RENEW THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND

 

MAIN POINT: BEING A CHRISTIAN DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE SINLESS IT DOES MEAN HOWEVER THAT YOU WILL SIN LESS.

 

INTRO: GETTING IN THE ZONE.  I BELIEVE IT WAS MICHAEL JORDAN THAT COINED THE TERM “IN THE ZONE.” MICHAEL WAS MOST LIKELY THE BEST BASKETBALL PLAYER TO EVER STEP ON THE COURT. WHEN HE WAS "I THE ZONE" NO OTHER TEAM STOOD A CHANCE. AS CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO KNOW THAT HE WHO IS WITHIN US IS GREATER THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD. GOD HAS GIVEN ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND EARTH TO JESUS AND IT IS CHRIST WHO DWELLS WITH IN HEARTS. PAUL BEGINS THE LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS BY INFORMING US OF OUR AUTHORITY IN CHRIST. IT IS IN THIS LETTER THAT GOD TEACHES US HOW WE CAN STAY “IN THE ZONE.”

     

SCRIPTURE: (EPHESIANS 4:17-32)

 

17  THIS I SAY THEREFORE, AND TESTIFY IN THE LORD, THAT YE HENCEFORTH WALK NOT AS OTHER GENTILES WALK, IN THE VANITY OF THEIR MIND, 18  HAVING THE UNDERSTANDING DARKENED, BEING ALIENATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD THROUGH THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN THEM, BECAUSE OF THE BLINDNESS OF THEIR HEART: 19  WHO BEING PAST FEELING HAVE GIVEN THEMSELVES OVER UNTO LASCIVIOUSNESS, TO WORK ALL UNCLEANNESS WITH GREEDINESS. 20  BUT YE HAVE NOT SO LEARNED CHRIST; 21  IF SO BE THAT YE HAVE HEARD HIM, AND HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY HIM, AS THE TRUTH IS IN JESUS: 22  THAT YE PUT OFF CONCERNING THE FORMER CONVERSATION THE OLD MAN, WHICH IS CORRUPT ACCORDING TO THE DECEITFUL LUSTS; 23  AND BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND; 24  AND THAT YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, WHICH AFTER GOD IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS. 25  WHEREFORE PUTTING AWAY LYING, SPEAK EVERY MAN TRUTH WITH HIS NEIGHBOR: FOR WE ARE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER. 26  BE YE ANGRY, AND SIN NOT: LET NOT THE SUN GO DOWN UPON YOUR WRATH: 27  NEITHER GIVE PLACE TO THE DEVIL. 28  LET HIM THAT STOLE STEAL NO MORE: BUT RATHER LET HIM LABOUR, WORKING WITH HIS HANDS THE THING WHICH IS GOOD, THAT HE MAY HAVE TO GIVE TO HIM THAT NEEDETH. 29  LET NO CORRUPT COMMUNICATION PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, BUT THAT WHICH IS GOOD TO THE USE OF EDIFYING, THAT IT MAY MINISTER GRACE UNTO THE HEARERS. 30  AND GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, WHEREBY YE ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION. 31  LET ALL BITTERNESS, AND WRATH, AND ANGER, AND CLAMOUR, AND EVIL SPEAKING, BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU, WITH ALL MALICE: 32  AND BE YE KIND ONE TO ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST'S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.

 

1ST POINT: THE PRE-CHRISTIAN LIFE.  IN VERSES 17-19 WE READ HOW NON-BELIEVERS LIVE. THE FIRST THING WE SEE IS THAT THEY WALK IN THE VANITY OF THEIR MINDS.  OTHER TRANSLATIONS USE THE WORD FUTILITY.  WHAT IT IS SAYING IS THE MEANINGLESSNESS OR EMPTINESS EVEN HOPELESSNESS OF THEIR MINDS THE AMPLIFIED VERSION PUTS IT THIS WAY: YOU MUST NO LONGER LIVE AS THE HEATHEN (THE GENTILES) DO IN THEIR PERVERSENESS ( IN THE FOLLY, VANITY, AND EMPTINESS OF THEIR SOULS AND THE FUTILITY OF THEIR MINDS. THEIR UNDERSTANDING IS DARKENED. THEY ARE BLIND TO THE TRUTH. THAT BLINDNESS KEEPS THEM FROM THE FULL RELATIONSHIP AND ABUNDANT LIFE THAT IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE THOUGH JESUS.  IN VERSE 19 WE READ HOW THEY ARE “PAST FEELING” IT IS THIS SPIRITUAL APATHY THAT LEADS THEM TO LIVE HEDONISTIC SELFISH LIFESTYLES. WHERE THEIR MAIN CONCERN IS THEIR OWN PERSONAL FULFILLMENT. NOW IN VERSE 20 THE TONE CHANGES AND TELLS US THAT WE ARE NOT LIKE THAT, OR AT LEAST WE SHOULDN’T BE, RIGHT? 

 

THE PICTURE THAT PAUL IS PAINTING IS ONE OF OUR LIVES WITHOUT THE TRUE CHRISTIAN MIND.  IF WE QUICKLY GLANCE OVER TO CHAPTER 5 VERSE 5 WE SEE THAT NO FORNICATOR, NOR UNCLEAN PERSON NOR COVETOUS MAN( WHO IS AN IDOLATER) HATH ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.

 

NOW I AM GOING TO LET YOU WORK THIS ONE OUT YOURSELF.  SOME PEOPLE OF THE ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED PERSUASION WOULD SAY THAT THIS VERSE MEANS THAT IF ANY BELIEVER FALLS INTO SIN HE WILL LOOSE HIS REWARDS IN HEAVEN WHERE AS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE QUESTION THIS VERSE IS PROOF THAT YOU CAN BACKSLIDE AND GO TO HELL. READ IT FOR YOUR SELF AND WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.

 

2ND POINT: WE ARE NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST. (2ND  CORINTHIANS 5:17 ) THEREFORE, IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION; OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW. BEING A CHRISTIAN IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS OF BEING CHANGED INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS.  SO GOING BACK TO OUR TEXT IN EPHESIANS 4:22 WE ARE INSTRUCTED TO “PUT OFF THE OLD THINGS WHICH ARE CORRUPT BY DECEIVING LUSTS. IT IS INTERESTING HOW BEING A CHRISTIAN IN TODAY’S WORLD IS COUNTER CULTURE. TODAY’S CULTURE IS IN A CONSTANT STATE OF DECLINE. IT IS SO EASY TO GO WITH THE FLOW AND BE CAUGHT UP WITH THE MORAL DECLINE. THAT IS WHY WE ARE CALLED TO BE HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY. BEFORE WE GET ALL CAUGHT UP WITH THE THOUGHT OF OUR OWN HOLINESS. THE WORD HOLY MEANS DIFFERENT. WE ARE CALLED TO BE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. AFTER ALL YOU HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT TO BE BETTER.  SO AS WE LOOK AT THE TEXT SO FAR WE SEE THAT WE HAVE ALL SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. WE ALSO LEARNED THAT THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH.  WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO GET A HOLD OF IS THE GOOD NEWS, THE GOSPEL THAT IS THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THOUGH CHRIST JESUS. IT IS THE SALVATION THAT IS IN HIM AND NO OTHER. SALVATION BEING THE SAFETY, SOUNDNESS, DELIVERANCE AND HEALING THAT COMES FROM GOD. WITHOUT JESUS THERE IS NO HOPE OF ETERNITY. WITHOUT JESUS THERE IS NO DELIVERANCE FROM THE BONDS OF SIN. BUT WITH HIM THERE IS VICTORY OVER SIN. THERE IS VICTORY OVER ILLNESS, THERE IS VICTORY OVER THE GRAVE. NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US WILL PROSPER. YES AS WE CONTINUALLY PUT OFF THE OLD MAN. THE OLD SIN NATURE AND PUT ON JESUS WE GAIN THE POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT CAN CONQUER EVERY FOE. SO NOW LETS TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO TAKE OFF.

 

1.       (4:25) LYING. COMPARING THIS TO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WHICH SAYS THOU SHALT NOT BARE FALSE WITNESS.

2.       (4:26) BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT. DO YOU MEAN IT IS OK TO BE ANGRY? YES ANGER IS A CATALYST FOR CHANGE. WE CAN GET ANGRY WITHOUT SINNING. IN FACT WE NEED TO GET ANGRY AT THE SIN IN OUR LIVES. NOTICE THAT I AM NOT SAYING SIN IN OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES. LETS GET THE BEAM OUT OF OUR OWN EYE BEFORE WE STATE PICKING AT THE SLIVER IN OTHER PEOPLES.

3.       STOP STEALING. THAT MEANS NO MORE TAKING THOSE PENS FROM WORK OR THE PAPERCLIPS OR FINDING THINGS ON THE GROUND THAT YOU KNO0W BELONG TO SOMEONE ELSE BUT THE OLD MAN SAYS” FINDERS KEEPERS LOOSES WEEPERS.  THE FACT IS WE NEED TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT AFTER ALL THAT IS WHAT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS ANYWAY RIGHT?

4.       LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CORRUPT COMMUNICATION COMING FRO0M OUR MOUTHS. NO ON SECOND THOUGHT LETS NOT. WE NEED TO LIFT UP THE NAME OF JESUS WITH ALL WE SAY AND DO. REMEMBER  (MATTHEW 12:36)  THAT EVERY IDLE WORD THAT MEN SHALL SPEAK, THEY SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT OF IT IN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT.

5.       GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT. ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT I LEARNED IN MINISTRY IS TO LEAVE ROOM FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT. EXPECT TO BE IMPRESSED. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABLE TO DO FAR ABOVE ALL THE WE COULD ASK OR EVEN THINK. DON’T DOUBT, DON’T HOLD BACK, LET THE HOLY SPIRIT CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

 

FINALLY WE NEED TO STOP THE BACK BITING AND COMPLAINING, STOP PURPOSELY HURTING THE PEOPLE GOD LOVES. WE NEED TO LEARN TO BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO FORGIVE EVERYONE EVEN WHEN THEY DO NOT DESERVE OR ACCEPT OUR FORGIVENESS.

NOW LETS DRAY ALL OF THIS TOGETHER AND LEARN HOW WE CAN GET “IN THE ZONE.” THERE IS ONE VERSE OF SCRIPTURE THAT IS GOING TO GIVE US THE KEY. IT IS AMAZING HOW WE CAN READ THE WORD OF GOD AND HAVE THE ANSWER TO SO MANY QUESTIONS WITH JUST ONE VERSE.

4:23 AND BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND.

IT IS THE MIND THAT BRINGS TOGETHER THE SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL. IT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE MIND THE DEPTHS OF YOUR INNERMOST THOUGHTS. THE REASONS BEHIND YOUR EMOTIONS. IF IT IS TRUE THAT YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK THEN IT IS APPARENT THAT YOU WILL BECOME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT. WHAT YOU THINK IS DEPENDENT ON WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT. IF YOU ARE TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO THE LIKENESS OF JESUS THEN YOU WILL NEED TO GET YOU MIND OFF THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD AND ONTO THE ONE WHOSE NAME IS ABOVE ALL NAMES.  ROMANS 12:2 TELLS US NOT TO BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD BUT TO BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MINDS. WE CAN NOT RENEW OUR MINDS. ONLY THE ONE WHO CREATED OUR MINDS HAS THE POWER TO RENEW IT. OUR PLACE IS TO BE POSITIONS FOR GOD TO RENEW.  IT IS THE WORD OF GOD THAT RENEWS. JESUS IS THE WORD. AS WE TURN OUR MINDS AWAY FROM THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH AND ONTO THE SPIRIT OF GOD OUR MINDS WILL BE RENEWS AND WE WILL CONTINUE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING LIKE JESUS.

CONCLUSION: WHERE HAVE YOUR THOUGHTS BEEN TAKING YOU. HAVE YOU BEEN DEPRESSED OR WORRIED? HAVE YOU BEEN LONELY OR SCARED? HAVE YOUR THOUGHT BROUGHT YOUR TO FEELINGS OF GUILT. IF THEY HAVE, THERE IS ONLY ONE PURPOSE FOR GUILT AND THAT IS TO BRING YOU TO THE CROSS OF JESUS. HE PAID THE PRICE FOR YOUR RENEWAL. HE DIED SO THAT YOU CAN BE RECONCILED TO GOD. RECONCILIATION REQUIRES CHANGE AND GOD DOES NOT CHANGE BUT HE CAN CHANGE US HE CAN RENEW OUR MINDS RIGHT NOW AND PUT US “IN THE ZONE” ETERNALLY. ARE YOU READY TO BE RADICALLY RENEWED? IT BEGINS BY A BROKENNESS TO SIN. FROM THERE THERE ARE NO LIMITS. AS WE GO INTO PRAYER TURN YOUR THOUGHTS OVER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT AND LET THE LORD GUIDE YOU TO NEW DEPTHS IN HIM. PRAY WITH ME NOW AND BE RENEWED.

DEAR JESUS; COME INTO MY LIFE MORE FULLY. COME INTO MY MIND, MY HEART, MY EVERY FIBER I WELCOME YOU. COME HOLY SPIRIT FILL ME WITH YOUR PRESENCE. CHANGE MY LIFE. HEAVENLY FATHER FORGIVE ME PLEASE. RENEW MY MIND THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST YOU. I KNOW THAT IN THIS LIFE I MIGHT NOT BECOME SINLESS BUT WITH YOUR STRENGTH I KNOW I CAN SIN LESS. RIGHT NOW I SURRENDER MY MIND TO YOU. EVERY ELECTRICAL AND CHEMICAL REACTION EVERY SYNAPSE AND CELL. FATHER REMOVE THE OLD DESIRES AND REPLACE THEM WITH A DESIRE TO SERVE YOU AND YOU ALONE. I LOVE YOU LORD AND I THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT REVIVAL THAT IS TAKING PLACE EVEN NOW, RIGHT NOW IN MY MIND, IN MY HEART AND IN MY SOUL. USE ME LORD FOR YOUR GLORY FOR IT IS IN JESUS NAME I PRAY; AMEN

TAKE SOME TIME NOW IN SILENT PRAYER WITH JUST YOU AND GOD. GET TO KNOW HIM. IT IS WORTH YOUR TIME. SEEK HIM AND HE WILL REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU. GOD BLESS AND ENJOY YOUR RENEWED MIND.

LOVE IN CHRIST;                                                                                                PASTOR BOB