Apologetic Evangelism_edited

The Mental Bent of Imperfect Humankind’s Mind

Initially, Adam and Eve’s mental disposition or inclination was not toward evil or bad, sin. Hence, while imperfect humans are inclined, lean toward wrongdoing, it was just the opposite for our first human parents; their natural inclination was toward doing good. This is just the reverse of their descendants, for we have inherited the disease of sin, missing the mark, or standard of perfection. (Gen. 6:5, AT) “When the Lord saw that the wickedness of man on the earth was great and that the whole bent of his thinking was never anything but evil …” (Gen. 8:21, AT) “ … the bent of man’s mind may be evil from his very youth …” (Jer. 17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?”

The Man We Are Inside

(John 13:35) 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” “Disciple,” “pupil,” “student” and “learner: (One who loves discipline) mathetes

(1 John 1:8) 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  “Sin,” “miss” hamartia (Missing the mark of perfection)

(Rom 7:22) 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being. “The inside man,” “the man I am within,” “inward being,” “inward man” ton eso anthropos

(Eph. 4:23)  23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. Lit. “The spirit of the mind” “made new in the force actuating your mind,” “renewed in the spirit of your mind,”

(Eph. 2:15) 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace. Lit. “New man,” “new self,” “new personality”

2:15. The Jews kept the law, with its commandments and regulations. Gentiles did not. This created a barrier between them. Jesus’ death satisfied the law and therefore eliminated it as a barrier. Since neither Jew nor Gentile had to obey the law to find salvation, the means of distinguishing between the two kinds of people vanished. Again, this created peace between hostile parties.[1]

(1 Co 2:14) 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (The natural person seeks only the desire of his fallen flesh, ignoring his spiritual needs.)

 (Rom 8:6-7) 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Lit, “minding,” ‘way of thinking, mindset, aim, aspiration, striving.’ phronema

 

When we couple our leaning toward wrongdoing with the fact that Satan the devil, who is “the god of this world,” (2 Co 4:4) has worked to entice these leanings, the desires of the fallen flesh; we are even further removed from our relationship with our loving heavenly Father. During these ‘last days, grievous times’ has fallen on us as Satan is working all the more to prevent God’s once perfect creation to achieve a righteous standing with God and entertaining the hope of eternal life. 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Our conscious thinking (aware) and subconscious thinking (present in our mind without our being aware of it) originates in the mind. For good, or for bad, our mind follows certain rules of action, which if entertained one will move even further in that direction until they are eventually consumed for good or for bad. In our imperfect state, our bent thinking will lean toward wrong, especially with Satan using his system of things, with so many forms of entertainment that simply feeds the flesh.

Genesis 3:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate, then she also gave some to her husband when with her, and he ate.

Proverbs 23:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For as he thinks within himself, so is he …

 James 1:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire.[2] 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

1 John 2:15-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and its lusts; but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

Matthew 5:28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust[3] for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

1 Peter 1:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 As children of obedience,[4] do not be conformed according to the desires you formerly had in your ignorance,

If we do not want to be affected by the world of humankind around us, which is alienated from God, we must again consider the words of the Apostle Paul’s. He writes (Rom 12:2) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Just how do we do that? This is done by taking in an accurate knowledge of Biblical truth, which enables us to meet God’s current standards of righteousness. (Titus 1:1) This Bible knowledge, if applied, will allow us to move our mind in a different direction, by filling the void with the principles of God’s Word, principles that guide our actions, especially ones that guide moral behavior.

Psalm 119:105 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.[5]

The Biblical truths that lay in between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21 will transform our way of thinking, which will in return affect our mood and actions and our inner person. It will be as the apostle Paul set it out to the Ephesians. We need to “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 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. . . .” (Ephesians 4:22-24) This force that contributes to our acting or behaving in a certain way, for our best interest is internal.

Bringing This Transformation About

As stated earlier, the mind is the mental ability that we use in a conscious way to garner information and to consider ideas and come to conclusions. Therefore, if we perceive our realities based on the information, which surrounds us, generally speaking, most are inundated in a world that reeks of Satan’s influence. This means that our perception, our attitude, thought; speech and conduct are in opposition to God and his Word. Most are in true ignorance to the changing power of God’s Word. The apostle Paul helps us to appreciate the depths of those who reflect this world’s disposition. He writes,

Ephesians 4:17-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

17 This, therefore, I say and bear witness to in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles [unbelievers] also walk, in the futility of their mind [emptiness, idleness, vanity, foolishness, purposelessness]18 being darkened in their understanding [mind being the center of human perception], alienated from the life of God [not Godless, but less God], because of the ignorance that is in them [due not to a lack of opportunity but deliberate rejection], because of the hardness of their heart [hardening as if by calluses, unfeeling]; 19 who being past feeling gave themselves up to shameless conduct,[6] for the practice of every uncleanness with greediness.

Hebrews 4:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

By taking in this accurate knowledge of God’s Word, we will be altering our way of thinking, which will affect our emotions and behavior, as well as our lives now and for eternity. This Word will influence our minds, making corrections in the way we think.

Colossians 3:9-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man[7] with its practices 10 and have put on the new man[8] who is being renewed through accurate knowledge[9] according to the image of the one who created him, 11 where there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Science has indeed taken us a long way in our understanding of how the mind works, but it is only a grain of sand on the beach of sand in comparison to what we do not know. We have enough in these basics to understand some fundamental processes. When we open our eyes to the light of a new morning, it is altered into an electrical charge by the time it arrives at the gray matter of our brain’s cerebral cortex. As the sound of the morning birds reaches our gray matter, it arrives as electrical impulses. The rest of our senses (smell, taste, and touch) arrive as electrical currents in the brain’s cortex as well. The white matter of our brain lies within the cortex of gray matter, used as a tool to send electrical messages to other cells within other parts of the gray matter. Thus, when any one of our five senses detects danger, at the speed of light, a message is sent to the motor section, to prepare us for the needed action of either fight or flight.

Here lies the key to altering our way of thinking. Every single thought, whether it is conscious or subconscious makes an electrical path through the white matter of our brain, with a record of the thought and event. This holds true with our actions as well. If it is a repeated way of thinking or acting, it has no need to form a new path; it only digs a deeper, ingrained, established path. This would explain how a factory worker who has been on the job for some time, gives little thought as they perform their repetitive functions each day, it becomes unthinking, automatic, mechanical. These repeated actions become habitual. There is yet another facet to consider; the habits, repeated thoughts, and actions become simple and effortless to repeat. Any new thoughts and actions are harder to perform, as there need to be new pathways opened up.

The human baby starts with a blank slate, with a minimal number of stable paths built in to survive those first few crucial years. At the boy grows into childhood, there is a flood of pathways established, more than all of the internet connections worldwide. Our five senses are continuously adding to the maze. Ps. 139:14: “I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. . . .” (NASB) So, it could never be overstated as to the importance of the foundational thinking and behavior that should be established in our children from infancy forward.

Life: Common everyday events, both positive and negative Thoughts: Each of these events are interpreted by your thinking throughout the day Mood: It is developed not by the day’s events; no, it is developed by your perception of those events, your thinking.

[1] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 114.

[2] Or “own lust

[3] πιθυμία [Epithumia] to strongly desire to have what belongs to someone else and/or to engage in an activity which is morally wrong–‘to covet, to lust, evil desires, lust, desire.’– GELNTBSD

[4] I.e., obedient children

[5] 119:105–106. Seeking his direction in life from God’s word, the psalmist declares it is a lamp to his feet, giving light for his path in life. Seeing the divinely illumined way, he has taken an oath to follow God’s righteous laws. – Anders, Max; Lawson, Steven (2006-04-01). Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms 76-150 (Kindle Locations 6370-6372). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.

[6] Or “loose conduct,” “sensuality,” “licentiousness” “promiscuity” Greek, aselgeia. This phrase refers to acts of conduct that are serious sins. It reveals a shameless condescending arrogance; i.e., disregard or even disdain for authority, laws, and standards.

[7] Or old person

[8] Or new person

[9] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.