The renewing of your mind…
I want to summarize this series by saying that the foundation to every form of Christian service, specifically cross-cultural church planting, is our willingness to yield our entire person unreservedly to God’s use. This disposition toward God makes our actions acceptable worship to Him. We maintain this disposition by refusing to be conformed to this world’s system, by allowing God to transform our total personal and through the renewing of the mind. As my mind is renewed, God’s glory is more purely reflected in me. These truths lead us to one final critical question. How does God renew my mind?
How does God renew my mind?
II 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.
Romans 8:28-29 …And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…
According to these passages, there are two primary tools that the indwelling Holy Spirit uses to renovate our minds, and change us into the image of Christ in character and conduct. First, He uses the word of God. In James 1 and II Corinthians 3, God’s Word is compared to a mirror. God’s Word like a mirror is God’s self revelation. We see the reflection of God’s glory through His word. Like Moses who glowed physically after having spent significant time in God’s presence, on Mount Sinai, we will reflect His glory when we see His glory reflected in His word. This reflection is not a physical reflection like the glory of the transfiguration or Moses on Sinai; rather it is a reflection of the glory of God in our character and conduct. God’s word also reveals our current character and conduct in the light of the character and expectations of God. John refers to the presence of God and His revelation as being in the light. He uses this analogy, because the light exposes what could not be seen before it was introduced. God’s word as it reveals God to us, progressively exposes areas of character and living that are not conformed to His character and expectations. The Holy Spirit illumines our minds to the personal significance of God’s word, as well as enables us as we make decisions of obedience. God change us primarily through His word. Secondly, God uses the circumstances of life in this process of growth into Christ-likeness. All things in the believer’s life work together in God’s plan for the believer’s good. Sadly, many believers manipulate this passage to say things that God never intended for it to mean. This passage does not teach that God will work everything to a pleasant end in this life, that you will be healed, get a raise, or get what you think is good and best. This passage teaches that the good that Paul mentions is God’s conforming the believer to the image of Christ. The good work of God is Christian growth, and sometimes this growth is painful.
Let me ask you first how often are you in the Word of God? You will not grow if you are not walking in the light of God’s word and fellowship. Secondly, how are you responding to the circumstances of life? God has allowed you into the unique circumstances that you are facing that you would obey Him in those circumstances, so He can change your thinking, character, and living. May we all have the needed grace of God to respond obediently to His word in the various circumstances of life! He is doing a good work of transforming you into a trophy of grace reflecting more purely each day the glory of God!