Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:9).
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 3:1-2).
For God has not given us a spirit not of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13).
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds (Hebrews 10:16).
How central a place man’s mind has in the Bible! My intent is not to weary you with an overload of scriptures, but only to show the major emphasis the Bible’s places on this area of our lives. In our unending battle with sin, a renewed mind is essential. In our ongoing need of comfort and encouragement, a renewed mind only will receive God’s comforts. For true perseverance in the faith year after year, a renewed mind will keep us on the right path, not allowing us to stray from the narrow way. In spiritual warfare, a renewed mind is not an option.
The only means and source of our minds being renewed is God’s Word. Truth is the only thing we are to believe. In any situation, we will either believe a lie, a half-truth, or the truth. A renewed mind is one that has been transformed in its thinking and views to see reality for what it truly is, to believe what God has said in any situation, and to walk in that light. This is the renewed mind.
It is significant that Paul, in Romans 12:1-2, says that renewing of the mind follows two things: 1) presenting our bodies (our entire beings or all of us) as a living sacrifice to God, and 2) not being conformed to this world–consecration and transformation! Full yieldedness to Christ produces within the believer a transformation of the mind, rather than allowing the world to squeeze us into its mold. We are not to be conformed to this world, but the only alternative to conformity to this world is transformation out of the world’s unregenerate way of thinking into Christ’s way of thinking according to God’s truth.
I can now look back and reflect on forty-four years of Christian experience and realize that my choices in living the Christian life were always based on what I believed at the moment. Reading a bad book as a new Christian, I suddenly felt and believed it was a bad book and I chose to throw it in the trash can. Good choice! I was moving toward marriage to a Christian young lady, and came to see it was not God’s will for me, and chose to not continue the relationship, and that choice resulted in my marriage of 39 years to Linda. My, what a difference our belief at any moment can make for the future! Over the years, I have increasingly loved the doctrinal standards of historic Presbyterianism, and the stalwarts of the faith among that communion, such as B. B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, J. Gresham Machen, and others. But as much as I love their history and theology, I could never come to believe they were correct on pedo-baptism (infant baptism). That conviction, flowing out of a renewed mind to what the Bible reveals, has kept me a Baptist all these years, though I have loving relationships with godly Presbyterians to this day.
What we believe in our hearts and minds is what we are, and determines what we choose and do. What we believe shapes all decisions and choices. Yes, ‘tis true–as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he! Our constant prayer and goal should be a renewed mind and heart. That will keep us walking on the Lord’s highway of holiness all the days of our lives.
– Mack Tomlinson