This post turned out to be much longer than I thought… but it helped me tremendously to understand what mind renewal is all about!
“2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Rom 12
We all know the scripture that urges us believers to not be conformed to this world, but to be “transformed” by the renewal of our minds. What does this “transformed” mean? There are various opinions on this, some of them are correct, and some of them not. Have a look at 3 of them below and try to spot the correct, and incorrect one…
To transforms our minds means to:
1. Focus on the thoughts God has about us. Think what He is thinking.
2. Focus on the Law or Rules to help us stay clear of the evil of this world
3. Focus our minds to be more like Jesus
Well, I came to realize that not one of the above is entirely true, and as someone once said, half a truth is still a lie. Point 1 will certainly help us in our walk with God. When we are thinking what God thinks about us it is a very good start, but it is not a complete transformation, as the scripture says.
Point 2 is way off… but i think we all know it by now. The law leads only to guilt and condemnation. The purpose of the law was not to get us closed to God, or t be more like Him in anyway. As a matter of fact it’s purpose was the opposite. Check Galatians.
Point 3 is also not the right one, you can never be LIKE Jesus, because you already ARE like Him, whether you like it or not. It may not feel like it, you may feel pretty far from being like Jesus, but as I’ve learned… there is a big difference between truth and feeling. The truth is that the day you gave your life to Jesus your spirit became infused with the spirit of God (Jesus). You have Jesus inside you, and you cannot be more like Him, just as a baby Lion cannot be more a lion. It is already a lion.
So, what about this verse then? What are we to transform, and how?
Well, our spirits were already transformed, but our soul (mind, body) where not. It is THIS that we need to “transform” daily, so that we can know what is Good, Pure.
It is interesting to know this word “Transform” is only used 3 times in the entire new testament. The Greek original word is a metamorphosis. Like a caterpillar metamorphosis into a butterfly. The answer in how we are to transform our minds lies in the 3rd time this word Transform is used in scripture:
16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed/metamorphosis into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. – 2 Cor 3
Herein lies the answer. To be transformed we need to:
1. Have an unveiled face.
2. Behold the Glory of the Lord
So how do I get an unveiled face, and how to I behold the Glory of the Lord?
1. How to lift the veil?
When you read the entire chapter (2 Cor 3) you will notice Paul is talking about an Old and a New covenant, and how the Old was far less superior than the New. People who are still living according to the Old Covenant have a veil over their faces, blinding them from the truth, preventing them to see the full glory of God. People who are living according to the New Covenant have the veil removed, and can be completely open to feel, see and experience the 100% undiluted power and Glory of God.
You can live under the Old Covenant if you want, justifying yourself before God by how well you live, obey rules, and living a near-perfect life, it is a choice. But the fact is there is a New Covenant, and the ultimate price was paid to instantiate this New covenant… the death of Jesus Christ. His death gave birth to the new covenant and replaced the old (Read Galatians 3). Since the day the 10 commandments where given up until the day Jesus died people where living under this old covenant. But no more!! No longer are we justified before God by how well we live, no longer does god bless us when we obey, and punish us when we do bad, but we are justified by the finished work of Jesus on our behalf.
Understanding this new covenant and being fully under it is crucial in renewing your mind. You cannot renew your mind or be transformed when you still have the veil over your face! You need to have the veil lifted, and this can only be done by fully understanding the New Covenant.
Understanding the New Covenant is nothing more than receiving more revelation on what exactly happened on the cross. Much more than a ticket-to-heaven happened that day Jesus died, and rose again! If you want to know more about this new covenant, I urge you to read this blog of mine, or go to the following 2 sites which oozes of New covenant Grace and the undiluted grace message!
Which brings us to the second point of How to renew our minds…
2. How to behold the Glory of the Lord
So with an unveiled face, beholding the glory of the lord. Who is the Lord? Jesus is the Lord. So beholding the glory of the Lord is nothing more than receiving revelation of Jesus. Whenever we extract Him out of society, the world, the scripture, our lives, our friends, whenever we SEE Him around us, lift Him up, Focus on Him. We are beholding the Glory of the Lord.
This is probably the simplest yet most difficult part of renewing our minds. Focus on Jesus. Behold Him always. It’s not about you, it is about Jesus!
I hope this helped a few people in understanding this verse, it took me a while… J