Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ephesians 4:23 comments: renew your mind

23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

Paul also calls for the renewing of your mind, Christian, in Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:1 ¶  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We are then given instructions after that for how we are to live our lives as the explanation of God’s will for us. Here, Paul uses the word translated as “reasonable service” in Greek from which we get our word, “logical.” What is the nature of this transformation? What is God’s will for us that we are called to test or prove, to put the plan into play, not just talking the talk but walking the walk. What Paul says in the following verses will explain what it means to submit to each other later in Ephesians.

3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.[no rankings or social distinctions in the church – Galatians 3:28; Col. 3:11; Philippians 2:3] 4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9  Let love be without dissimulation [which is deceitful and untrue, not genuine]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [the essence of submission] 11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;[ see pray without ceasing in 1Thessalonians 5:17 as in a constant communication with God] 13  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.[the church that does not see to the unmet physical needs of its members for which they have no way of meeting and no family to help them is not a New Testament church] 14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.[once again Paul is defining what it means to submit to each other here] 17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Again, in 1Thessalonians 5 reveals the Christian’s marching orders in their response to each other.

14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15  See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

    16 ¶  Rejoice evermore. 17  Pray without ceasing. 18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19  Quench not the Spirit. 20  Despise not prophesyings. 21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.[not just sin, but any appearance of malice or bad intent in speech as evidenced by verse 31 coming up]

    23 ¶  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly [see how that is accomplished in John 17:17]; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

You cannot renew your mind while harboring lies, paranoia, and abiding wrath. You cannot renew your mind while viewing your brothers and sisters with mistrust and suspicion. You cannot renew your mind by being fearful and full of contempt for the lost. Renewing your mind is a positive thing, it is moving away from the world’s values and toward Christ’s. Repent, do a 180 degree turn and head in the opposite direction.

Renewing your mind begins with how you interact, how you treat other members of the household, the house, the family of God.

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