I have been in some mediation and communion with God lately as I have experienced some personal issues that are going on in my life and walk with Jesus. No, I am not having a change of heart or leaving my ministry. As a pastor and ordained minister, I still have questions for God, and like everyone, I want answers. Still, God never changes (Hebrews 13:8) as He will answer all questions as he sees fit.
It is no secret I work a full-time secular job along with taking care of this ministry. Where I work is very hostile and management does very little to stop the attitudes, so days get hard and long. The biggest problem, it’s Satan’s playground and he enjoys making Christian’s life rough. We have two choices, give in to Satan’s plan, which is easy, or stand on God’s word being transformed by renewing our minds and hearts to not let Satan take over.
Tools for Victory
Therefore, we have the power and the tools necessary to defeat Satan as Jesus paved the way for our victory. The one thing that Satan wants to take out of our hands and knows he cannot defeat us as long as we have it, reading it, living it, believing in it, and receiving it, and is the Bible. The most sought-after weapon in our armor to defeat Satan (Ephesians 6:17).
Take out your Bibles and we will go through two passages that discuss renewing our minds and hearts. Our main passage shows one way we can transform and renew our minds. I will be reading from the New Living Translation (NLT) and using the English Standard Version (ESV) to add further explanation.
Start the Transformation
The first passage is our “go-to” verse, Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing, and perfect.”
The words, “behavior and customs” translate into one word, “conformed.” The meaning would be to behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards. We know that Satan is the god of this world and conforming to his standards is being in rebellion against God, which only leads to one’s destruction.
Another phrase in this passage, “changing the way you think,” translates into this phrase, “renewal of your mind.” Paul is telling the church members in Rome and us to not conform with the world’s standards, customs, and behaviors, but allow God to transform you by renewing your mind on what is good, acceptable, and perfect behavior. The word transform in Greek is “metamorphoo,” which we get the word metamorphosis, meaning to change, transfigure, or transform.
We do not want Satan taking over and leaving us in a physical and spiritual mess. Proverbs 4:23 mentions the importance of renewing our minds, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Still, have your Bibles open? I hope so. Our main passage for this discussion is Colossians chapter three, verses one through seventeen (Colossians 3:1-17), and again, I will be using the New Living Translation (NLT). Three things that the apostle Paul mentions in this passage of Scripture will allow us to transform and renew our minds and hearts in the right direction towards Christ.
Seek Spiritual Values – Colossians 3:1-4
Since accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, received water baptism, and hopefully, baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are raised to a new life with Jesus. Let us now set our hearts on the realities of heaven or on the things above (v.1). We must bring heavenly direction to our earthly duties.
As I go about my tasks at work, I try to incorporate godly ways to make decisions that will benefit everyone. I know I will not please everyone, but we do not work for man, we work for God (Colossians 3:23), to give Him all the glory, Hallelujah!
Make Up Your Mind
Paul continues to “set your minds on things above” or set our hearts. The word set (zeteite) means to “seek or strive for earnestly.” Then he adds the statement, “not the things of earth,” or not on earthly things. Our concern must be eternal, not temporal. Basically, fix our eyes on the unseen, which is eternal, and know what is seen is temporary or temporal. Our world would be better lived in the power of the resurrected, glorified Christ than it would be of Satan and all the deceit that comes with him (John 10:10).
Furthermore, in the last two verses, we find accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we died in our old lives of sin and rebellion against God. What God performed was a “spiritual circumcision” (Colossians 2:11) as He cut out all the old stuff that was keeping us from revealing Jesus to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20). Likewise, it prevents us from sharing in His glory.
Paul uses the word “hidden” to imply concealment and safety. Even though we are not yet glorified, we are safe and secure in Christ because of what He did on the cross and our acceptance of the fact that Jesus died for everyone, so salvation is a free gift from God (Romans 5:15-18).
Putting Off the Sins of Our Old Self – Colossians 3:5-11
The word death in this verse does not refer to the killing of another person, but to take away those sins of our old life as they belong to the world. They were our earthly nature and never live like that again as we are new creations in Christ Jesus.
Ever heard a Christian say, “I’m just an old sinner saved by grace.” Before accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation, yes, that did apply. Now it does not apply to them because now they are a “new creation in Christ.”
We are not to partake in the following:
- Sexual immorality (fornication)
- Impurity (wilder perversion)
- Lust (uncontrollable passion)
- Evil desires (illicit craving).
- Greed (covetousness, which leads to becoming an idolater)
Therefore, if we partake in any of these above will go right back to worshipping Satan and the world again. God does not like sin and will not tolerate it, not one bit from any believer or non-believer. Paul also reminds us that we were once under Satan’s yoke and did all of these shameful things (v. 6-7).
Six Vices of the Old Self
Paul states that we need to rid or put off ourselves of six vices in verses 8-9 that plague our lives daily such as:
- Anger (smoldering hatred)
- Rage (acute outburst)
- Malicious behavior (intentional anger and rage)
- Slander (speaking evil and lies against another)
- Filthy language (shameful or abrasive speech)
These six vices are very unbecoming of a Christian. At salvation, we must discard or get rid of these vices that hold us back from experiencing the full love of Christ.
Now, we see how those six vices controlled our lives. Paul continues in verse 10 to “put on our new nature” or our new self. It needs constant renewal every day in order to keep up in victory over sin. We never want to go back to our old selves. It was taken off and thrown away like taking the trash out of your home. With our new self, we can become more like Jesus because we transformed our minds in Christ (Romans 12:2).
Therefore, renewing our minds and hearts has no boundaries and no restrictions on race, color, or orientation. His love is for everyone and all we need to do is to accept it, remove the old self, and put on the new self. Nothing else matters but Jesus (v. 11).
Putting On the Virtues of Our New Self – Colossians 3:12-17
The third thing we need to transform our minds, heart, and lives is to put on our new self. As I mentioned, there are six vices we need to get rid of.
Eight Virtues of the New Self
There are eight virtues we need to be successful in putting on our new self. Paul tells us to clothe ourselves (v. 12). As we put on our clothes to go to work or play, we need to put on our new clothes of the following virtues such as:
- Bear with each other or make allowances for each other’s faults
The last two, for some, are easier said than done. We have issues with others’ faults and we develop a bad habit of condemning them for their habits. When we do, we need to ask for forgiveness. Remember, God has forgiven you for a multitude of sins (Matthew 18:27). We should be able to forgive others for their trespasses. Don’t be like the Unforgiving Debtor (Matthew 18:23-35).
All You Need is Love
The last virtue is the greatest one of all, love (1 Corinthians 13:13). In your repertoire of virtues, love should be the cover. It is of supreme importance and the perfect bond. It holds all the other virtues together in perfect unity. As we love in faith, we let Jesus’ peace come into our hearts (Galatians 5:6). We are members of the body of Christ and are called to live in peace (v. 15). Always be thankful for everything.
In conclusion, go, and teach and counsel others (v. 16) about transforming their minds and hearts. Seek God’s Word first and make it final authority. Study His word every day. Meditate on every verse and passages. Be grateful that with the new self, you can discern what you are being taught with spiritual eyes. Lastly, everything you do, you do it in the name of the Lord Jesus (v. 17). Be His representative or ambassador as you go about your day meeting people, working with others, or being with family. Again, be thankful and grateful, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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