. Paul didn't want the Gentiles to conform to those things, the gospel is law free.

You, Roman Gentiles, do not conform to this old covenant age and its laws but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you, Roman Gentiles, may discern what is the will of God.

Conclusion: Combined with chapter 11, Paul was trying to help the Roman Gentiles battle some of the Jewish Christians who were trying to get them to obey aspects of the law as well. Paul made sure that they knew it was by mercy that they (Gentiles) were grafted into the olive tree and not by obeying old covenant laws.

Paul was fighting this same battle elsewhere. Gentiles were being confused.
Gal 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.
Gal 5:3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.
Gal 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 06:35 PM
Very good points, RS. Paul indeed fought against Gentiles being brought under the Law. There is also, as stated in the OP, the phrase be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove the good, acceptable, perfect will of God.

The only way anyone can have their mind renewed is via the transformation of/by the Spirit. This is a joint-participation. The Jews had the law. It was written down. Each Jew knew their place and their duties. The body of Christ, OTOH, has many functions and nowhere are these written. We must hear the voice of the Lord to know where He has placed us in the body, to know what good works He prepared in advance in which for us to walk, and to know their timing...ie His good, acceptable, and perfect will. None of this is written as it was written for the Jews and there are no cookie-cutter Christians.

I agree with you contextually; however, that does not negate the points raised in the OP. Thanks for your comments!

blessings,

Watchman :)

Watchman
May 21st 2012, 06:38 PM
Hi Noeb,

Here's a question. A renewal is a one-time transaction. Renewing indicates an ongoing remaking of the mind. How can that NOT be a process? If it must be done daily, as scripture indicates, how can it NOT be a process? I'm wondering if semantics are at play here?

W :)

Noeb
May 21st 2012, 09:37 PM
This theme has come at the right time for me personally as i was very depressed about my failures as a Christian and felt like giving up and i mean giving up. I used to pray Lord give me strength for "such and such" and strengthen me to do "this or that"...and this way really made me mad at God because i seemed to be getting nowhere fast (or even slow) my prayers where unanswered.

Now i have realized by the Holy Spirit through my own experience and watching these threads that... its finished ! i'm dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus...Now my prayer go something like this Lord i can do nothing without you, by your Holy Spirit work through me the patients i need to do "such and such" and by your Spirit manifest in me the confidence I lack to do "this or that". Do you see the difference ?

First way... i was asking to be strengthened in the flesh so i could do (insert good work here)
Now.... I am reckoned dead so i ask Him to do by His Spirit what is impossible for me to do (insert good work here)

This is a renewal of the mind for me.

Now its in my weakness He is shown to be strong.. i can do nothing ! and this is not fake keyboard humility because i really tried to do stuff and failed, i know for a fact... i can do nothing apart from Him who strengthens me. Now the battle for me at this stage is abiding in Him and trusting in Him continually...which is living by faith...I know when i think i can stand on my own i'm going to fall...and this will happen again no doubt but for now it's the good times. This is probably old ground for most of you but this is really exciting for me :)

BTW as i said i'm just starting out so to speak.... any advice/correction welcomed.I'm full of joy! Even if you fail there's no going back to doing it in the flesh and in the wisdom of the world. There is such peace in knowing through experience, as 1Cor 1-2 says, the power of God to deliever is in Christ and him crucified so that no flesh will glory in his presence. You know what "I am crucified with Christ" means and you know what "frustrate the grace of God" means.

Rullion Green
May 21st 2012, 10:02 PM
I'm full of joy! Even if you fail there's no going back to doing it in the flesh and in the wisdom of the world. There is such peace in knowing through experience, as 1Cor 1-2 says, the power of God to deliever is in Christ and him crucified so that no flesh will glory in his presence. You know what "I am crucified with Christ" means and you know what "frustrate the grace of God" means.

Thank you brother ! I hope your right and i never try to do anything in the flesh ever again..i've had enough of that...it always fails. From now on i hope to abide in Him and trust Him to do what i cant...this is freedom i think.

Noeb
May 22nd 2012, 01:20 AM
Hi Noeb,

Here's a question. A renewal is a one-time transaction. Renewing indicates an ongoing remaking of the mind. How can that NOT be a process? If it must be done daily, as scripture indicates, how can it NOT be a process? I'm wondering if semantics are at play here?

W :)First of all the renewing day by day is not what is happening here. Not that we shouldn't renew our mind to the truth when we hear it, no matter how often, just.....keep it in context.

Secondly, my answer is the same as it's always been (thread:Is sanctification an event, a process, or both?); Everyone agrees we are Sanctified. My point is that we limit that sanctification. It is not limited. As we allow the bar to be raised, so to speak, our Sanctification remains the same. From beginning to end. You won't call Jesus' attention to your level, but gladly accept his he gave you.

Is it a process in our experience? Absolutely. We see through dark glass. We look at things seen and temporal (but are not supposed to). Again, to Abraham, what God said was not possible, but it was true at that moment. Calls things that are not as though they are, means they were not to Abraham because of his limitations, not because it was not true at the moment.

Is that semantics?
To someone that follows the popular teachings of a long process of sanctification, yes.
To someone that has learned those teachings not only fail, but that they are not scriptural, no.
False teaching is serious business, even when unintentional. Frustrating the grace of God is serious business. Doing in the flesh what can only be done in the Spirit is serious business. Saying you need to die to sin, when Jesus says you already are is serious business.

Noeb
May 22nd 2012, 01:33 AM
Thank you brother ! I hope your right and i never try to do anything in the flesh ever again..i've had enough of that...it always fails. From now on i hope to abide in Him and trust Him to do what i cant...this is freedom i think.Well, don't be hard on yourself if you do, brother. I don't know your life and history. I wasn't raised Christian, my wife was. For a while she still had to catch herself in the act because 30 years of wrong teaching and thinking takes a while to undo. Me, not so much. I learned what doing it in the flesh was very quickly because I was not raised Christian and had childlike faith when I read scripture.....kinda like, Jesus said free indeed, so what's the problem?

episkopos
May 22nd 2012, 01:33 AM
First of all the renewing day by day is not what is happening here. Not that we shouldn't renew our mind to the truth when we hear it, no matter how often, just.....keep it in context.

Secondly, my answer is the same as it's always been (thread:Is sanctification an event, a process, or both?); Everyone agree we are Sanctified. My point is that we limit that sanctification. It is not limited. As we allow the bar to be raised, so to speak, our Sanctification remains the same. From beginning to end. You won't call Jesus' attention to your level, but gladly accept his he gave you.

Is it a process in our experience? Absolutely. We see through dark glass. We look at things seen and temporal (but are not supposed to). Again, to Abraham, what God said was not possible, but it was true at that moment. Things that are not as though they are means they were not to Abraham because of his limitations, not because it was not true at the moment.

Is that semantics?
To someone that follows the popular teachings of a long process of sanctification, yes.
To someone that has learned those teachings not only fail, but that they are not scriptural, no.
False teaching is serious business, even when unintentional. Frustrating the grace of God is serious business. Doing in the flesh what can only be done in the Spirit is serious business. Saying you need to die to sin, when Jesus says you already are is serious business.

This is the "Jesus already did it all FOR you" stance that is so attractive to the human mind. Ironically this position shows no grasping of the mind of Christ. It rather settles for what the mind can already grasp in a human wisdom therefore no process is required or expected. That is because no new ground has been covered. Just an acceptance of a doctrinal position. But the gospel is according to actual power and not just a doctrinal stance.

Noeb
May 22nd 2012, 01:41 AM
This is the "Jesus already did it all FOR you" stanceYou bet!


that is so attractive to the human mind.Wonder why?....and as opposed to what? "The ways of death" you teach?


Ironically this position shows no grasping of the mind of Christ.It gives it!


It rather settles for what the mind can already grasp in a human wisdom therefore no process is required or expected.Glory to God!


That is because no new ground has been covered. Just an acceptance of a doctrinal position.Just like Jesus wants us!


the gospel is according to actual power and not just a doctrinal stance.The point exactly! So eloquently put! Thank you!

episkopos
May 22nd 2012, 02:07 AM
You bet!

Wonder why?....and as opposed to what? "The ways of death" you teach?

It gives it!

Glory to God!

Just like Jesus wants us!

The point exactly! So eloquently put! Thank you!

This is sad. An intellectual grasp of a doctrinal position is worse than nothing...it is grave error. Here I thought you were at least partially talking of reality...but anything impossible sounding can easily grasped as an idea that doesn't actually have to be proved as real.

Christianity is not a clever philosophy to just believe words without the consequent reality and actions.


Col_2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Noeb
May 22nd 2012, 04:21 AM
This is sad. An intellectual grasp of a doctrinal position is worse than nothing...it is grave error.Not supposed to intellectually grasp the doctrine?......where'd you get that?


Here I thought you were at least partially talking of reality...but anything impossible sounding can easily grasped as an idea that doesn't actually have to be proved as real.

Christianity is not a clever philosophy to just believe words without the consequent reality and actions.

Col_2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.That's the point. It is reality and does have to be proven real, and was (and is today). Paul always referenced 'their conversation among them'. You read crucified with Christ - free from sin- in your bible but it's impossible sounding to you because you look at the things that are seen and temporal, and not the spiritual.

So glad you posted that verse, BTW. Do you know what rudiments are? Principles. Principle based sanctification should come to mind. That's what you talk about, not me. That is about the teachings you follow, not me.

Noeb
May 22nd 2012, 04:38 AM
episkopos, what does the verse 2up for the one you posted say?

Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Now what does Romans 6 say?
............How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Now, do you walk by faith, as you received him? Believe you are dead by His cross? Or do you follow a bunch of principles that always fail?

episkopos
May 22nd 2012, 12:55 PM
episkopos, what does the verse 2up for the one you posted say?

Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Now what does Romans 6 say?
............How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Now, do you walk by faith, as you received him? Believe you are dead by His cross? Or do you follow a bunch of principles that always fail?

Walking in the Spirit is according to power...the power to see and do as Jesus and His followers do. I have walked in this power so I know that it is not a vain philosophy. Paul exhorts the brethren to no longer walk in their own strength but to surrender to the death of Christ in order to walk in power.

We are not talking of a vain doctrinal stance but an experience of walking in the light of God doing impossible things that were prepared in advance by God.

Noeb
May 22nd 2012, 02:35 PM
If you walk in power because of Christ's death it is because you are dead and count it true. How then are you still dying to sin, and at the same time already dead to sin? If you are not dead you cannot be alive after Christ and be alive from the dead unto God.

episkopos
May 22nd 2012, 08:41 PM
If you walk in power because of Christ's death it is because you are dead and count it true. How then are you still dying to sin, and at the same time already dead to sin? If you are not dead you cannot be alive after Christ and be alive from the dead unto God.


Apart from semantics one would know he is dead to sin by no longer being able to sin. We are not dying to sin...we are either in the Spirit and dead or we are not. The difficulty is the full surrender. We are to attain an abiding in Christ who is already our perfection. To do this we must forsake our lives. But God does not accept a sacrifice unless it is done 100% with the whole heart. So our devotion must become perfect. THAT is our part of the bargain. We can never try to die ourselves or overcome sin ourselves.


Jer_29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Joe_2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

Our problem is with the little word "all". God is a God of ALL. Unless we give all completely He will not hear us.

chad
May 22nd 2012, 10:16 PM
At salvation we realize that nothing we can do - is good enough to earn salvation. It is only by Gods grace and Jesus death on the cross for us that pays for our sin.

In our daily christian lives, we can only do so much in our own strength and efforts because we have weaknesses and failures. When we come to the end of our own strength and wisdom, we need Gods strength and wisdom each day. We need to depend on God every day, and not lean on our own understanding - (Proverbs 3:5), that is every day with Jesus, every day with God in our lives.

For in Corinthians, Paul writes, the foolishness of Gods is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than man (2 Cor 25-30).

Why does God do this (give us his strength, wisdom and power), I believe to show us the Grace and goodness of God. It is in our weakness that we find strength, it is in our weakness that God is glorified.





Now its in my weakness He is shown to be strong.. i can do nothing ! and this is not fake keyboard humility because i really tried to do stuff and failed, i know for a fact... i can do nothing apart from Him who strengthens me. Now the battle for me at this stage is abiding in Him and trusting in Him continually...which is living by faith...I know when i think i can stand on my own i'm going to fall...and this will happen again no doubt but for now it's the good times. This is probably old ground for most of you but this is really exciting for me :)

BTW as i said i'm just starting out so to speak.... any advice/correction welcomed.

Noeb
May 23rd 2012, 03:04 AM
Apart from semantics one would know he is dead to sin by no longer being able to sin. We are not dying to sin...we are either in the Spirit and dead or we are not. The difficulty is the full surrender. We are to attain an abiding in Christ who is already our perfection. To do this we must forsake our lives. But God does not accept a sacrifice unless it is done 100% with the whole heart. So our devotion must become perfect. THAT is our part of the bargain. We can never try to die ourselves or overcome sin ourselves.


Jer_29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Joe_2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

Our problem is with the little word "all". God is a God of ALL. Unless we give all completely He will not hear us.It's not semantics. No one ever reaches a point that they will not be able to sin this side of the resurrection. Second grace/perfectionism is not credible. If God did not hear with less than 100% no one would ever be heard, we are all liars, and no one would make it, because if he doesn't hear us, we are nothing, have nothing, and need him for us to be something. Now, I could write 3 pages exposing the errors just in this post of yours alone, but I know you are alone in it, so it's not necessary.

episkopos
May 23rd 2012, 02:48 PM
It's not semantics. No one ever reaches a point that they will not be able to sin this side of the resurrection. Second grace/perfectionism is not credible. If God did not hear with less than 100% no one would ever be heard, we are all liars, and no one would make it, because if he doesn't hear us, we are nothing, have nothing, and need him for us to be something. Now, I could write 3 pages exposing the errors just in this post of yours alone, but I know you are alone in it, so it's not necessary.

So you espouse a doctrine you don't even take seriously. How can we sin who are dead to sin? God is not well pleased with a lip service that masks an actual unbelief in the words from God.

Noeb
May 23rd 2012, 02:55 PM
Sinning every now and then is not continuing IN sin. If you are IN sin you are a slave. Clearly, Paul shared the mystery with those that were not IN sin but still sinned. It's absurd to think Paul was saying, "don't you know?" To those that already knew. Teaching second grace/perfectionism is sin, so you are not w/o.

Watchman
May 28th 2012, 05:22 AM
It is with a bit of trepidation that I begin this next bit, but we’ll see how it goes. Many times, science and scripture seem to be at odds, and many times scientists and scripture actually are at odds. However, if one considers science as the study of God’s creation, then science can be quite useful.

In this thread we are considering the renewing of the mind. Neuroscience and psychology include the study of the brain and of the mind and how they function together. The brain is not the mind, but facilitates the activities of it. The brain is divided into a right and left hemisphere. Each side is predominantly concerned with different things. For example, the right side of the brain develops more rapidly than does the left side. It is concerned with awareness of the body, visuospatial orientation, nonverbal communication, a holistic sense of experience, as well as social context and emotional context of situations. The right hemisphere is unconcerned with past and future, but tends to keep us in the present and to give us a sense of ‘we’.

OTOH, the left side of the brain is mostly concerned with language, linear processing, logical processing, and literal processing . The right brain is of no use in changing spark plugs in a car’s engine, or in other processes that require the logical solving of problems. The left brain is where that occurs. It is all about time, especially past and future, about analysis. It enables us to have a sense of individuality—that which makes me uniquely me. The left brain is more dominant in situations where we seek to know things. It separates us from objects, or concepts, we desire to analyze and examine. If this is the dominant way in which we think, then joy becomes simply a defined concept…love is something we know about, but do not know.

A properly functioning, or properly integrated, brain uses both sides in concert. While the left brain mode is analytic, it is the right brain operation that allows us to open ourselves to God, to be touched by Him, and to be known by Him in such a way that we, too, can become living expressions of love. A balance of the two sides is needed for healthy, integrated, functional relationships. Becoming lateralized to one side, or to the other, causes us to be either unfeeling data processors, or feeling-driven illogical creatures.

I realize there are many different parts to the brain; however, for the most part, we are concerned with the prefrontal cortex, the part in front on the outside of the brain. Attention, memory, emotion, and relational attachment all come together, and are integrated in the prefrontal cortex…which is a specific part of the central nervous system that serves to model what Jesus has called us to be as saints in God’s family. From scripture, we can see how Jesus’ prefrontal cortex was integrated, and how He has called us to live so that we can experience the same degree of mindful integration—the renewing of our minds.

This is a very short, very generalized, very incomplete sketch of a bit of how our brains operate. Before continuing, I’ll stop here because there may be questions, or I may have made this soooo brief that too much was omitted. This is a great study, but may be unsuited to this medium. We shall see. More later, God willing.

blessings,

W :)

Watchman
May 28th 2012, 05:23 AM
Here’s a little more regarding the prefrontal cortex before we begin to look how this stuff is found in scripture. The prefrontal cortex performs nine main functions:

Regulation of the body with regard to information received from other parts of the nervous system
Attuned communication with others
Emotional balance
Flexibility in our responses to situations
Empathy
Insight regarding making sense of ourlives
Regulation of fear responses
Intuition (gut-feelings about people and situations)…not the same as spiritual intuition
Morality with respect to our own good and to the welfare of others

A well integrated prefrontal cortex leads to a life is flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable. When our prefrontal cortices are not well integrated (not working together in a balanced fashion), we find ourselves losing patience, losing our tempers, treating others poorly, acting out anger passively, and even indulging in addictive, damaging behaviors. These are ways we actually hide from the truth. This is our double-minded general tendency before our minds are renewed. We’ll look at some scripture passages that help shed some light on all this in the next few posts…as long as there is interest.

blessings,

W :)

Watchman
May 28th 2012, 10:08 PM
In Psalm 86:11, David wrote:

Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

David is not asking our Father for a list of do’s and don’t’s, and he’s not talking about reading, studying, and/or memorizing scripture. He is, in fact, asking for God to reveal to him what true living is all about. He is asking God to teach him to love God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his soul. This request points to a hope and desire of a deeper relationship with God—that I may rely on Your faithfulness.

Another salient point of this passage is that David asks for God to create an undivided heart in him. In the language of neuroscience, David is asking is asking for a heart that is integrated. David is not asking for God to make him stronger and more independent, rather, he is asking God to enable him to connect with God. He is desirous of an undivided heart. The heart is the deepest, emotiotional/cognitive/conscious/unconscious self…and it is manifest most prominently and profoundly at the level of our prefrontal cortex.

The natural direction in which these requests lead is this: that I may fear Your name. This is not the type of fight-or-flight fear we experience when threatened. This is a fear that is referent to being overwhelmed with awe in the presence of God’s beauty and power. This beauty and power is soooo deep that it would be painful were it not reliant on His faithfulness. More later.

blessings,

W :)

BroRog
May 29th 2012, 12:41 AM
This is a very short, very generalized, very incomplete sketch of a bit of how our brains operate. Before continuing, I’ll stop here because there may be questions, or I may have made this soooo brief that too much was omitted. This is a great study, but may be unsuited to this medium. We shall see. More later, God willing.

blessings,

W :)Again, when Paul speaks about the renewal of the mind, he isn't talking about the repair of the human faculty of thought, the mind or the brain or whatever. He isn't talking about the repair of a broken mind. He isn't talking about fixing the mind or the brain; he isn't talking about doing anything to the mind or the brain at all.

Rather, he is talking about changing our opinion; we used to think 'X' and now we think 'Y'. I started with one notion or idea but I ended up with another one. It was my judgment that 'X' was true, but I change my mind and now I believe that 'Y' is true instead. My former beliefs were based on a particular set of presuppositions, but now I am getting newer, more reliable information that changes how I look at things and how I respond to things.

Watchman
May 29th 2012, 02:13 AM
Again, when Paul speaks about the renewal of the mind, he isn't talking about the repair of the human faculty of thought, the mind or the brain or whatever. He isn't talking about the repair of a broken mind. He isn't talking about fixing the mind or the brain; he isn't talking about doing anything to the mind or the brain at all.

Rather, he is talking about changing our opinion; we used to think 'X' and now we think 'Y'. I started with one notion or idea but I ended up with another one. It was my judgment that 'X' was true, but I change my mind and now I believe that 'Y' is true instead. My former beliefs were based on a particular set of presuppositions, but now I am getting newer, more reliable information that changes how I look at things and how I respond to things.
You are entitled to your opinion; however, that does not line up with scripture . I'm going to continue with this thread, and you're welcome to join in. I DO know what I'm talking about and I'm combatting the fleshly, pablum nonsense that is being peddled to my brothers and sisters in Christ. This garbage they are being fed from the pulpits is putrid and is keeping the saints as bottle-sucking babies. We have NO power of our own to change our minds in order that they correlate perfectly with God's mind and words and purpose for us...apart from the aid we get via the Holy Spirit. Yes, scripture is an invaluable aid, but scripture also testifies of the internal work of the Spirit. Some here apparently think they can read, understand, judge truth, and will perfectly just because they have a bible in their hands. That dog won't hunt.

Watchman

Noeb
May 29th 2012, 03:47 AM
My former beliefs were based on a particular set of presuppositions, but now I am getting newer, more reliable information that changes how I look at things and how I respond to things.Yes, and that information in this case is in the previous 11 chapters.

BroRog
May 29th 2012, 04:15 PM
You are entitled to your opinion; however, that does not line up with scripture . I'm going to continue with this thread, and you're welcome to join in. I DO know what I'm talking about and I'm combatting the fleshly, pablum nonsense that is being peddled to my brothers and sisters in Christ. This garbage they are being fed from the pulpits is putrid and is keeping the saints as bottle-sucking babies. We have NO power of our own to change our minds in order that they correlate perfectly with God's mind and words and purpose for us...apart from the aid we get via the Holy Spirit. Yes, scripture is an invaluable aid, but scripture also testifies of the internal work of the Spirit. Some here apparently think they can read, understand, judge truth, and will perfectly just because they have a bible in their hands. That dog won't hunt.

WatchmanIf everything you say is true, then your posts will go unheeded. You are attempting to do the very thing you say is impossible, i.e. persuade someone to change their mind using written communication. If you truly believed that we have no power to change our own minds, especially by simply reading the scriptures, then why do you continue to post in these threads? In fact, you actually DO believe that we have the power to change our own minds which is why you make the effort to persuade us using written communication. You defeat your own point. :)

Watchman
May 29th 2012, 04:25 PM
Not exactly. We can change our minds with empowerment from the Holy Spirit. Simply by reading, we may give mental assent that something is, or is not, true; however, we do not change ourselves...we simply play a part in it. That is what the communion of the Holy Spirit is all about...joint participation in our maturation.

W :)

RollTide21
May 29th 2012, 05:32 PM
Again, when Paul speaks about the renewal of the mind, he isn't talking about the repair of the human faculty of thought, the mind or the brain or whatever. He isn't talking about the repair of a broken mind. He isn't talking about fixing the mind or the brain; he isn't talking about doing anything to the mind or the brain at all.

Rather, he is talking about changing our opinion; we used to think 'X' and now we think 'Y'. I started with one notion or idea but I ended up with another one. It was my judgment that 'X' was true, but I change my mind and now I believe that 'Y' is true instead. My former beliefs were based on a particular set of presuppositions, but now I am getting newer, more reliable information that changes how I look at things and how I respond to things.But there has to be a motivation to change our opinion. What reasons would the Romans have to consider Paul's information "newer, and more reliable"?

We MUST have the Spirit's prompting and subsequent leading in order to renew our minds. Without the Spirit that creates a new fundamental desire to be right with God, how can we see the point of even trying to renew our minds?

Watchman
May 29th 2012, 09:59 PM
Rather, he is talking about changing our opinion;
Wouldn't that be called repentance?

W :)

Watchman
May 29th 2012, 10:20 PM
Again, when Paul speaks about the renewal of the mind, he isn't talking about the repair of the human faculty of thought, the mind or the brain or whatever. He isn't talking about the repair of a broken mind. He isn't talking about fixing the mind or the brain; he isn't talking about doing anything to the mind or the brain at all.

Rather, he is talking about changing our opinion; we used to think 'X' and now we think 'Y'. I started with one notion or idea but I ended up with another one. It was my judgment that 'X' was true, but I change my mind and now I believe that 'Y' is true instead. My former beliefs were based on a particular set of presuppositions, but now I am getting newer, more reliable information that changes how I look at things and how I respond to things.
Hi BroRog,

I just realized that my first response to this post was more of a rant than a response. Sorry! I'm not sure how you can arrive at the conclusions you posted given Paul's wording and the meanings & tenses of some of the words. Paul is, indeed, referring to the faculty of human reason, feelings, judging, and understanding. He used the term, mind, but in this sense, the mind represents all of the faculties of the soul that are unique to it. He uses the present tense, which indicated continuous action. Had Paul known about computers, he could have just as easily written, "be transformed by the reprogramming of your mind...". He is talking about a fundamental shift in the way we think that can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit. As I said previously, the brain is not the mind. It is the part of the body that facilitates the operation of the mind. When our mode of thinking changes, new neural pathways are created in our brains that were previously absent. The change in our brains does not indicate that our brains change our minds, rather, that our minds have caused the change in our brains. He is talking about a transformation that occurs through the process of renewal. Renewal indicates a renovation...a rebuild, if you will.

As I said, I don't understand how your reached your conclusions. Would you expand a bit? Will you say why you believe in the way you believe?

Thanks,

W :)

BroRog
May 30th 2012, 04:09 AM
Hi BroRog,

I just realized that my first response to this post was more of a rant than a response. Sorry! I'm not sure how you can arrive at the conclusions you posted given Paul's wording and the meanings & tenses of some of the words. Paul is, indeed, referring to the faculty of human reason, feelings, judging, and understanding. He used the term, mind, but in this sense, the mind represents all of the faculties of the soul that are unique to it. He uses the present tense, which indicated continuous action. Had Paul known about computers, he could have just as easily written, "be transformed by the reprogramming of your mind...". He is talking about a fundamental shift in the way we think that can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit. As I said previously, the brain is not the mind. It is the part of the body that facilitates the operation of the mind. When our mode of thinking changes, new neural pathways are created in our brains that were previously absent. The change in our brains does not indicate that our brains change our minds, rather, that our minds have caused the change in our brains. He is talking about a transformation that occurs through the process of renewal. Renewal indicates a renovation...a rebuild, if you will.

As I said, I don't understand how your reached your conclusions. Would you expand a bit? Will you say why you believe in the way you believe?

Thanks,

W :)If Paul had known about computers he would be talking about changing the data, not the program of the computer. He is not talking about new neural pathways. His point is not to suggest that our mental faculties are broken or defective and need to be renewed or rebuilt. When he talks about the renewal of the mind, his concern is with the content of the mind, not the mind itself.

In order to prove it to you all I need to do follow Paul's line of thought while asking the following question: by "the renewal of the mind" does Paul mean?

a. replacing or repairing a person's mental processes, i.e. the mind as such.

or

b. to repair or replace a person's current thoughts with new, better, and superior thoughts?

As we go down the page, we find that Paul is concerned, not with the mind of the person as such, but with the thoughts a person thinks.

Take verse 3 for example.


For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment

As we can see from verse 3, Paul's concerns himself with what a person thinks and whether the reader has sound judgment. He hasn't concerned himself with the mind as such, but rather his concern is with the thoughts and opinions of his readers. He refers to it as a renewal of the mind because in this context he is using the term "mind" to indicate all of a person's thoughts considered as a comprehensive world view or philosophy of life.

Later in the passage, Paul will use the term "mind" again in the same way.


14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.


He isn't saying "share the same brain", or "share a telepathic union inside your heads." :) He is saying, "share the same world view", or "have the same judgment or opinion about how to treat one another as equals." Paul would say that the world at large, the masses out there, have a distinctive way of thinking about things. And he is asking his readers to abandon the perspective, outlook, orientation, judgments and opinions of the masses of unbelievers out in the world, and to adopt new and superior judgments, opinions, outlook and orientation, which arise in light of the mercies that God has shown them.

Watchman
May 30th 2012, 04:28 AM
Absolutely not. I"ll try to get back tomorrow. The OK City area had some rather rough weather tonight and I've been cleaning out parts of the house that flooded...too tired to respond.

blessings,

W :sleeping:

Eyelog
May 31st 2012, 05:41 AM
If Paul had known about computers he would be talking about changing the data, not the program of the computer. He is not talking about new neural pathways. His point is not to suggest that our mental faculties are broken or defective and need to be renewed or rebuilt. When he talks about the renewal of the mind, his concern is with the content of the mind, not the mind itself.

In order to prove it to you all I need to do follow Paul's line of thought while asking the following question: by "the renewal of the mind" does Paul mean?

a. replacing or repairing a person's mental processes, i.e. the mind as such.

or

b. to repair or replace a person's current thoughts with new, better, and superior thoughts?

As we go down the page, we find that Paul is concerned, not with the mind of the person as such, but with the thoughts a person thinks.

Take verse 3 for example.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment

As we can see from verse 3, Paul's concerns himself with what a person thinks and whether the reader has sound judgment. He hasn't concerned himself with the mind as such, but rather his concern is with the thoughts and opinions of his readers. He refers to it as a renewal of the mind because in this context he is using the term "mind" to indicate all of a person's thoughts considered as a comprehensive world view or philosophy of life.

Later in the passage, Paul will use the term "mind" again in the same way.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.


He isn't saying "share the same brain", or "share a telepathic union inside your heads." :) He is saying, "share the same world view", or "have the same judgment or opinion about how to treat one another as equals." Paul would say that the world at large, the masses out there, have a distinctive way of thinking about things. And he is asking his readers to abandon the perspective, outlook, orientation, judgments and opinions of the masses of unbelievers out in the world, and to adopt new and superior judgments, opinions, outlook and orientation, which arise in light of the mercies that God has shown them.

Actually, I think reprogramming, as well as new data, is a more accurate analogy. What you seem to be saying no to is changes in the hardware.

Frankly, I think whatever needs renewing gets renewed, or healed, sort of like the regeneration of our spirit. Indeed, there is healing in the Word itself, as well as life.

But what does Jesus mean by this, and what's the remedy?


Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’


Or what does Paul mean by this?


Ephesians 1:17-19 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.


What are the eyes of the heart, and how are they enlightened? what about receiving a "Spirit of wisdom and revelation?" It seems Paul spoke to believers only here, just as he did at Romans 12. So, what's up?

BroRog
May 31st 2012, 06:18 AM
Actually, I think reprogramming, as well as new data, is a more accurate analogy. What you seem to be saying no to is changes in the hardware.Yes, that is what I am saying. It is my contention that when Paul talks about the renewing of the mind, he is talking about a change in what we think, not a change in the mind as such.


But what does Jesus mean by this, and what's the remedy?In Matthew 13:15 Jesus speaks figuratively of "closing the eyes", which refers to a person who refuses to see. The inability to see is not due to an impairment of the eyes, or the mind, or the brain. Rather, the inability to understand with the heart is due to a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the truth, which is an act of volition. Comprehension is lacking or non-existent because the people have decided NOT to inquire, consider, ponder, ask questions, think deeply, pay attention, engage the truth in dialog and other such things as is necessary to find mercy from God.

Jesus is quoting a passage from Isaiah in which God essentially says, "Look, I've punished these people so much I have beat them senseless and they still can't hear me." Jesus argues that given this situation, Israel is not ready to be confronted directly with the truth, which is why he must appeal to them indirectly through stories and parables.


What are the eyes of the heart, and how are they enlightened? what about receiving a "Spirit of wisdom and revelation?" It seems Paul spoke to believers only here, just as he did at Romans 12. So, what's up?We have eyes in our head by which we make contact with the physical world, allowing us to navigate through the world without bumping into stuff. Figuratively speaking, the eyes of the heart represent the insight and wisdom we have based on our ability to make sense of the world, grasping the inner nature of things intuitively. Paul is praying that God would grant the Ephesians an insight and a perspective on a reality hidden both in the coming age and among the communion of believers who speak the truth to each other in love.

In my own translation of this passage I don't capitalize the word "spirit" because I believe Paul is using the term "spirit" the way we use the term "atmosphere". Paul is asking God that he would provide the Ephesian church with an atmosphere of wisdom and revelation. That is, he wants God to establish the Ephesian church body into an environment in which the pervading mood is one of wisdom and revelation. He wants the Ephesians to live in a place where Christians can come to learn about the many facets of the Gospel truth, among a body of believers that allow each other the space and freedom to learn about and explore the faith from wise and dedicated men whom God raised up to guide the people into hope, faith and love.

chad
May 31st 2012, 09:18 AM
I would have to agree here. But the question is, what is it in our thinking that must change? In order for our mind to be renewed, something old in our thinking has to be replaced with something new. So what is it in our thinking that we have to change?


[QUOTE=BroRog;2852181]Yes, that is what I am saying. It is my contention that when Paul talks about the renewing of the mind, he is talking about a change in what we think, not a change in the mind as such.

Watchman
May 31st 2012, 04:06 PM
I would have to agree here. But the question is, what is it in our thinking that must change? In order for our mind to be renewed, something old in our thinking has to be replaced with something new. So what is it in our thinking that we have to change?


Yes, that is what I am saying. It is my contention that when Paul talks about the renewing of the mind, he is talking about a change in what we think, not a change in the mind as such.
He is talking about BOTH how we think and what we think. New information, alone, is useless.

W :)

Eyelog
May 31st 2012, 04:30 PM
He is talking about BOTH how we think and what we think. New information, alone, is useless.

W :)

Truly. This is the distinction between worldly wisdom and spiritual wisdom. Paul was all over that in 1 Corinthians 1 and 2, culminating with this:


we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,

“ Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 [d] For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, [e]combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

14 But [f]a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually [g]appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 2 Cor 2.



Indeed, in Chapter 1, he is all over worldly wisdom, specifically human philosophy. Philosophy is not just ideas, but consists in certain schemata or forms of thought. So, you point is very well taken.

I know you agree. :)

chad
May 31st 2012, 09:19 PM
Would have to agree. The renewing of the mind not only comes from the work of the holy spirit in our lives, but also a replacing of worldly wisdom with heavenly wisdom.


Paul writes in Colossians 3:1-17 (NIV)

(Col 3:1) Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

(2) Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

(3) For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

(4) When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

(5) Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

(6) Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

(7) You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.

(8) But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

(9) Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

(10) and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

(11) Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

(12) Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

(13) Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

(14) And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

(15) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

(16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

(17) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.





He is talking about BOTH how we think and what we think. New information, alone, is useless.

W :)

BroRog
May 31st 2012, 11:36 PM
I would have to agree here. But the question is, what is it in our thinking that must change? In order for our mind to be renewed, something old in our thinking has to be replaced with something new. So what is it in our thinking that we have to change? When we accept Jesus as Lord and choose to obey him, we abandon our former perspective, orientation, world-view and etc. and adopt a new perspective, orientation, world-view etc. And because we have adopted a new world-view, much of what we thought was true, suddenly becomes false; much of what we thought was important, suddenly becomes insignificant; much of what we thought was valuable, suddenly becomes worthless.

An example of this paradigm shift is found in scripture in places such as the following passage you might recognize comes from the book of Philippians.


. . . although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from [the] Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which [comes] from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

When Paul found out that Jesus was the messiah, that Jesus was sitting next to the father in authority, that Jesus died to save sinners and that God is granting salvation according to his grace, not according to merit, this was a "game changer" for Paul. This changed everything in his thinking. He went from a Pharisee of Pharisees to a lowly apostle. What he considered gain, he counted as loss. Before he encountered the risen Lord, he put value and stock in his heritage, family ethnicity, Jewishness, piety, morality, religious practices, and knowledge of the scriptures. After he encountered Christ, his entire perspective changed such that what he once valued he counted as loss; what he once thought about God, the world, and mankind, especially Christians was completely transformed. As a practicing Pharisee, he was predisposed to accept certain ideas such as his bias against Christians, which led him to persecute anyone who claimed to follow that sect. After his encounter with Christ, suddenly he no longer had a bias against Christians but, in fact, he embraced them as brothers in the Lord.

In Romans 12, Paul argues that in light of another truth, i.e. God's mercy to both Jews and Gentiles, this idea is another game changer. That one idea ought to transform our thinking such that we find ourselves with completely different ideas about how to treat each other. A single idea -- God has mercy on both Jews and Gentiles -- begins to permeate and transform the rest of our thinking just as a drop of red die changes a clear glass of water to pink water. One big idea transforms all of our other ideas.

For instance, suppose a billionaire walked up to you and said, "You can have as much money as you need for the rest of your life. You will never want for money. All you need to do is agree to spend it wisely and in moderation and I will continue to give it to you on a regular basis." Suddenly this idea transforms how you think about money, how you think about need, how you think about charity, how you think about desire, how you think about many other things. The list goes on and on. Not every fact has this affect on our thinking but sometimes we come across an idea that challenges our entire picture of the world system. Such an idea changes our model of how the world works, and it forces us to accept other new ideas and abandon old ideas. You would no longer worry about paying the rent. You would readily give money to strangers or to friends. But this scenario would challenge you to reconsider whom among the people you know are your REAL friends. Right? One single fact can rock your entire world.

The concept of Eternal Life was like that for me. Once I accepted the fact of Eternal Life and that Eternal Life was going to be mine, this fact transformed my entire world-view; it rocked my paradigm; it shook the foundations of my entire picture of how the world worked. For instance, when I thought I had a limited life-span, I bought what the World was selling: go for the gusto, you only live once; do unto others before they do unto you; watch out for numbero uno; insist on getting your way; giving to others tempts them to take advantage of you; always be first in line; lie on your resume; cheat on a test; take advantage of your suppliers and rip-off your customers; drink a lot of beer, have a lot of sex, party like it's 1999. But the idea that I might live forever changed everything. The concept of death was transformed from a permanent condition to a temporary inconvenience. And since I've got unlimited time, I can relax, put others first, enjoy life at a slower speed, spend more time with others, talking and more importantly, listening.

What Paul wants us to do is allow the truths of the Gospel to infect the rest of our thinking such that our entire world-view and perspective aligns itself with how God looks at the world and aligns itself with what God values. The ideas and concepts presented in the New Testament gospel teaching should make a thorough and dramatic change in the rest of our thoughts, ideas, and opinions. If we accept the concept of Eternal life, for example, many other ideas follow from that, which should affect the way we live this life from now on. If we accept that God is showing mercy to us according to his grace, many other new and different prospects, relations, and attitudes should follow from that and affect the way we act toward other people.

Something like that.

chad
Jun 1st 2012, 09:32 AM
yes, I agree with you here. In Colossians 3:1-17, Paul writes to:

Have your mind set on the things above (heavenly things), not earthly (Col3:1-2).
Putting to death the earthly nature (Flesh and the fruit of the flesh Col3:5&7)
Taking off of our old self and putting on our new self, which is being renewed in knowledge . (Col 3:8-10)

But renewing of the mind to me is also: filling our minds with the word of God, the truth of God, the wisdom of God, the teaching of God , the revelation of God (through his holy spirit and learning of knowledge) and the working of the Holy Spirit in us that transforms us .

The Holy Spirit indwelling in us, allows us to change our minds and ways and changes our behaviour and thought, so it’s more than just a one-time repentance and conversion at salvation.





What Paul wants us to do is allow the truths of the Gospel to infect the rest of our thinking such that our entire world-view and perspective aligns itself with how God looks at the world and aligns itself with what God values. The ideas and concepts presented in the New Testament gospel teaching should make a thorough and dramatic change in the rest of our thoughts, ideas, and opinions. If we accept the concept of Eternal life, for example, many other ideas follow from that, which should affect the way we live this life from now on. If we accept that God is showing mercy to us according to his grace, many other new and different prospects, relations, and attitudes should follow from that and affect the way we act toward other people.

Something like that.

Watchman
Jun 1st 2012, 12:07 PM
In Colossians 3:1-17, Paul writes to:

Have your mind set on the things above (heavenly things), not earthly (Col3:1-2).
Putting to death the earthly nature (Flesh and the fruit of the flesh Col3:5&7)
Taking off of our old self and putting on our new self, which is being renewed in knowledge . (Col 3:8-10)

But renewing of the mind to me is also: filling our minds with the word of God, the truth of God, the wisdom of God, the teaching of God , the revelation of God (through his holy spirit and learning of knowledge) and the working of the Holy Spirit in us that transforms us .

The Holy Spirit indwelling in us, allows us to change our minds and ways and changes our behaviour and thought, so it’s more than just a one-time repentance and conversion at salvation.
Yes and amen. Transformation takes awhile for some, a long time for some, and not so long for some...but it is still a process. The process of transformation should not be likened to the event of transfiguration.

chad
Jun 1st 2012, 10:06 PM
I agree,

Paul encourages us in Hebrews 12:1 to run the race set out before us, refering to our faith. Abiding in him and running the race to completion is a process and takes time. We don't start at the finish line, the finish line is the destination and there is a journey on the way.



Yes and amen. Transformation takes awhile for some, a long time for some, and not so long for some...but it is still a process. The process of transformation should not be likened to the event of transfiguration.