Renewing the mind: the key

Romans 12-2

Today marks the first day of the return of our blog. Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe is now open again along with our new website: lonnelledwardjohnson.com. From Romans 12:2 in the King James Version comes the Verse of the Day for October 14, 2017 with a reference to “renewing the mind.”

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.

Here is how the Amplified Bible puts it:

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

For most of the years of my adult life as a believer, I recognized the importance of the opening verses of Romans 12 and committed this passage to memory. In my understanding of these verses, I thought of “the renewed mind” as something that believers had to obtain or lay hold of. Later, I read the passage more closely and recognized that the reference emphasizes “the renewing of the mind,” an active, ongoing process.

This section of scripture is associated with the familiar process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo. Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image by means of this ongoing process.

Butterflies as they undergo metamorphosis are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. The essence of this amazing process is expressed in this poem:

Renewing the Mind 

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old   

(unregenerate) self with its evil practices,

 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self],     

which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into   

 [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after            

the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.

Colossians 3:9-10 [Amplified Bible]

 

Now we know the key to power is renewing the mind,

As we seek to release this life-force within you and me,

For we long to walk in power and not be left behind,

As we strive to know deeper levels of intimacy.

With laser precision we now target our old nature

And put to death and mortify our members once for all.

We respond in obedience in answer to God’s call;

Not conformed, we transform ourselves, to become new, mature.

In the presence of God, the Almighty who inhabits

The praises of His people, where we yearn to abide,

To put off the old man, vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinful pride;

We put on the new man, as one changes garments, habits.

Above all we put on compassionate love from the start

And abide in our hiding place, filled with a grateful heart.

 

 

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