Salvation – Why Do I Renew My Mind?

I can’t get past thinking about the renewing of the mind. My thoughts are drawn back to it daily.

Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. (Rom 12:2)

I understand the concept of it. As we immerse ourselves into the Word and into meditation/prayer with God, our mind, our thoughts, our beliefs are and will be transformed to those of God. Not to the same degree of course, as how can we have the exact thoughts and understanding of the one who created everything, but our desires, motivations and wants should be transformed to match those of God. We will begin to think and operate under a kingdom thought process instead of a worldly thought process. Now notice that I included meditation/prayer with God in the mix as people go off in strange areas when they only spend time with the Bible and trying to understand it on their own. One can not glean the truths from scripture without the Holy Spirit teaching and explaining it to us.

So, renewing of the mind concept explained, let me explain why I am stuck on this.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and-look!-all things have become new! (2Co 5:17)

For you have been born again, not by a seed that perishes but by one that cannot perish-by the living and everlasting word of God. (1Pe 1:23)

With salvation, we are said to be born again. We died and were reborn in Jesus. Paul says we are a new creation. Peter says that when we are born again we are of a different seed than we were born of before. So, we are new and different once we are saved. So why do we struggle? Why do we do what we did before? Why do we have to renew our mind? Why did we not get a new mind since the rest of us is a new creation?

Jesus replied to him, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person be born when he is old? He can’t go back into his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:3-6)

So when we are saved, we become both flesh and Spirit right? That is what it seems like Jesus is saying.

You used to be dead because of your offenses and sins, in which you once lived according to the ways of this present world and according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now active in those who are disobedient. Indeed, all of us once behaved like them in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of our flesh and senses. By nature we deserved wrath, just like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us even when we were dead because of our offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly realm in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:1-6)

We were dead, spiritually, because of offenses and sins. This points back to original sin, which I see more as a genetic defect of sorts compared to being and doing evil. Well, we were not exactly dead spiritually, because we had the spirit of the world active in us. Now this spirit is not of God, who is life, so this spirit leads to death, so we will be dead at some future point if we do not replace the spirit of the world with the Spirit of God. Salvation, is the process of our worldly spirit dying on the cross, more of a metaphysical thing than we actually go back in time and suffer, and then from that death, we are reborn, spiritually, in the life of Christ. We do not get a new spirit and go off and live our life. Our spiritual life is always and forever tied to and in Christ. We do not get an individual spirit or even a portion of the whole. Our spirit is the same spirit that every other believer has. One spirit.

Sorry for the rant, but wanted to make that point. =D

Back on track I think. So the flesh is still alive through out this process as only the spirit is dying. Even if it doesn’t feel like the spirit died or we don’t feel different after the spirit died or we did feel something when the spirit died, the spirit died when we became saved. In the spiritual realm, the spiritual death we would have faced was fast forwarded through the event on the cross, so we were able to experience that death now instead of later. So while all of this is going on, our body is still here. It is still alive and breathing and functioning and all of the other stuff it does in the physical world. ** poof ** We now have two lives that are existing at once.

So the new creation that we are only pertains to the spiritual creation that we have become. The flesh is still fallen and still will die and still will crave the things that it did before. The mind is still between the flesh which will die and the spirit that is eternal. Maybe eternal is not a good word as time is not linear in the spirit like it is in the physical. That aside, I think we all understand that eternal means it keeps existing so might as well leave it in.

So, we must renew the mind or we must make the mind new and learn the ways of the living spirit as if we were babies. The downside to this process is that we still remember and know the old ways of the spirit that has died. I have heard the analogy that we renew our minds similar to the renovation of a house or a car. The old parts are stripped away and replaced with new and better parts. Now this is a good analogy, but when you think about the fact that the frame and essence of what was there before still remains, even though you have replaced some of the old and damaged parts with new parts, it makes you wonder. Well, it makes me wonder.

It makes me wonder how far corrupted we are. If we were totally corrupted and nothing was good about us, then a restoration or renewal of our mind wouldn’t not suffice right? I mean we would still be trying to make ourselves a better version of what we were before. So, logic says, there must still be some good within us that is the being built upon right? Are you thinking that I am walking a universalism approach? Are you thinking it now that I asked if you were thinking it before?

Don’t worry, I am not. Or don’t be too disappointed that I am not. You might like the universalism stance and were hoping I would embrace it too.

Going back to Adam, something died on that day that he ate of the fruit. His spirit, given and breathed in to him from God, died. It was replaced by the world’s spirit. So the rest of Adam, which God created, was still good-ish, but without the spirit from God to direct it, it went with what it knew and could feel. God didn’t abandon Adam since he no longer had that spirit. We see in the next generation that Abel was able to do things that were pleasing to God without that spirit. Man can still do things to try and follow God and please Him while being filled with the spirit of the world. Still not embracing universalism.

So, mankind knows good from evil apart from being filled with the spirit from God. That is why we are all held accountable. Being saved does not mean we are smart and know the ways of God.

For we are his masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. (Eph 2:10)

Adam was the first man, but not the masterpiece of God. Adam was the first step into the realization of the masterpiece. Angels were created with an independent spirit and they fell. Man was created with an independent spirit and fell. The masterpiece of salvation, is being one with the spirit of Christ and being united with God. The renewing of the mind allows “us” to abide in Christ and his spirit.

I have need to get that out for awhile now.  Came out longer than I first thought.

Do You Have a Religious Spirit?

I found this:

SOME WARNING SIGNS OF A RELIGIOUS SPIRITMost of us are subject to religious spirits to some degree. Paul exhorts us to “test ourselves to see if we are in the faith”, (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Go through the warning signs below and check the ways you behave because you might have a religious spirit in that area of your life. Remember religious spirits are seven times stronger that other types of spirits as demonstrated in Daniel 3:19. Remember that religious spirits hold people in spiritual slavery. The battle against this spiritual slavery can only be won by unconditional love, in living the Christian life focused on Jesus and the Word of God and being filled with the Holy Spirit. So use this checklist to set yourself or others free to worship, walk and work with the Holy Spirit.

1 The tendency to see your primary mission as tearing down what you believe is wrong. This person’s ministry will produce more division than lasting works.

2 The inability to take a rebuke, especially from those you judge to be less spiritual than yourself. Think back on how you responded the last few times someone tried to correct you.

3 A philosophy that will not listen to other people – “only to God” Since God usually speaks through people, this is an obvious delusion and reveals serious spiritual pride.

4 The inclination to see more of what is wrong with other people and other churches than what is right with them. John saw Babylon from the valley, but when he was carried to a “high mountain: he saw the New Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:10) If we only see Babylon, our perspective is wrong. Those who are in a place of true vision will focus on what God is doing not on any human achievement.

5 Overwhelming guilt that you can never measure up to the Lord’s standards. This is a root of the religious spirit because it causes you to base your relationship with Him on your performance rather than on the cross.

6 The belief that you have been appointed to fix everyone else! The self-appointed watchmen or sheriffs in God’s kingdom are seldom involved in building anything; they keep the church in a state of annoyance and agitation and may cause serious divisions.

7 A leadership style that is bossy, overbearing and intolerant of the failure of others. As James said: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”, (James 3:17-18).

8 A sense that you are closer to God than other people or that your life or ministry is more pleasing to Him. This is a symptom of the profound delusion that we draw closer to God by who we are rather than through Jesus.

9 Pride in your spiritual maturity or discipline, especially as you compare yourself to others. True spiritual maturity involves growing up into Christ. When we begin to compare ourselves with others, it is obvious that we have lost sight of the true goal – Jesus.

10 The belief that you are on the cutting edge of what God is doing. This includes thinking that you are involved in the most important thing that God is doing. Again this is spiritual pride, self-centeredness, even if it were true. Those entrusted with the truly important missions have the grace to fulfill them because God “gives grace to the humble”, (James 4:6).

11 A mechanical prayer life. When you start feeling relieved that your prayer time is over, or when you have prayed though your prayer list, you should check your condition. You will never feel relief when your conversation is over with the One you love.

12 Doing things so people will notice. This is a symptom of the idolatry of fearing people more than we fear God, and it results in a religion that serves people instead of God.

13 Being overly repulsed by emotionalism. When people who are subject to a religious spirit encounter the true life of God, it will usually appear excessive, emotional and demonstrative. Remember how David danced when he brought the ark of the God into Jerusalem? And remember this repulsed his wife Michal and she was barren from that day on, (2 Samuel 6:23). Such a critical spirit will lead to spiritual barrenness.

14 Using emotionalism as a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit. Do you think that weeping and wailing must accompany repentance? Or that one must “fall under the power” to be truly touched by God? Even though both of these can be evidences of the true work of the Holy Spirit, you are beginning to move in another spirit if you require these manifestations.

During Jonathon Edward’s meetings in the First Great Awakening some of the toughest, most rebellious men fell on the ground and stayed there for up to 24 hours. Such seemingly strange manifestations fuelled the Great Awakening, since these men were truly changed. Even so, Edwards stated men who faked these manifestations brought an end to the Great Awakening more than the enemies of the revival.

15 Keeping score in you spiritual life. Do you feel better about yourself because you go to more meetings, read your Bible more, or do more things for the Lord than other people do? These are all noble endeavors, but the true measure of spiritual maturity is getting closer to the Lord.

16 Being encouraged when your ministry looks better than others’ ministries. This includes getting discouraged when it seems that other ministries are looking better or growing faster.

17 Glorying more in what God has done in the past than what He is doing in the present. God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The veil has been removed. We can be as close to God today as anyone in the past. A religious spirit always seeks to focus our attention on making comparisons rather than simply drawing closer to Jesus.

18 The tendency to be suspicious of or oppose new movements or churches. This is an obvious symptom of jealousy, a primary fruit of the religious spirit or of pride that asserts that God would not do anything without going through us. Of course, the Lord rarely uses people with such a mentality.

19 The tendency to reject spiritual manifestations that we do not understand. This is a symptom of pride and arrogance that presumes our opinions are the same as God’s. True humility keeps us teachable and open, patiently waiting for fruit before making judgments. That is why we are exhorted to “prove all things, hold fast that which is good”, not what is bad, (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

20 An overreaction to carnality in the church. Far more carnality likely exists in the church and a lot less of the Holy Spirit than even the most critical person would think. We must learn to be delivered from our carnality and to grow in our submission to the Holy Spirit. But the critical person will want to annihilate those who may still be doing things in the flesh 60 percent of the time, instead of helping them along the way.

21 An overreaction to immaturity in the church. The Lord tolerates a certain amount of immaturity. A four year old is immature compared to a 14 year old, but that is okay. In fact, they may be very mature for a four year old. The idealistic religious spirit only sees the immaturity without considering the other important factors.

22 The inability to join anything that you do not deem as being perfect or near perfect. The Lord joined humans here on earth and even gave His life for the fallen human race. The apostles that he called and released to build His church would probably have made most people’s list of “The least likely to succeed”. Such will be our nature, too, if we abide in Him. We will not just see people as they are but also for whom they can become.

23 If while reading theses signs you were thinking about how they applied to someone else, you may have a serious problem with a religious spirit.