Monday, 26 February, 2024

Renewal of the mind

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“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man…”Ephesians chapter 4 verses:22-24

Some have misunderstood the intent of the scripture in this context of the renewal of the mind and have misinterpreted it to be the doctrine of physical depravity and the original sin. Hence they intend to read the scripture like “Put away your constitutional appetites, destroy the physical the flesh; crucify its constitutional propensities.” But the Apostle means only this: Let them not control your moral activity. Hold them evermore subordinate to the will of God.

It should be observed that these physical appetites are not necessarily the source of our activity. We may act from love and obedience to God, but these appetites will still exist within us; for we tend to indulge them only because we rightly conclude that this will please God, and only so far as this seems to be the case.

The renewal of the mind implies entire consecration to God. It is equivalent to putting away all selfishness, and acting only and alone from real benevolence; renouncing the dominion of the flesh, and submitting to the dominion of the Spirit. This, of course, is the entire consecration to God. There is no middle or third state. He who puts off the old man must put on the new man; for the mind will have some spring of action, some ultimate end to gain, some prime source of its activity. It must therefore turn from one of these to the other.

The mind never puts off the old man except that it may put on the new. We never really renounce ourselves except when the Spirit draws us to choose God as our supreme focus. When the mind put off the old and put on the new. There will change in his focus. His affection will be set on things above only. God and heavenly things are now its chosen objects of supreme affection, so that the mind now runs towards its chief love, as it did when this chief love was earthly good. There is now a heavenly state of mind by the same law, which before produced a carnal and earthly state, namely, “Where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.”

The result of such renewal is the regeneration of the man. His conversation will be about heavenly things. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The mind turns toward God with delight and dwells on the great things of God. The mind rejoices, sweetly on His universal providence, on His revealed promises, on the bosom of His ineffable love. Since the treasure is in heaven, The soul no longer seeks its chief good here. Its portion is above.

Hence he sees himself as a pilgrim and a stranger here because he, seeks a better country, even a heavenly one. The new man is ready to forego earth for the purpose of seeking heaven, he lets off, his eager pursuit of things temporal; or pursues them for a different end, so far as it seems his duty to pursue them at all; The new man depends solely on the God of heaven, Jehovah.

By the renewal of the mind, selfishness is put away and Christ is put on in all things. This is the very essence of the Apostle’s meaning. The putting on the new man is also taking on the yoke of Christ, as well as having the Spirit of Christ imbibed, and acting out; the law of love, supreme to God, and impartial to man. Thus a spirit of self-sacrifice ensues, and the individual no longer asks what will gratify him, but what will please God. Just as he puts on Christ, he will also grow up into Him in all things, studying continually, conforming every thought, and action to the imitation of Christ, and becoming obedient to His will.

Modern-day Christians have become victims of unbiblical patterns of life.
They try to reform the old man, but the old man will not want, any reform for any purpose. Just consider that the old man is, the supreme intention to please himself; You will see at once that this intention, cannot admit any reform for the better. You may change its direction from one form of selfish indulgence to another, but such reform as this, though very common, is yet perfectly useless, for it leaves the heart as completely enslaved to sin as before.

Most often men change the form of their selfishness, without in the least changing its moral quality. A man who relocates from a community, where one form of selfish indulgence is popular, to another where it is unpopular, will probably adapt himself to his new circumstances, and pursue the most productive form of selfish gratification. This is because Selfish happiness is his object;

Someone may exchange one form for the other and it might seem to him perhaps to be conversion, especially if he substitutes a more refined form of selfishness for a grosser form of selfishness; a form on which moral and Christian society frown, for one on which they smile. Yet in this very change, he may be more thoroughly selfish than ever before; with the additional mischief that he is now deceiving himself, and blinding his eyes for the fatal plunge into perdition. All he has done is just an attempt to reform the old man. It is no real reformation. He may put on a new face. it is only a mask; a new coat, a Sunday suit, but this cannot change the hidden man in his heart.

The old and the new man looks alike in many things we do externally. Both eat and drink; both use the necessaries of life, However, there is a fundamental distinction; the one has no higher, and no other end than self-gratification; while the other both eats and drinks for the glory of God. The one aims only to please himself; the other only to please God. Both may eat when hunger prompts; both may find pleasure in the gratification of the demands of nature; but while the one has no higher end than the gratification, the other finds a double relish in the gratitude of his heart to God, the giver; Thus he eats, that thereby he may have the strength to live for God; and takes no more and no other food than he supposes, God would have him. This makes the broadest possible distinction between the old and new man.

Though the old man and the new man both equally may marry, and be given in marriage; Yet, because of the difference in the ultimate end both had in view; the old man does it to please himself, and the new man to please God. The old man, remaining old, can do this from no other end than to please himself; the new man, “acting in the spirit of a new creature,” can have no other end than to please God.

error: The love of the father is awesome!