International Charismatic Bible Church (ICBC), Finland Weekly Newsletter
Not by Bread Alone: But by a renewed mind
A renewed mind is a key to newness of life in Christ and in this world. Holding on to long-held traditions and experiences may help but may also serve as hindrances to achieving a transformation and new heights in life, and in Christ. Man does not need only food but a renewal of mind. The relevance of a renewed mind is here discussed.
A Renewed Mind
In the context of this thesis, the meaning of ´renew´ is to make new, to transform, to change from natural enmity to the love of God and his law; and to implant holy affections in the heart (Webster). In relation to this, Paul writes:
"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" (Rom 12:2).
From the above scripture, believers are being advised not to fashion their lives according to the standards of this world but to be transformed by renewing their way of thinking. A converted soul could be transformed only when his/her mind has been renewed from the sins and errors committed in the past and receive the finished work of grace.
According to scriptures, when a person is in Christ, s/he has become a new person (2Co 5:17), so all his/her previous sins are forgiven (Jer 31:34). A man, therefore, does not need to condemn himself or herself and feel guilty of their past sins if s/he has truly repented. We have to renew our minds from hating ourselves to loving ourselves, from harming ourselves to accepting and appreciating ourselves in the face of the Gospel of Christ.
Our minds need to be renewed to receive the salvation which comes only by accepting the grace of God. A shift from the righteousness which comes by the Law to the righteousness which comes by freely receiving the grace of God (Rom 3:20-21, 28). We ought to renew our minds on our attitudes, values, and traditions because we could lose our salvation if we hold on to them tenaciously and reject the grace of Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells the Jews that they make the word of God void and ineffective with their traditions (Mat 15:3-6, Mar 7:13). They needed to have renewed their minds to receive Christ. The merit of renewing our minds is to help us prove that which is good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12:2). It is also required of us to renew our minds towards our neighbors.
Renewing minds towards others
We often look down or disregard people who do not look exactly like us. We normally embrace people of our race but not foreigners or immigrants in our countries. We draw closer to those with similar ethnic origin or tribe but withdraw from those with different ethnicity. We welcome those of our faith but not those of other faiths. We embrace those of our denominations but not those of others. We love those of our sexual orientation but not those of others. We remove ourselves from the poor and the disabled as they continue to suffer exclusion while some of us live in luxury and extravagance.
We must renew our minds and begin to see all people as having been created in the image and in the likeness of God. It must be remembered that after the fall of man, God continued to love them. Therefore, we have no reason to maltreat and dislike those who are different from us.
The Lord desires that we abide in His will as we renew our minds to receive His salvation which comes by faith through grace. We are not to be drawn back by the Law and the traditions of our fathers. Our minds need to be renewed to accept our beings and others because they were also created in the likeness of God.
Prayer: May the Lord God help us to renew our minds and begin to think and see He does. In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN!