A change of mind is necessary for every Christian who desires a true knowledge of the Lord. We talk about walking with the Lord, being led by the Holy Spirit, growing spiritually, etc. Yet none of these things can become a reality for us without a change of mind. God is Spirit, and His world is Spirit. The world of God and the world of man are opposites, and He doesn’t change. I am the Lord, I do not change. Malachi 3:6. We are the ones that must change, and it begins with the mind.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
The Greek word for “bodies” here is soma, which means the complete man – body, soul, and spirit. Already we can see the need for a change in the way we think. It is not reasonable to man to submit his whole person to God, but the Lord says it is reasonable. Therefore, we determine it is going to be reasonable to us, too. Our way of thinking is going to change, starting right now!
Romans 12:2a And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
The problem is not that we might become conformed to this world. The problem is that we already are! Therefore we need to be transformed, and that requires a renewing of our minds. The Greek word for “transformed” is metamorphoo, from which we get our English word “metamorphosis.” An example of metamorphosis is the worm being changed into a butterfly. It is a change of life form. So, you see, the renewing of the mind is more than merely learning how to think differently. It is a change of life form.
Romans 12b …that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is impossible for the human mind to know the will of God. The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8. Proving what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God is a result of the transformation process of the renewing of the mind.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
This whole chapter has to do with a change of mind, that we be transformed by the renewing of our mind. It is natural for a person to think more highly of himself than he should. On the other hand, it is Christ-like to think according to the measure of faith that comes from God.
Thinking soberly will keep your emotions from getting too high or too low concerning situations you are facing. We must walk soberly with the Lord. The carnal mind will transmit “be happy” or “be sad” or “be angry” under certain circumstances. The highs and lows are smoothed out for the Christian with a renewed mind. The renewed mind makes a highway for the mind of Christ. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 40:3-5.
Romans 12:4-5 For as we have
many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
We are members one of another because we are of the Body of Christ. It is a spiritual oneness, and because of that oneness of spirit we have a spiritual connection with one another. Therefore, it is very important for us to have a renewed mind. What we are in our spirit has an influence on the other members of the Body. We do not all have the same function, but we all have the same responsibility to have a right spirit. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. I Corinthians 12:26.
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.
Prophesy according to your faith. Don’t let your speech exceed the faith you have. Again, learn how to think soberly. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5.
Our speech has a definite affect on our prophetic utterance. Do you remember Jesus saying, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37)? We don’t need superlatives to heighten our speech. It is human nature to want to use adjectives excessively to make one look good. Just say “yes” and “no.” Think soberly. Then your yes and your no will have greater meaning.
Romans 12:7-8 Or ministry,
let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 He who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
What is your ministry? What is your function in Christ? Do it with simplicity. We don’t need to look super spiritual.
Romans 12:9-10 Let love be
without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
Be kindly affectionate! There is a hard one. It is impossible to maintain this kind of brotherly love without a change of mind. The apostle Paul is talking about divine attributes. Human nature doesn’t have that kind of kindness and brotherly love. It does not prefer one another. Do you know what a crab spirit is? If you had an open basket of crabs, you wouldn’t have to worry about them climbing out. As soon as one gets near the top another one pulls it down. A person with a crab-spirit attitude tries to get ahead by pulling someone else down. It is a very common attitude in politics.
Romans 12:11 Not slothful in zeal, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
It is so very important for us to have a hunger for God and to be fervent in that hunger. This is the mind of Christ, a mind fervent in serving God. It is written of Him: Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up (John 2:17). He knew why He had come to the world of man. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Behold, I have come – in the volume of the Book it is written of Me – to do Your will, O God. Hebrews 10:5, 7.
Jesus Christ was set for one thing: the will of God and His will only. We must have that same mind, but it is not something that just happens. That fervency of spirit is not found in human nature; it must be appropriated from the Lord. A change of mind is necessary. We must be transformed by the renewing of the mind.
Romans 12:12-16 Rejoicing in
hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
All of these verses are telling us what it means to have a renewed mind. Brethren, we need a change of mind! Let God work this mind in you. Be transformed by the renewing of the mind!
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose