Renewing Our Mind (Part 1)
It is not necessary for us to change anything in order to be loved, accepted, and pleasing to God.
We are already loved, accepted, and pleasing to God just as we are, all and only because of the finished work of Jesus the Son of Man on earth, and the Grace of God extended to all people based on His finished work.
There is nothing we could ever think, say, or do that could change what Christ has done for us, or could change what God has so graciously offered to us based on what Christ has done.
Our position in Christ is open to us and our place in heaven has been prepared. All we have to do now is believe in Jesus to reserve our position and place in God and in His Kingdom.
However, if we would like to improve the quality of our life here on earth, then we will need to change the way we think.
That is, we will need to change our mind about God, ourselves, and one another. And one way of doing this effectively, is to better understand how God loves us. That is, better understand how God perceives us, how He thinks and feels about us, and His attitude toward us.
Therefore, this topic presents an approach whereby we can work to renew our mind regarding God, ourselves, and others by looking closely at the words of Jesus.
John 8:31,32, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Matthew 4:17, From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The Greek word for ‘Repent’ is ‘metanoeo’, and it means ‘to change one’s mind’; that is, ‘to change one’s mind for better’.
Romans 12:2, “… be transformed by the renewing of your mind,”
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, … .”
Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, … .”
Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures in this website are from the NKJV* or NAS* Bibles.
This topic has two parts.
Renewing Our Mind (Part 1) – Presents a basis for renewing our mind by looking closely at the words of Jesus.
Renewing Our Mind (Part 2) – Using the words of Jesus, employ mental exercises to help renew our mind and in that way become people who love more like the Father loves Jesus the Son of Man.
Renewing Our Mind (Part 1) – Presents a basis for renewing our mind by looking closely at the words of Jesus.
In The Love of Others Redefined, in the paraphrase of Matthew 22:37-40, we are first to love God, and second we are to love ourselves and one another just as the Father loves Jesus the Son of Man.
Among other things, to love God first means to put Him first in every area of our life. That is, to worship, praise, and offer up thanksgiving to Him in all circumstances and at all times. John 4:24, “And those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Learning how to love God first is outside the scope of this topic, with the exception that one way of loving God first is to love ourselves and one another just as the Father loves Jesus. That is, one way of showing our love for God is for us to show the Father’s love for Jesus the Son of Man to those for whom Jesus suffered and died, and to do so in the way Jesus prescribed.
Looking closely at the words of Jesus is one way to learn how to love ourselves and one another just as the Father loves Jesus.
How does Father God love Jesus the Son of Man?
Although it may seem difficult to do, each of us can imagine and to some extent understand how Father God must love Jesus, and what Father God must think and feel about Him.
In Renewing Our Mind (Part 2) of this topic we are encouraged to discuss with others how Father God loves a perfect, strong, obedient, self-sacrificing, humble, wise, and holy Son. And we are to take this understanding of the Father’s love for Jesus and apply it to ourselves and to one another. For this reason it is important that our understanding of the Father’s love for Jesus be as complete and accurate as possible.
Whatever the Father thinks and feels about Jesus, is what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit think and feel about us, and is what we are to think and feel about ourselves and one another.
John 15:9,12, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; … … love one another, just as I have loved you.”
How are we to learn to think and feel about ourselves and one another just as the Father thinks and feels about Jesus the Son of Man?
To begin with, we may need to strengthen our belief that God has a great desire for us to know in our mind what He thinks about us, and to experience in our heart what He feels about us.
God is not in any way hiding or holding back His love from anyone, on the contrary. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Thinking and feeling about ourselves as God thinks and feels about us requires a change of mind and heart, and as our mind changes our heart will follow. For such a change to occur we may have to consider the words of Jesus more closely than we ever have before.
Before proceeding, please read:
The Purpose and Premise of this Website
Accuracy, Authenticity, and Authority of the Bible and the words of Jesus
Matthew 4:4, But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “
The only words recorded in the Bible that were spoken directly “from the mouth of God”, AND that were heard and could be confirmed by many people, are the words spoken by Jesus in His Incarnation and the words spoken by the Father directly from Heaven. (Matthew 18:16, 2 Corinthians 13:1)
The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is God’s word to the whole world and it is all true. It is not all the truth there is (John 21:25), but it is all the truth we will ever need.
Although all of the other words in the Bible are true, it has not been found where these other words “are spirit and are life”, which is what Jesus said about His own words in John 6:63, “…; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Here we take the approach that the words of Jesus, along with the words spoken by the Father from Heaven, are the standard against which all the other words in the Bible are to be measured and understood. And that it is these words which are the “food that endures to everlasting life”.
John 6:27, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Therefore, we are going to focus our attention on the words of Jesus, and in this way labor to renew our mind, strengthen our “believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29), and learn to love as the Father loves Jesus, so that “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
However, renewing our mind about such matters may not always come easily. The entire world system, our mind and flesh, and a host of spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12) are arrayed against us as we work to change our mind in this way.
It will require Reading and Study, Memorization and Meditation, Contemplation and Discussion of the words of Jesus to supernaturally renew and change our mind away from its natural worldly ways. As we have heard, ‘repetition is the mother of all learning’, and it is the key to making progress in renewing our mind. And to make lasting progress, it will probably require effort on our part almost every day to mentally swim against the ever present tide of the ways of this world.
However, the benefits of this effort can be experienced almost immediately. The immediate benefit is to begin to perceive our self as the Father perceives Jesus the Son of Man, and in that way we begin to experience God’s love as peace in our mind and joy in our heart.
John 16:22, “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
One way that Jesus overcame the world was to sanctify Himself. John 17:19, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” And as an example for us He sanctified Himself with the truth that we should also sanctify ourselves by means of the truth. John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
Beyond learning how to love our self as God loves us, we are to learn how to love others as God loves all of us. This may be more difficult than loving ourselves, but in some ways it follows from loving ourselves. That is, in some way, the degree to which we can love others is dependent upon the degree to which we can love ourselves as the Father loves Jesus the Son of Man.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:28). And now, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
Therefore God now has a complete absence of a judge-mentality toward our behavior and He is not surprised, ashamed, hurt, or offended by anything we may think, say, and do. Before Christ, God may have had a judge-mentality toward us, and may have been offended and hurt by the things we thought, said and did, but since Christ died for all of our sins, God no longer thinks and feels this way.
From God’s perspective, all of His consequences and all of His punishments for all of our disobedience, and all of our negative and harmful thoughts, words, and actions, were nailed to the Cross and passed away there with Jesus.
However, much of the world does not recognize the finished work of Jesus on earth, or God’s grace and forgiveness toward all people. Therefore, we are continually tempted by the world, our flesh, and the devil, to harbor the troublesome and harmful presence of a judge-mentality toward our own behavior and the behavior of others.
As we focus on the words of Jesus, our judge-mentality toward ourselves and others deceases as the Father’s love for Jesus increases in and through our life. This should then lead to a growing love for others, exemplified by a growing peace and joy in our life when in the presence of other people.
Loving ourselves and others in this way will also help bring forth what Jesus taught the Disciples to pray for in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In an important way, when we experience for ourselves and express to others the love that the Father has for Jesus, then His Kingdom and His will are being accomplished here “on earth as it is in heaven”.
It may be that His love is the very essence of His power, in which case there is no greater power for forgiving, healing, and moving mountains than the love the Father has for Jesus the Son of Man.
John 14:12, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
Then, as we experience and express the Father’s love for Jesus, His miraculous and supernatural power will be manifested more consistently in and through our lives into the people and the world around us.
Matthew 10:8, “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Please proceed to Renewing Our Mind (Part 2)
|* NKJV Bible|
|* NAS Bible|
|The Purpose and Premise of this Website|
|Abide in Me, and I in You|
|Other Websites Relevant to this Topic|
|Stand to Reason – In the Name of Jesus|
|Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind|
|Google Search: A father’s love for his son|
Last updated: February 24, 2016 at 10:22 am ET USA