Changing Your Mind

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    In part II today we are going to look at the second point of this verse, be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

You know me by now, I love the “buts” in the bible this one is no different. Paul puts his foot down as it were and tells the Romans and us in part I ‘do not fashion your life after those of the world around you’ then down comes the other foot so to speak and he says BUT “be ye transformed”. Listen I never saw this before and I have read this hundreds of times. A prohibition or ban on something should not cause us to stop in our tracks and give up. No we are all to be God’s faithful servants and if he prohibits one thing get busy looking for the thing He wants you to be doing. It is all part of the sanctification process.

A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's: She changes it more often.
Oliver Herford

    I hope I am not insulting and one with this quote. It helps make the following point. That changing one’s mind on a whim is an acceptable practice in the world today. Folks will tell you that both our constitution and the bible are “living” documents meant to change as people become more enlightened. That is a bunch of crap. “Christians” who accept that and profess to be believers but spout lies like “old earth creationist”, who go with the flow as it were and do not take time to determine the truth, are living in sin. That is not what Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit is implying at all when he tells us we must be transformed by the renewing or changing of our minds. Prior to our conversion we were already willing to compromise and accept the “norm”. No, a true believer will feel compelled to be different and not compromise the bible. Ok slightly off subject so let’s break down this phrase.

A) But be ye transformed:

Greek word Metamorphoo - to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure as in Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration

This is where we get our English word, metamorphosis:

Noun; meaning to change of form or shape; transformation; particularly, a change in the form of being; as the metamorphosis of an insect from the Aurelia or chrysalis state into a winged animal.

How are we to morph or be transformed? Are we going to suddenly grow heavenly wings?J Maybe we will just get the halo glow. Or how about we change personalities, like we all become peace loving sweet talking lovable types.

Ok I know I was clowning but seriously we do change. But unlike some insects of this world it is not our outward appearance that changes, nor many times our personalities. No it is our THOUGHTS and ACTIONS that change.

How? Simple read on the bible won’t leave you hanging.

B) By the renewing of your mind:

Anakainosisa: renewal, renovation, complete change for the better

I love the second definition from Strong’s, Renovation. As a carpenter I have renovated many an old home making it appear new after decay, destruction or depravation. To see the transformation is amazing made more so by the grin of acceptance on the homeowners face when the process is done. Think of God and how we become acceptable to Him. It is only through the complete renovation of our souls, brought about by the blood of Calvary. I know this is not found in scripture but I picture God in Heaven smiling as each new saint enters into the family. Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

Websters 1828

1. The act of renewing; the act of forming a new; as the renewal of a treaty.

2. Renovation; regeneration.

3. Revival; restoration to a former or to a good state

Wait a minute we all agreed weeks ago that man had no good in him (John 3:19) that he had SOS (Stuck on Stupid) disease and was incapable of good on his own. How can the #3 definition apply?

Through the renewing of our minds, by the indwelling power of the Holy Ghost we are restored to a state that God had intended mankind to be in at creation. It is a renewal; the renovation of the heart by grace. We are restored to a “good” state one that worships and honors Him. Just as the homeowner is well pleased with the work of the carpenter God is well pleased with the work of the Holy Spirit is us.

Again only one other use: Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done , but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Nooce: the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining the intellectual faculty, the understanding reason in the narrower sense, as the capacity for spiritual truth, the higher powers of the soul, the faculty of perceiving divine things, of recognizing goodness and of hating evil the power of considering and judging soberly, calmly and impartially a particular mode of thinking and judging, i.e thoughts, feelings, purposes, desires

MIND, noun

1. Intention; purpose; design.

The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination; how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind Proverbs 21:27.

2. Inclination; will; desire; a sense much used, but expressing less than settled purpose; as in the common phrases, 'I wish to know your mind; ' 'let me know your mind; ' 'he had a mind to go; ' 'he has a partner to his mind '

3. Opinion; as, to express one's mind We are of one mind

4. Memory; remembrance; as, to put one in mind; to call to mind; the fact is out of my mind; time out of mind From the operations of the intellect in man, this word came to signify.

5. The intellectual or intelligent power in man; the understanding; the power that conceives, judges or reasons. I fear I am not in my perfect mind

So we speak of a sound mind a disordered mind a weak mind a strong mind with reference to the active powers of the understanding; and in a passive sense, it denotes capacity, as when we say, the mind cannot comprehend a subject.

6. The heart or seat of affection.

Which were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah. Genesis 26:35.

7. The will and affection; as readiness of mind Acts 17:11.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so

8. The implanted principle of grace. Romans 7:23.

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Defender’s Study Bible 12:2

We are predestined ultimately to be “conformed to the image of [God’s] Son” (Romans 8:29); therefore it is eminently logical that we should not be conformed to this world, which is at “enmity with God” (James 4:4). See also I John 2:15

Our “renewed minds” were once “blinded” by the “god of this world,” Satan (II Corinthians 4:4). Now they should be, and can be, in harmony with and guided by “the mind of Christ” (Romans 11:34; I Corinthians 2:16).

Gill But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; which regards not the first work of conversion and renovation; for in this sense these persons were transformed, metamorphosed, changed, and renewed already; but the after progress and carrying on the work of renovation, the renewing of them day by day in the spirit of their minds; see Ephesians 4:23; which believers should be desirous of, and pray for, and make use of those means which the Spirit of God owns for this purpose, attending to the spiritual exercises of religion, as reading, meditation, prayer, conference, the ministration of the word and ordinances, which is the reverse of conformity to the world: and the end to be attained hereby is, God's continual charge in both the Old and New Testaments to not conform to the ways of this lost and hell bent world...

Let us look at a few other verses that warn us to be non-conformists.

Ex 23:2 “You shall not follow a multitude in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice;

Deut 18:9 “When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.

John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

2Cor 6:14-18  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.

2Cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind...20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,

Jas 1:27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Jas 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1Pet 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

1Pet 4:2 (1Pe 4:1) so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

1John 2:15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Rev 13:8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him (Antichrist - Rev 13:7), everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

In summary we are not to fashion ourselves after the models of this world. But we are to be transformed by the renovation, the complete transformation of our minds by the Holy Spirit. This is the foundation of our sanctification.

Next week we will look at Testifying to God’s Will.

Following Who’s Fashion Romans 12:2

Over the last two weeks we looked at verse one of Romans 12 in two sermons entitled Acceptable Reason. Today we continue our introduction to sanctification with verse two of Romans 12.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

If you remember we said that Sanctification is a theological term used to describe the process of growing holy, mature in our faith. We also determined that this process requires that the things we do as we mature must be acceptable to God and reasonable for us to undertake. We looked at a number of verses that demonstrate actions God finds acceptable. Now we will look at what the object or goal of sanctification is for believers.

I believe the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit points out three goals for the maturing Christian to strive towards. They are to not be like the world around them, to change the way they think and therefore act and their action should prove to all who witness the will of God.

And be not conformed to this world:

Conformed or Greek Suschematizoto means; conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern

World:

  1. forever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
  2. the worlds, universe
  3. period of time, age

The homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,

on the epistle of St. Paul the apostle to the Romans:

Ver. 2. “And be not fashioned[6] after this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

For the fashion of this world is groveling and worthless, and but for a time, neither hath ought of loftiness, or lastingness, or straightforwardness, but is wholly perverted. If then thou wouldest walk upright, figure not thyself after the fashion of this life present. For in it there is nought abiding or stable. And this is why he calls it a fashion (σχμα); and so in another passage, “the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1 Cor. 7:31.) For it hath no durability or fixedness, but all in it is but for a season; and so he calls it this age (or world, Gr. α& 241·ν), hereby to indicate its liableness to misfortune, and by the word fashion its unsubstantialness.

I love that Chrysostom choses to use the word fashion here ILO the KJ translation of conformed. Especially considering the importance on fashion and looks in today’s society. Now I will not claim to know much at all about fashion, I am a cowboy boots and jeans kind of guy, but I do know fashion seems to change with the seasons. This is Chrysostom’s point, do not fashion or pattern your life after an ever changing world view of things. No we as believers are to fashion our lives after the model Christ Himself left for us.

We could paraphrase the phrase to read, do not fashion your lives after the ever changing patterns of non beleivers. The Apostle Peter used the same word fashion in 1 Peter 1:14

13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy

You all know how much I love conjunctures in scripture. Wherefore, gird up you loins, Peter is telling us to put our big boy britches on. Why? Read the previous 12 verses and it becomes clear, in short Peter blesses them for being regenerated, that the promise they have in salvation is cause for great rejoicing even when trials and temptations come. That this joy is to so glorious prophet’s spoke of it and angels desire it. Now because of all that get ready and act like obedient children of God and do not go after former lusts but, Just as God is Holy so to must we in all we do be Holy. That is how we must fashion our regenerated lives.

This will not be easy. There will be trials and temptations all along our path (note if you have never read John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrims Progress you need to) let us look at a few verses that confirm this.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Note James says “when you” not should you. Kind of shoots all those name it and claim it prosperity preacher’s theories down huh.

1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations

Peter paints a rosy picture when he tells us there will be manifold or multiple temptations.

Isaiah 20:2-3 At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia

Isaiah is walking around naked and barefoot for three years. Sounds like a great time to me.

Ezekiel 24:15-18 Also the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. 17 Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. 18 So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded

Here is (in my opinion) one of the toughest assignments ever handed out in the Bible. God tells Ezekiel not to mourn the death of his beloved wife. Not only that, but God Himself was the one who took his wife from him. Now most men would be really ticked off but Ezekiel is obedient.

The Old Testament too is full of such stories such as Elijah’s trials in 1 Kings 19, Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, Joseph who was sold by his family or dare we forget the examples Jesus Himself endured. These and many more verses show that Christians who are being obedient to God’s calling and doing things for the Kingdom of God to His glory are going to have trails and temptations in their lives. If your life as Christian is just smooth sailing all the time you need to consider if you are doing God’s will.

We will close tonight with a verse from Jesus:

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Our Lord and Saviour Himself; points out that we will have tribulations in the world. But, gotta love those conjunctures in the Bible, He says we can have joy in these situations. How can one possibly have joy in such times? Simple by being non-conforming to this world and by understanding He who has overcome the world.