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  • Discussion Renewing of the Mind

    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
    Last edited by Watchman; May 20th 2012, 09:43 PM. Reason: tpyo
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

  • #2
    Re: Renewing of the Mind

    Originally posted by Watchman View Post
    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.

    Striving to apprehend that for which I have been apprehended in Christ Jesus.



    sigpic
    מרן אתא

    Walk in the Light!
    התהלכו באור

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    • #3
      Re: Renewing of the Mind

      Originally posted by Watchman View Post
      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 [be] the glory forever. Amen. 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, 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

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Renewing of the Mind

        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Renewing of the Mind

          Originally posted by BroRog
          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
          Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Renewing of the Mind

            Originally posted by Watchman View Post
            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?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Renewing of the Mind

              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

              Originally posted by Noeb View Post
              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?
              Amazzin

              Obedience to God is more than a soldier obeying his commander. It is our grateful response to the Lover of our souls.

              CHURCH: Where worship is enjoyed, not endured - Grace is preached, not legalism - And Christ is exalted, not religion!



              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Renewing of the Mind

                Originally posted by amazzin View Post
                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?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Renewing of the Mind

                  Sure, but let's keep this serious.

                  Originally posted by Noeb View Post
                  Thanks! Better?
                  Amazzin

                  Obedience to God is more than a soldier obeying his commander. It is our grateful response to the Lover of our souls.

                  CHURCH: Where worship is enjoyed, not endured - Grace is preached, not legalism - And Christ is exalted, not religion!



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Renewing of the Mind

                    Originally posted by Watchman View Post
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Renewing of the Mind

                      Originally posted by Noeb View Post
                      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

                      Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Renewing of the Mind

                        Originally posted by LookingUp View Post
                        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
                        Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Renewing of the Mind

                          Originally posted by Watchman View Post
                          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! :-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Renewing of the Mind

                            Originally posted by LookingUp View Post
                            hee hee, very funny! :-)
                            Yeah, if I get any funnier, someone'll yawn.

                            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
                            Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Renewing of the Mind

                              Originally posted by Watchman View Post
                              Yeah, if I get any funnier, someone'll yawn.

                              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)

                              Comment

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