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.