Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind – What does it mean and how do you experience it?

“And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind” – Ephesians 4:23

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Have you ever wondered what Paul meant when he made this profound statement?

If so, then I believe that you will agree with me that being “renewed in the spirit of your mind” is a mystery.  And I believe that this applies even more to experiencing such a renewing.

Yet, it is worthwhile to pursue being “renewed in the spirit of your mind” because this is the key to the daily living of the new man in Christ. It is also the secret to living the kind of church life that God desires.

But before getting into the experience let’s put this passage in its Scriptural context.

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The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:22-39 22 “Jewish men, listen to what I have to say! You knew Jesus of the town of Nazareth by the powerful works He did. God worked through Jesus while He was with you. You all know this. 23 Jesus was handed over to sinful men. God knew this and planned for it to happen. You had sinful men take Him and nail Him to a cross. 24 But God raised Him up. He allowed Him to be set free from the pain of death. Death could not hold its power over Him.

25 “David said this about Him, ‘I can see the Lord before me all the time. He is at my right side so that I do not need to be troubled. 26 I am glad and my tongue is full of joy. My body rests in hope. 27 You will not leave my soul in death. You will not allow Your Holy One to be destroyed. 28 You have shown me the ways of life. I will be full of joy when I see Your face.’

29 “Brothers, I can tell you in plain words that our early father David not only died but was buried. We know where his grave is today. 30 He was one who spoke for God. He knew God had made a promise to him. From his family Christ would come and take His place as King. 31 He knew this before and spoke of Christ being raised from the dead. Christ’s soul would not be left in hell. His body would not be destroyed. 32 Jesus is this One! God has raised Him up and we have all seen Him.

33 “This Jesus has been lifted up to God’s right side. The Holy Spirit was promised by the Father. God has given Him to us. That is what you are seeing and hearing now! 34 It was not David who was taken up to heaven, because he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right side, 35 for those who hate You will be a place to rest Your feet.”’ 36 The whole Jewish nation must know for sure that God has made this Jesus, both Lord and Christ. He is the One you nailed to a cross!”

37 When the Jews heard this, their hearts were troubled. They said to Peter and to the other missionaries, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Be sorry for your sins and turn from them and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and your sins will be forgiven. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you and your children. It is to all people everywhere. It is to as many as the Lord our God will call.”

There’s some confusion in the church today concerning the Holy Spirit. A number of Christians think the indwelling of the Spirit occurs sometime after salvation, but Scripture teaches that He comes to permanently live within a new believer the moment he or she places faith in Jesus.

We don’t need to pray specific words for the Spirit to arrive. Nor do we have to attend a special service invoking His presence in order for Him to dwell in us. Any teaching that claims we can lose the Spirit and must regain Him over and over again is false. As soon as we trust in Jesus, His Spirit comes to abide with us forever (Then I will ask My Father and He will give you another Helper. He will be with you forever. John 14:16). This truth is essential to understand, because Scripture clearly says that anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit does not belong to Christ (But you are not doing what your sinful old selves want you to do. You are doing what the Holy Spirit tells you to do, if you have God’s Spirit living in you. No one belongs to Christ if he does not have Christ’s Spirit in him. Rom. 8:9).

It would be impossible to live the Christian life without the indwelling Spirit. He’s the one who guides us into God’s will, teaches us the truths of Scripture, transforms us into Christ’s likeness, and empowers us to serve and obey God successfully and joyfully.

When you fully understand this fundamental truth, you realize that instead of trying to “get the Spirit,” you need to live like the Spirit-filled Christian you are.

The Holy Spirit – God with Us

John 14:26

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

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Rely on God’s Spirit

Galatians 3:1-5 You foolish Galatians! What strange powers are trying to lead you from the way of faith in Christ? We made it plain for you to see that Jesus Christ was put on a cross to die. There is one thing I want to know. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the Law? Or did you receive Him by hearing about Christ? How foolish can you be? You started the Christian life by the Holy Spirit. Do you think you are going to become better Christians by your old way of worship? You suffered so much because of the Good News you received. Was this all of no use? He gave you the Holy Spirit and did powerful works among you. Does He do it because you do what the Law says or because you hear and believe the truth?

Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson from a missionary who had spent 40 years in China. I told her about a struggle I was having, and I’ve never forgotten her reply. She said, “Charles, you won’t ever be any better than you are, but the Holy Spirit who lives inside you will enable you. You can’t improve your flesh.”

Until then, I’d always thought that if I worked hard enough, I would be a better person. It was an eye-opener to realize that our heavenly Father does not want or need our self-efforts. They can neither earn us salvation nor enable us to live the Christian life. In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul said basically the same thing when he wrote,“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

In our own strength, we are unable to do anything of eternal value. To become the person God wants us to be and to accomplish His will in our life, we must totally rely upon His Spirit. But it’s important to remember that dependence is not inaction. Paul described it this way: “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29). Depending fully on the Holy Spirit is how our Father wants us to serve Him.

4 Signs You’re Resisting the Holy Spirit

  • woman with eyes closed thinking and praying for peace and rest, top bible verses to relieve stress

    Why Do We Resist God’s Spirit?

    Too often we ignore the power of the Spirit given to us through Christ. Remember this is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead! We do not lack a guide for the parts of life that leave us lost. Isaiah 11:2 describes the Spirit that rested on Jesus, the Spirit also given to us, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.”

    When we have such wisdom and understanding available to us, such power and might, why do we resist the leading of the Spirit? Most of the time it is because our flesh sings sinister lullabies in attempts to lull us from the promptings of the Spirit. It mutters lies that we are missing out and being foolish in our obedience to God, and we begin to allow our thoughts to return to the ways of man and away from a holy God. The quest for instant gratification is one our flesh takes on daily, and it seeks to bring us along as its faithful companion. The good news is that we can instead choose to walk by the Spirit, because though the flesh is deceptive and persistent, the Spirit will forever be more powerful. The flesh will one day find its end, but the Spirit is Eternal.

    Each day we must look for the ways we resist the promptings of the everlasting Holy Spirit because rarely are we in a place of perfect obedience. Do take note that the following signs of resisting the Spirit can be brought on by other things (biological, sleep disturbance, environmental, or loss) but these can also be strong indicators that we should examine our lives and let our hearts be searched for any resistance to the Spirit.

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The Source of Peace

John 15:5-8 I am the Vine and you are the branches. Get your life from Me. Then I will live in you and you will give much fruit. You can do nothing without Me.

“If anyone does not get his life from Me, he is cut off like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire and they are burned. If you get your life from Me and My Words live in you, ask whatever you want. It will be done for you.

“When you give much fruit, My Father is honored. This shows you are My followers.

Did you know God offers serenity of heart to all believers? The Holy Spirit, who lives inside every follower of Jesus, can keep peace flowing like sap from a vine to its branches. But sadly, this internal wellspring of calm is overlooked by many Christians because of several false assumptions.

Some wrongly think that peace is the result of perfect conditions, but this world is broken. That means we will never achieve an ideal existence on this earth, and its circumstances cannot yield serenity.

Others believe peace must be requested from God, who seems far away in the heavens. But the union between the Lord and His followers is intimate. Tranquility is available to us immediately from Christ because He lives within us.

The Living Bible paraphrase captures how our relationship with Jesus should look: “And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him” (Col. 2:6-7).

Serenity is a direct result of a relationship with Jesus Christ. No outside situation can tamper with that connection—we partake of Jesus’ abundant life through His Holy Spirit.

3 Challenging Thoughts from Charles Spurgeon Regarding the Word, the Church, and the Spirit

A Spirit-Filled Life

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I do not have love, it will sound like noisy brass. If I have the gift of speaking God’s Word and if I understand all secrets, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I know all things and if I have the gift of faith so I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give everything I have to feed poor people and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, it will not help me.

Which would you say is more difficult: teaching a Sunday school lesson or loving your enemies? Helping a neighbor or practicing patience with troublesome people? Doing a good deed or holding onto joy in a crisis? Most of us find the latter in each pair more challenging and less rewarding.

Today’s culture admires people who are action-oriented, and we tend to adopt the same standard in the church. There’s an assumption that individuals who are doing the most are the ones filled with the Spirit, but this is not automatically true. Accomplishments do not equal spiritual maturity. The true measure of the Spirit’s control is character, not abilities or achievements.

Though good works and spiritual gifts are God-given avenues for our service, the Holy Spirit is also at work, bringing about spiritual fruit in our life. His goal is an internal transformation whereby Jesus’ character qualities are reproduced in us. Without the fruit described in Galatians 5:22-23 (22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.), all our efforts at service are worth nothing.

A Spirit-filled life is most readily visible in Christ-like attitudes and interactions with others. As we yield ourselves to His authority and allow God’s Word to dwell richly within our being, He will transform us.

5 Myths about Spiritual Gifts

by: Jay S. Thomas

Myth #1: Different spiritual gifts are ranked according to visibility and obvious influence.

Word-gifts and leadership-gifts invariably get prized more than gifts like administration or service. Certainly, there is a reason to value those gifts, but the Bible does not teach they are more important or lasting or Christ-centered than other gifts. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 12–14, Paul rebukes certain gifts like the use of tongues and prophecy not because as speech gifts they are more important but rather because they have been inordinately prized and misused among the Corinthian church in a disunifying manner.

If we are to learn anything from passages like 1 Corinthians 12:12–31, the use of various spiritual gifts in the context of a local church is for unity’s sake and each gift is vital. Paul is clear, these gifts are to promote the building up of the body (1 Cor. 12:21-26). The “higher gifts” in 1 Corinthians 12:31 do not imply more worth or more importance to God, but likely they are gifts that bring greater clarity about the glory of God (1 Cor. 14:5) and gifts that lead more directly to and from love, which the very next chapter unpacks.

The church must value, train, and provide room for the full array of gifts, as Paul has described them in 1 Corinthians (cf. Rom. 12:3–8). We need the full body, to use Paul’s metaphor. Often churches, as a community, desire to be one big cranium without a proportionate body, almost like a theological Mr. Potato Head. This will not do. We need the whole body and in due proportion. We need helpers, administrators, prayer warriors, funders, encouragers, planners, and yes, we need preachers, visionaries, and teachers.

Myth #2: The Holy Spirit is only directly involved in empowering our gifts in “church-related” or other “ministry-minded” activities.

All the New Testament letters were written to local churches, both individual churches and city-wide groups of churches. But that does not imply that the teaching and directives of those letters apply only to formal and programmatic ministries of those churches or formal ministry in general. How we use our spiritual gifts in a context like gathered worship is important, of course, like prophecy and tongues (e.g. 1 Cor. 14), but Paul does not limit his exhortations to only gathered worship settings. Put another way, our identity and unity as local bodies are lived out outside the boundaries of our church buildings and are exemplified at home, at work, at play, at school, and the like.

Therefore, we ought to teach, to encourage, to lead, to provide insight, to offer mercy, and to administrate with our Spirit-given gifts in all spheres of our life, because all spheres of life are ministry.

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God’s Power over the Works of the Devil in Our Life

By Frank King on Dec 05, 2020 05:13 pm

The Bible refers to the devil as our adversary who goes about seeking whom he may devour. If God were to open our eyes so we could see the evil at work in the spiritual realm, it would blow our mind.

Of course, all of us who can see with our eyes can see the powers of darkness at work in our world to some degree.  But what we can see only scratches the surface compared to what is really happening in the spiritual realm.

To some, it may even appear that the devil and the powers of darkness are having their way in our world. But I want you to know that is not the case. The devil has some liberty to be the devil, and he will maximize the use of that liberty, but God has placed limits on what the devil can do in our life.

In this post, I will touch on three Bible verses that underscore God’s power over the works of the devil to limit what he can do in our life.

Three Verses That Underscore God’s Power over the Works of the Devil

1. ‘Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord’ (Job 1:12, NASB).

God gave the devil permission to attack Job’s possessions. This was in response to the devil’s claim that if God touched everything Job had, “he will surely curse You to Your face” (verse 11). God responded by removing His hedge of protection from about Job and allowing the devil to touch Job’s possessions but not his body.

The devil immediately went to work. Job lost all that he had, but the devil did not touch Job’s body because he could only do what God had allowed Him to.

In a second instance, God allowed Satan to attack Job’s body but not take his life (Job 2:6). Again, Satan could only do to God’s servant what God allowed him to. That is true about us as well.

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