Summary: Many Christians do not realize how much Jesus has transformed their minds and is renewing them every day. They think like the world because they don’t know their identity in Christ or His transformation in making them do creatures in Him. What happens to your mind when Jesus takes over? That’s what this post is all about.
In my last post, I taught on how to listen to and obey the Spirit. In this post, we begin a new miniseries on the Christian mind, beginning with talking about the Christian mindset we should have.
Sometimes I read and comment on a passage of Scripture, look around, and realize I’m the only one picking up on this idea or my interpretation of that passage. In very few situations, this could be something no one has thought of. At least, that’s my hope. But usually, it means I am not seeing the passage clearly, or the way I understand the passage does not fit within Christian thinking.
Those are times you look at what others are saying about that passage and learn. What was your mistake? Was it in the way you thought about the passage? Questions abound, but you can take those moments to learn. There’s a way Christians think that the world does not think. There is a Christian mindset to everything in life.
How do you get that Christian mindset? Christians must guard against worldly thinking. The way you think, so goes the way you act. You can learn how to think like a Christian. In some ways, you will automatically think more like a Christian, because you are one. What does it take to learn from Christ and other Christians how to think like a Christian? I’m glad you asked. Let’s get started.
The Lack of Understanding
A big problem I see even with seasoned Christians is the lack of understanding of what Jesus does when He makes us new creatures in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). They are too busy thinking like the real, even though Jesus has renewed their mind, and continues to do so (Romans 12:1-2).
Churches and pastors don’t teach spiritual formation and discipleship so that Christians know what Jesus does when they get saved. He doesn’t just save us so we go to heaven. He wants to transform us as we are headed there. When Jesus makes us new creatures, He also transforms our mind and the way we think.
Because Christians don’t learn what Jesus does in making them new creatures, they allow their minds to be ruled by this world instead of by Christ. They think like the world because that’s all they know. They don’t realize Jesus has so much more for them to think about and to be transformed in their minds.
We need to teach Christians young and old alike how God transforms their mind. I believe if Christians were taught this vital understanding, they would not fall prey to temptation and worldly thinking as often as they do. This falls to pastors and teachers of God’s Word. We need to do better at helping people realize their identity in Christ.
The Mind in the Bible
So many words in the Bible describe thinking and mental processes. Everything from “suppose, realize, understand, reckon, think, know, consider, attitude, conscience, meditate,” and those are just the ones off the top of my head, are found in Scripture. Many have called the mind a battlefield because it is so affected by the world and the evil one.
Throughout this quick miniseries on renewing your mind, I will talk about some of these mental words in the Bible. I will be writing a book on the Christian mindset and what it means to be renewed in our thinking. But for now, I will focus on giving some of that information in this miniseries.
My point here is that you understand how much of the Bible and New Testament focus on the mind and thinking like Christ. For some Christians, this is the first day ever heard about Jesus making our minds new along with the rest of us. I think this is a vital component to spiritual formation and to understanding your identity in Christ.
One of the pieces of the armor of God is the helmet of salvation. The helmet protects the head and brain in battle. The helmet of salvation helps us not only realize what Jesus has done in our salvation to our mind, but it protects our thoughts from the enemy and the world. God doesn’t want you to think like the world anymore. He has greater things in store for you.
What Jesus Does to Your Mind
I’ve been talking about what Jesus does in our salvation in our mind. But I haven’t spelled it out. I’ll be doing that throughout the miniseries, but to give you a taste of what’s to come, here are some of the things Jesus does in your mind as He makes you a new creature in Him.
He renews your mind (Romans 12:1-2). This is the first line of defense against worldly thinking. He changes your perspective. You start to think about the things of God’s Kingdom instead of this world. You don’t focus on materialism, but focus on the present instead of the future, learn contentment, think and act generously, become who you are in Christ, and put Christ before anything else in your life.
He renews your imagination so you can imagine the things of His Kingdom instead of what you used to use your imagination for before you were saved. Some Christians will disagree with me on this one, but we can use our imaginations to think about heaven, doing good to others, how to obey the Holy Spirit, and so much more.
He renews your conscience. This is the part of you that convicts you when you sin, keep you doing what you have convictions about, and helps you make godly decisions that honor Christ. Before you knew Jesus, your conscience was on hiatus, or extremely seared by violating whatever morals (if any) you held.
He gives you a completely different attitude. You look at the world differently, and you have a whole different approach to it. Even in trials, you realize God Works them out for your holy good (Romans 8:28; James 1:2-4). He is working on your emotions and helping you have godly and righteous ones.
The Christian Thinking Process
Not only does Jesus renew your mind and help you think about godly things, but He changes the way you think. Christians think differently than the world. That is by design. You approach everything with the desire to please God and to live a righteous and holy life for Him.
This holy thinking process makes you approach every situation differently than the world. For instance, when I think about my weaknesses, the things that open me up to temptation, I guard those weak spots more carefully so I don’t offend Christ. When I do good things, it is not to gain my salvation or sanctification. It is because I love Jesus and want to make Him proud of me. I want to please Jesus.
I try to be self-controlled and everything I approach. I don’t seek to get more stuff for the sake of having it because I can’t take it with me to heaven. What use is it to serve in God and His Kingdom? How can I serve others with my time, talents, and resources? These are just a few of the ways Christians think differently than the world.
Jesus has so changed and transformed your thinking process that you have a different set of values by which you see the world and everything that you face. You don’t run from trials and suffering. You search for God’s reasoning and process in your trials. You are governed by the Holy Spirit.
You seek to discover godly wisdom in every situation. You want to do what glorifies God and shows His glory in you. You put others before yourself. You have taken a 180° turn from everything you used to do when you were rolled by your fleshly desires and passions.
You do spiritual battle with your flesh, seeking to honor Christ instead of do what you used to enjoy. The fact that you can fight your flesh shows how much Jesus has changed your thinking. Before you met Him, you didn’t think twice about doing what pleased and suited you. Now, you have concern for every desire that is not godly. You play the long game instead of the short one.
A Sneak Peek of Things to Come
If this is interesting to you, everything I have been talking about this post, I will go into most of this in more detail in the coming posts. I just wanted you to see with a birds eye view the lay of the land of how Jesus is transforming your mind. I say “is transforming” because He is still working on you.
Perhaps you don’t feel like you are seeing a lot of the things I’m talking about happen in your mind right now. Don’t worry. You are a work in progress. Jesus isn’t done with you yet. Your mind will continue to be transformed. Now that you are aware of how much Jesus wants to do in you, and more than I’ve presented here, you can make an effort to work with the Holy Spirit on renewing your mind.
Did anything stick out to you of something the Holy Spirit might be trying to do in your mind? Have you surrendered your mind to the world and not even thought and godly ways? Address that with the Spirit and ask Him to help you renew your mind to think like Christ.
We have been began talking about the Christian mind, by introducing it with the Christian mindset we need to have as disciples of Jesus. Next, we will go into more detail about renewing the mind.