Beloved: Grace and Peace
Elkmont Baptist Church
Dearest and Beloved
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I woke up one morning with these words in my heart, ". . . be
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
in the spirit of your mind;"
(bold added). When I could, I looked it up to find the reference. It was Ephesians 4:23. Because Ephesians and Colossians parallel so many subjects, I looked for a similar passage. Colossians 3:10 says, "And have put on the new
, which is
in knowledge after the image of him that created him:" (bold added).
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Be renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator. Following this thought, I looked for other passages which speaks about renewing. Paul tells us, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward
day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16; bold added).
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the
of your mind, that ye may prove what
that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (bold added). Paul writes in Titus, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5; bold added).
David cries, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10). Isaiah records, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall
strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary,
they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31; bold added).
What does this tell us? We are renewed in the spirit of our mind (our thinking). We are renewed according to knowledge of our Creator and Lord and Savior, the agent of creation. We must be renewed daily in order to not faint (not lose heart). Renewing is an act of the Holy Ghost. We must cry out to God and wait on Him. Yes, Lord. Yes.
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;" (Ephesians 4:23). Again, Paul tells Titus (and us), "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5). It is not by being good that we are saved, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration (new life), and renewing by the Holy Ghost (new thinking).
Paul told the Romans and us:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
that good, and acceptable, and perfect,
will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think
more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly,
according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
The work of renewing the mind is both the work of the Holy Spirit and our work. If we are not renewing our minds, we will be conformed to the world (squeezed into its mold). You see, it is in our minds that the spirit world, that higher dimension, connects with this dimension. It is in our minds that the Holy Ghost will speak to us. It is also the place the liar will speak to us (and make us think those thoughts come from ourselves). We must think soberly using the ruler of faith to measure the thoughts which come into our minds.
So how do we go about being renewed in the spirit of our minds? How are we renewed by the Holy Ghost? Paul tells the church at Thessalonica, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received
the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which
effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). We are renewed in the spirit of our minds, by the Holy Ghost, when we receive the word of God by faith and walk in it; it effectually works in us and renews us.
When we do not receive it by faith, it does nothing in us as attested by the writer of Hebrews, "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard
(Hebrews 4:2). So let us walk by faith and not depend on sight. Faith pleases our Heavenly Father.
Paul told the Romans "not to think
more highly then he ought to think; but
to think soberly
, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith"
(Romans 12:3c&d; bold added).
Are any of us exempted from this requirement to think soberly because we are young or old, or because we are male or female? Paul told Titus, "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the
aged men be sober
, grave, temperate, sound
in faith, in charity, in patience" (Titus 2:1-2; bold added). That gets the older men. Paul goes on, "The aged women likewise, that
not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;" (Titus 2:3). Do the older ladies get an out?
"That they may teach the
young women to be sober
, to love their husbands, to love
discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own
husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:4-5; bold added). I guess the older ladies don't get an out since they must teach the younger ladies to be sober. Do you see that young women don't automatically love their husbands or their children? It is something that is learned, and I suggest the learning begins before they have the husband or the children. What about the young men? "
Young men likewise exhort to
" (Titus 2:6; bold added). Well, it looks like none of us have an out.
We must all think soberly according to the rule of faith.
To be sober is more than just not being drunk (although that is a good place to begin). It means to be serious or solemn, to be thoughtful. It may be easier to understand that it involves having control of self and tongue; it means not being silly or foolish. Here in the thoughts is where the battle begins and ends, and where the battle is won or lost.
We know that it is God who is working in us, because Paul tells us: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of
good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13). It is
God who gives us both the desire and the ability to obey Him and to accomplish that which pleases Him. We are not working to be saved, but we are working out what was accomplished in us when we were saved.
Paul teaches us that before our conversions another spirit worked in us:
Whom are we going to believe and obey?
- Romans 12:1-3
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
- Ephesians 2:2-3
Even now that spirit is trying to deceive us, for he is the father of lies.
- a series compilation
in behavior as becometh holiness,
be sober minded