Bible Studies Sermons By James Thornton / last year Share Tweet Pin Share The Significance Of A Renewed Mind Romans 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.” Introduction: Some people believe that being a Christian and going to heaven is a cakewalk, with no obligations, no demands on them, no sacrifice, and no change in their everyday pattern of living. But right off Jesus told His followers that there would be crosses to bear, and straight and narrow paths to walk in. One only has to read The Sermon On The Mount in Matthew 4, 5, & 6, as Jesus gives the principals of gaining entrance to the Kingdom Of Heaven, to see that it is different from that belief. Some will say that Paul says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31), but fail to read the next few verses which tells us that Paul had more to say about these people’s salvation than just belief. Paul and other Apostles wrote most of the New Testament to give instruction to Church members telling them the type of life they must live to gain entrance to Heaven. The verse previous to our text is a sample of the type of life Paul says we must live. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). The Christian life is a disciplined life. Our bodies must be disciplined, our minds must be disciplined, in fact our entire life must be disciplined. That’s why we chose the verse of our text (Romans 12:2), to show us the key to living this type of life. Why Do We Need A Renewed Mind: Romans 12:2 is the key to living as God has commanded us to live. God has called, yea commanded us to “love the Lord thy God with all thy mind.” God has called us the have “the mind of Christ,” a mind of humility, the mind of service. Peter tells us to, “gird up the loins of our mind.” Our mind is the most vital part of us in our service for God, and our planned trip to heaven. There two words we will use from Romans 12:2 to start this study, the word “Transformed,” And “Renewing.” The key word in Romans 12:2 is “renewing,” that’s how we become “transformed.” There are two natures that are contending for attention in us, the “Old Nature,” and the “New Nature.” The only way we can get victory over the “Old Nature” is by the renewing of our mind. Our mind is the battleground. It is in our minds where the battle is fought and we decide whether to let our “Old Nature” have rule over us, or whether we will let God and His order rule us. We make critical decisions daily. And a “renewed mind” is the only way we can withstand the pressure of the world. “Do not be conformed” –resist the outward pressure of being “conformed,” or, “becoming like,” or, “taking on the nature” of the world. Conformation is becoming a part of the structure of something. In this case Paul is telling us not to become a part of the structure of the world. Conformation comes from the outside. “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” “Don’t become so well adjusted to the culture around you that you fit into it without even thinking or resisting.” Don’t let anything take over that does not represent you as a child of God. Do not take on the colors of the world. A little dye will change the color of a river. “The World:” When the Bible speaks of “the world” It is referring to the conditions of humanity. It’s fads, its fancy, it’s fashions, the existing styles—everything that is outside of the Kingdom of God. In Galatians 1:4, Paul calls it “this present evil world,” or age. The “World” is not this round globe, but the culture, systems, or order. Paul is saying don’t allow the world around you to pressure you into its mold of fashions, and culture, in such a way that you become just like the world. We are all subject to ‘peer pressure,’ from friends, co-workers, even family members, and all sorts of daily contacts, television, internet, phone, etc. The only way we can be a true Christian is not to be conformed to this world. A Christian must resist this pressure to be something you are not really like. Did you face a situation this week that pressured you into doing, saying, or thinking something that does not reflect the Christian experience? Two Purposes Of The Renewed Mind: One Negative, One Positive: 1. The Negative, That we be not be “Conformed,” like, shaped, acting, thinking like the world. “Put off the old man with his deeds.” 2. The Positive, That we be “Transformed,” changed dramatically, under go total change, converted from one form to another. 1 John 3:2. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” As Jesus was totally changed at His resurrection—we shall be changed to be like Him. But we will see in this study that the change must begin in this life. And the change, or transformation, takes place on a daily basis. 1. First The Negative: “Be Not Conformed To This World:” We as Christians are going to be pressured from the outside to be like the world. We must have something on the inside to resist the outside pressure—the inward power will Transform—change us, by the renewing of our mind. A Renewed Mind is the only thing that will stand against the outward pressure. Paul tells us in Galatians 1:4 that we can be “delivered,” set free from, this present evil world. Here Paul is not talking about the rapture, or the second coming of Christ, but that the death of Jesus has made available power for us to resist and overcome this “evil world.” 2. The Positive: “Be Ye Transformed By The Renewing Of Your Mind: Question, how does our mind become transformed? There are two Agents involved in the renewing of the mind. It is the same two things that are necessary for you to become a Christian. 1. The Word Of God: 2. The Holy Spirit: These work together to help us become a Christian. Our minds cannot be renewed except by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3: 5b. “But according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;” The word “renewing” is used only two times in the New Testament, Romans 12:2, and Titus 3:5, and both times in conjunction of the renewing process of the Holy Spirit. We are being renewed, or renovated (to make something like new, to bring something such as a building back to a former better state by means of repairs, redecoration, or remodeling), by these two agents, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. These two agents have been the force behind everything that has happened since creation. The scripture tells us at creation that “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2) Nothing happened until the Spirit Of God Moved. The next verse tells us. “And God Said.” And when the voice (Word) of God went forth things happened. So we have since the beginning the Spirit and the Word working together to bring about change. It’s the same in our lives the Spirit and the Word work together to bring about “renewing,” or renovation. The Word and The Spirit work together for this process. The Word of God is taken in by listening to sermons based on the Word of God and by reading and studying our Bibles daily. The Holy Spirit takes that Word of God that that has been taken into our minds and applys it to the situations you face. The Holy Spirit uses that Word to show you things in your life that should not be there, ot to show you how to bring things into your life that should be there. There are things that should be in our life and that are things that should ought not to be there. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to convict us. Real conviction brought on by these two agents working together brings change to our lives, and inward power to resist the outward pressure from the world. Little by little there is a replacement of things that should not be in us by things that should be in us. 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” This is the The Holy Spirit and Word of God working together to change the way you think, the way you act, and the way you go about in your life. These two actions are involved in the renewing of the mind. The Word of God must come into our mind. It must become important to us, and it will, the more we read and study it. In order for The Word of God to really work in our hearts, or hearts must e prepared to receive it. God gets our attention by something that happens to us. A critical illness, a violent accident, lost your job, a bad dream, or a sermon you hear. Through these The Holy Spirit plows up the dirt in our heart, we call it conviction., This starts the renewing process. An Ongoing Process: “Be Ye Transformed.” This is in the present tense. It is an ongoing process, not a one time thing like, On the 4th of February I was transformed and now everything is new. We are constantly bring transformed—it is a serious thing to become a Christian is not a one time event. 2 Corinthians 3:18. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Everyday we are becoming something other than what we are. It is a process; we are “changed from day to day.” Each day of service, each reading of His Word, each prayer we pray, each service we attend, each time we commune with God we are becoming more and more like Him, and our minds are being transformed. It Is A Submissive Attitude: We are receiving this action or process from an outward source—in other words, we cannot transform ourselves—it takes the Word of God and The Holy Spirit working in our minds to bring about change. Our role is to be submissive to this process of changing us or transforming our mind. It is a daily ongoing process. Let us be submissive while reading the Word of God so the Holy Spirit can bring about the process of transformation. Lokk upon the greatest Christian example you know, and then think, they were not always that way—they had to have a transformation process take place in their lives ocer a period of time. Let us make it a part of our daily prayer, “I will be submissive to the Holy Spirit working in my life.” The Proof Of The Renewed Mind: We all want to know the will of God for our life. We all want to hear a voice from heaven, or see a burning bush, or perhaps an angel to give us directions. Now those things have happened, but it is more likely to be a natural thing that comes as a result of having our minds renewed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. This works to bring our minds in contact with God—and we think about things through the mind of God. We put on the mind of Christ—we think about Him—we act like Him—and the will of God becomes apparent to us. Then we know the will of God for us. Then God leads our life like a shepherd leads his flock—we learn to follow. Romans 12:2b. “that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” How do you prove the will of God? You just live it and our lives will be so much better. Read His Word, let it impress your mind, then you begin to do his will, then we are “Changed from glory to glory.” As this process works in our life we will know beyond doubt the will of God. We will love the will of God. We will learn it. The will of God is the most exciting, the most enjoyable, the most thrilling way you can live your life. You know you are in the will of God throughout the day—He will be with you, you can talk to Him, you can enjoy His presence every minute of the day. It’s an exciting life, it’s fun serving Jesus Christ. Thinking about Jesus and His Word keeps the world from pressing us into it’s mold and doing something else with our life. I became a Christian and never wanted to be anything else. We all have had offers that would have carried us into another way of life—to make us rich or poplar or famous. It’s the transformation of our lives by renewing of our minds by the Word of God and by the working of the Holy Spirit from the inside out. We’ve been transformed, renewed, changed, and renovated. We are changed daily into His image—to be like God—knowing His will. Transformed by the presence of Christ—not conformed by the pressure of this world. We know we have been transformed when we love God, His Word, His Will for our lives more that anything else in the world.