"and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God
in true righteousness and holiness"
A few observations about these two verses....
1: Our mind has a Spirit
- As humans, we are quite unique in our thought life. We are not merely robots, acting off of chemical reactions, but we are created after the likeness of God, made with a mind that is able to think, know, feel, and love. This verse refers to this as the spirit of the mind.
- The spirit of our minds is deceitful. Something I notice about myself, is that I can sit down for hours and watch my favorite sports team. I can memorize every fact about the Chicago Bulls, or have the Bears 53 man roster memorized. I can tell you the Florida Gator's football recruiting stats for the last 5 years. But the second I sit down and try to focus on the Bible, it's like my mind is at war with me. I instantly start thinking of other things I need to do. When I try to meditate on Christ, my mind instantly wants to be elsewhere. I imagine I'm not the only one like this. This is because our mind by nature is depraved. We crave to put ourselves as primary, and God as secondary. It has been this way since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit. And because of this.....
2: Our mind needs to be renewed
- As stated earlier, we are made unique in regards to our thought life. We have an amazing ability to think, feel, know, love, and be loved. Further, our minds were ultimately created to know Christ, to love him, to be loved by him, to feel him. Given the depravity of our minds, where we constantly want to do things our way, rather than God's way, our minds need to be renewed. We need to be renewed to what they were created for. We were created to know and enjoy God. This is what is best for us. This is for our flourishing, for our good. It is for our joy.
- Renewal is not a matter of information. The right information is everywhere. You can find it on the internet in a second. It is not a matter of merely knowing gospel facts, or knowing the information that God is the creator, and his Son Jesus is savior. There are countless millions in the world today who are informative Christians (which are no Christians at all). Being a Christian is transformative. Our minds must be transformed by the gospel. The Spirit of our mind must be renewed. And we are transformed not by mere information, but through the power of the gospel.
3. Renewed in Christ:
- These verses tell us to be 'renewed in our minds, putting on the new self'. This new self is referring to our new life. The only way to have new life is through Christ. Being renewed in the spirit of the mind is not a matter of effort, it is a matter of surrender. We can only be renewed, we can only put on the new self, when we've surrendered the old self to Christ.
- Being renewed in Christ doesn't come when we try really really really hard to start thinking the right things, and being extra moral, or extra environmental, or extra nice. No. It comes when we realize that our minds are depraved, and that they never could renew themselves, no matter how hard we try, and that they are constantly putting our way as primary and God as secondary. And renewal comes when we realize this, and surrender our minds to Jesus, who was the only One who had a perfect mind. Jesus was everything we were supposed to be. Where we blew it, Jesus overcame. His mind was perfectly righteous and holy. Ours are not.
- Let us look to the Jesus, who had the perfect mind in the likeness of God, that our minds may be renewed in Him.