family-Parents_04

Bringing Our Christian Personality 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,[1] 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[2] with its practices 10 and have put on the new man[3] who is being renewed through accurate knowledge[4] 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.

Maintain the Renewed Mind

Romans 7:19-25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if what I do not want to do, this I am doing, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

21 I find then the law in me that when I want to do right, that evil is present in me. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and taking me captive in the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.

I have highlighted the Apostle Paul’s expressions, “law of my mind” and “the law of sin that dwells in my members.” We have inherited “sin,” missing the mark of perfection, the ability to live up to God’s perfect standards for man. Under sin, our natural inclination is toward wrong. Therefore, the question needs to be asked, ‘how do we get this inherited sin under control?’ The apostle goes on to give us that very answer, with the mind, one can maintain a righteous standing before God, but with the flesh, we serve sin. Just as sin, acts like a dictator, moving us in the way of evil, so to a renewed mind of Christ will move us in the image of God, taking on this new personality.

However, we now see the conflict that Paul was expressing. We will have a new mind in the body that desires the opposite of your new mental disposition. Therefore, our new mind will desire to follow a course that cannot be perfected as long as this wicked age lasts, and Satan is the God of the world. Therefore, we will slip off into sin’s law at times, which will arouse feelings of disgust in us with our new sensitive conscience. The Apostle John addresses this:

1 John 2:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not commit a sin.[5] But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one; and he is the propitiation[6] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Observing God’s Commandments

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

It is sad but true; our minds will easily and quickly gravitate toward sin, as it is an inclination. Once we have a renewed mind, we must continue to take in this life-saving knowledge. Thus, we are taking these new Bible principles and making them our own, sounding them down in our heart. We must not let mental sluggishness cut us off from establishing good mental, rational thinking. If we become this new ‘law of the mind,’ it will control and dominate, overrule the flesh that wishes to serve the law of sin.

Once we have achieved this “mind of Christ,” which was at all times put in motion by the proper force, his mental inclination always being spiritual; we will not want our minds to revert toward wrong thinking, being “men corrupted in mind.” (2 Tim 3:8) Thus, we must maintain our new ‘law of the mind.’

Romans 8:5-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For setting the mind on the flesh is death, but setting the mind on the spirit is life and peace because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity toward God, for it is not subjected to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

Philippians 3:18-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, and they have their minds on earthly things.

It is perfectly fine to be overly concerned with the corrupting influence of self, as well as the world that surrounds us: “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3) If you recall from Genesis chapter 3, Eve’s natural desire was to do good, her thinking was not bent in the least. Yet, with Satan by way of the serpent planting improper thoughts in her mind, she entertained those until she chose the wrong course:

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.[7] 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Once we have this new ‘law of the mind’ and doggedly, decisively, stubbornly, definitely, purposefully stick to the rational thinking of the new mind, it will bar us from entertaining wrong thinking, which we will dismiss it:

Colossians 1:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your minds, doing evil works,

Ephesians 2:2-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience. Among whom also we all formerly lived in the desires of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Of course, while we are a part of the world by way of its attitude, thought, speech and behavior, we did not “love God with our whole mind.” (Matt. 22:37) Again, what we entertain, negative thinking, worldly thinking, fleshly things, or conversely, spiritual things will move us to feel a certain way and react in a certain way.

Renewed Thinking

One must be realistic, for it is nothing short of a battle to have a rational mind today when the world is inundated in bent thinking and are only asking for more. It is a form of selfishness, as they are largely focused on themselves. Before we achieve our new ‘law of the mind,’ we were so susceptible to entertaining our bent thinking repeatedly. The more this is done, the deeper those pathways are formed and the longer it takes to fill them and form a new way of thinking.

Even Still the Battle Wages On

We have to appreciate and realize that even after we take on the new person that Paul spoke of, as well as the mind of Christ, we will still be affected by our inborn leanings of a sinful nature. There is a battle because waging between the two.

Romans 7:19-25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

21 I find then the law in me that when I want to do right, that evil is present in me. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and taking me captive in the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.

The good news is that if a person is walking with Christ and according to Scripture, he will no longer be a slave to sin. The sinful leaning will be there, but as long as it is not fed, it will not dominate his life. He will no longer have a life that feeds the beast, such as inappropriate music, television, internet viewing, associations, thinking, and so on. This will give him a clean conscience before God, knowing that he now has a righteous standing, and all his past has been forgiven, cast behind the back of God. There may come times in his life when his sinful nature will attempt to reassert itself, and he will have to take steps of dismissing any wrongful thinking, replacing it with rational Scriptural thinking, as well as intensive prayer, even speaking with a spiritually mature one within the Christian congregation.

Romans 6:12-18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

[1] 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.

[2] Or old person

[3] Or new person

[4] 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.

[5] Gr hamartete, a verb in the aorist subjunctive. According to A Grammar of New Testament Greek, by James H. Moulton, Vol. I, 1908, p. 109, “the Aorist has a ‘punctiliar’ action, that is, it regards action as a point: it represents the point of entrance . . . or that of completion . . . or it looks at a whole action simply as having occurred, without distinguishing any steps in its progress.”

[6] Or an atoning sacrifice; a means of appeasement

[7] Or “own lust