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July 22, 2022 12:01 am
The grace of God in our lives should transform the way that we think and the way that we look at the world. Today, Derek Thomas describes the new mind-set that the Holy Spirit graciously develops in Christians.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind. We are good, and assumes all rules are in bondage to sin themselves and therefore not free, free to choose anything at all, not free to choose their spiritual good and requires a sovereign initiative backed of God's sovereign reacted in your life and the way if he is given you a new heart you know that is also given you a set look at life differently than before.
The apostle Paul preach a dramatic picture of that reality.
In Romans chapter 8 the stark contrast between the attitudes and lifestyles of people who are spiritually dead. Those who are spiritually alive is Dr. Derek Thomas, those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace for the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law.
Indeed, it cannot. The question was being asked here is a consequence of where this chapter began with a statement that we are no longer condemned and justified by faith we have peace with God and there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The question now arises Paul is already hinted at it by referring to the law of the Spirit of life, having situs free in Jesus Christ from the law of sin and death and in verse four suggested that the purposes of redemption in our life is that the fruit of the spirit begins to the law might manifest itself in our lives is very important to get the order right always in saying if you do certain things you will live you saying the opposite. Because you live you will now do certain things as a basis of what God has done and you he now brings forth the fruits of the spirit and the question then arises what other signs of a true work of God in our lives is a very important question is a very personal question is a question that can get us into a degree of trouble because were not asking how much fruit do I need to demonstrate how much obedience to the law, do I need to demonstrate in order to prove to myself and let me use another work in order to justify to myself that I'm a child of God, and you can see where the problem is leading the problem is leading into a form of legalism that suggests that the only way that you can be really justified is that you demonstrate these fruits of the spirit and then you can put the cart before the horse. So the imperatives before the indicative's and upset the entire shape and contour of the gospel earthly things in these three verses that I want to draw attention to, and perhaps there might be 1/4. But let's see if we can nail down these first three things Festival.
Firstly, the Christian is alive, the Christian is a life unit is in verse six to set the mind of the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace, among other things, a Paul is saying here is that he's drawing a contrast between death and life there is death, and there is the life of death and there is the mindset that belongs to that life from death and then there is life on the mindset of that which belongs to life and all of its fullness in the New Testament uses three pictures picture words and picture metaphors to depict what it means by life.
John chapter 3, for example, and it's a word the John in particular, likes to use. If the concept of rebirth. You remember the conversation with Nicodemus unless a man is born again, or perhaps more literally born from above and the emphasis is not on the again part but on the sovereignty of the birth. Unless you experience a birth that is sovereign, a birth that comes from above a birth that is outside of your ability to do anything to accomplish it.
So the New Testament speaks of a rebirth being born again. And remember, Nicodemus had some difficulty with that said to Jesus, I don't understand what it is that you're saying and Jesus have already said, unless you are born-again you can't understand the kingdom of God. So what Nicodemus was really saying was, I'm not born-again because I don't understand what you're talking about and remember that Nicodemus was a Bible teacher. It was perhaps the greatest Bible teacher in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus and therefore that you can be up picture of the teacher in the missionary and involved in Christian work and still not be regenerate not been born again. The second picture that the New Testament uses is the picture of creation and read creation and especially Paul in second Corinthians 5 in verse 21, where Paul says if any man be in Christ, new creation, the English translations provide the verb to be. He is a new creation but the Greek doesn't have a verb, if any man be in Christ, new creation and not new creature as the King James version renders it. The new creation the creative activity of God. Think of God in Genesis chapter 1 in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And that's the power that is involved in bringing us to life. We are dead in sins, our wills are in bondage to sin themselves and therefore not free, not free to choose anything at all. Not free to choose the spiritual goods and requires a sovereign initiative and act of God. So this the picture of the new birth is the picture of a new creation and then will and you see it in Romans six and verse 13 do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are being blocked from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Those will be brought from death to life and on the idea here in Romans six, is the idea of resurrection, just as Jesus was raised from the dead. We to buy union with Christ died with him and raised with him. And there's a sense in which when Jesus rose from the dead. We rose with him. What a beautiful and glorious idea that is. We've got three pictures that your breath the idea of creation and the idea of resurrection. The Christian is alive. Secondly, the Christian lives for God is collectivist for in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. Verse five. Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit and solicit the difference between those who are dead, and those who are alive and the differences that someone who is alive, someone was born-again someone who is a new creation in Christ. Someone who is resurrected in Christ demonstrate some obedience to the law demonstrates a love for the law demonstrates the fruits of the spirits to use a metaphor. The Paul uses in Galatians. For example, if the difference between a Christmas tree and a real treat.
A Christmas tree has photonic but it's put their heads hung there you decorated and some of us have rituals involving family members and and some of us have sentimental attachments to certain ornaments. The report on the tree and it reminds us of visits that we made on the Ligonier Alaskan cruise and we purchased a little Christmas bauble just to remind us of the happiness of those Saturdays that we spent together with the not real a real tree produces its own fruits comes from within itself and always making that contrast here between death and life that are those who are dead and they may look as though they produce some kind of fruit, but instead fruit and those who are alive produce real fruit by the power of the Holy Spirit, and so Paul is saying a Christian, someone was in union with Christ's rather than in union with Adam lives for God. That's the Christians mindset that's the direction that's the flow that's the contour along which the Christian now lives Christian is alive Christian lives for God and then in verse six, the Christian is at peace to set the mind of the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace, and peace. I think here, not in the objective sense being justified by faith we have peace with God, but in the subjective sense we experience peace we have peace of conscience that condemning conscience that birds in the sense of guilt that that restlessness is gone.
Think of text in Isaiah 57 the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, its waters throw up my and direct picture for you see, in the midst of the storm and Dick's throwing of waves, sinful movements on and it's restless and heaving back and forth and it reminds us of how Augustine and his confessions speaks of how he first came to experience the peace of the gospel in those famous words minds restless, our hearts are restless until they find the rest in the and some of us experience that's before we became Christians. We were in this world, perhaps for many years. Send didn't know Jesus and we had this burden of guilt and life wasn't fulfilling and there was a spirit of Ecclesiastes that all is vanity and we trying what can we tried leisure and we tried the amusement and hobbies sin and all kinds of things, but they all satisfy all of them together collectively and individually failed to fulfill that longing that we find within hearts and we what we said with a preacher with Koheleth the pastor preacher of the book of Ecclesiastes. Everything under the sun life under the sun. Life, perhaps without God door or life as we so often experience it doesn't fulfill. It doesn't it doesn't eventually satisfy and then we found Jesus and then we heard God's words, there is no condemnation and then we experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and then something arises deep within us that has about it.
The sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and complete less. The Christian is alive, the Christian lives for God. The Christian is a piece less of them might be 1/4. The Christian is spiritually minded those who live according to the sinful nature of the flesh, and those who live according to the spirit times and he works that contrast, those who live according to the flesh of those who live according to the spirit. He draws the contrast in the way that that affects you notice the mind, not so much the body now, but the mining mindset if you like a way of seeing things are a way of perceiving things a mind that is controlled by the spirit of mind that thinks like the spirit. This being commonly minded and then there's being spiritually minded and spiritually minded nothing not in the mystical sense, not in the highest sense but spiritually minded in the specific sense of reminding the things that the Holy Spirit mind and so we need to ask ourselves what is it that the Holy Spirit minds.
What is it that the Holy Spirit thinks about what's on the mind of the Holy Spirit because they ought to be on the mind of those who are controlled by the spirit of those who are invoked by the spirit because the spirit is the spirit of Christ.
There are two persons of the Trinity probably remember often speaks of the spirit of Christ and not referring to the soul of Christ. So the price did have a soul, but spirit of the S the Holy Spirit to indwell to Jesus and upheld Jesus and enabled Jesus to fulfill the role of the mediator docs same Holy Spirit who indwells us and so we need to ask that question on its it's a profound question, what is it that the Holy Spirit minds, what's on the mind of the Holy Spirit. What's on your mind John ON the 17th century Puritan one time a vice chancellor of Oxford University in the 1650s and into the 1660s John ON will come back to him later because of a verse in this very chapter that we are studying on mortification and Darwin wrote a famous treatise on mortification in volume 6 of his collected writings within this volume 7 of his collected writings, in which he wrote a treatise a lengthy treatise, John Nolan and in John ON pros and following thoughts.
I think in Latin and translated into English so his is English sentences read as though they are Latin.*In style. And that's partly why we sometimes find it difficult to read John Nolan. But the modern translations for us to read today and one of the treatises in volume 7 of his writings is on the duty of being spiritually minded back in 1974 and 75 I was just graduating from college and entering into a direction which eventually led me to seminary and I lived with a pastor and Jeffrey Thomas in Aberystwyth and Wales. The idea friend and mentor to me for almost 50 years and I I lived in this house with this late wife and his three daughters and we read together early in the morning. I mean, 5 o'clock in the morning.
Strong black coffee and we went to study and we read aloud to each other. John Owens on the duty of being spiritually minded, which was based on this passage that we are looking at right here until no one is asking the question, what is it that the Holy Spirit minds and therefore what is it that we mind if we are alive in Christ and living for Christ and peace in our conscience and finding fulfillment. What is that spiritual smallest spiritual capital as mindset the mindset that is governed by the Holy Spirit and following asked this question answer question that I first encountered back in 1974, 75, and it has haunted me ever since. Just a question. What is it that your mind defaults to when it's not thinking about anything in particular, concentrating on something worth thinking about that thing of socialism able to multitask in and do a number of things all at the same time, and some of us are not able to do that, but I'm not asking about that him asking when when you're not doing anything when you when you as it is, it will relax and you chill out and do not thinking about anything in particular where this in mind, reverts to where does it go in those periods of time, and John Owen said that is the degree to which you are growing in a spiritual mindset. If your mind defaults to somewhere where the Holy Spirit would default mind doing the things of Christ, reminding the things of God and its it's very convicting question, isn't it, that we find ourselves almost troubled by that. I think Paul is saying. As we grow as Christians we develop, we develop a certain pattern.
We are creatures of habit but God is made as I think creatures of habit and a great deal of sanctification is about habit it's about Breaking Bad habits and forming new habits and learning a pattern of Dean faulting into responding in a certain way and undrafted break certain habits and form new habits and after a while you're not conscious of it being a habit you're just conscious of it being huge. This is who you are.
This is how you respond your entire personality can alter that we have individual personalities that are unalterable and pretty sure of that and and it distinguishes you from me and I think of that always distinguish you from even in the new heavens and new so that were not robotic or clones. God has made us all different, but we needs to develop policy response to the gospel. A response to Jesus a response to justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone pattern of peace that is spiritual spiritual with a S spiritual in the sense that we had Dean faulting into the very pattern of thought that the Holy Spirit has as profound.
I think that's a big event and we need to ask the question as we wrestle the flesh wrestles against the spirit of the spirit against the flesh. These are contrary one to the other and we try at the end of Romans seven and I understand that to be in an Augustinian sense. The experience of the Christian we cryo- wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death, and that deliverance is gradual. As the Holy Spirit works in us and shapes us and molds us, not just in the instruments of our body. Romans chapter 6, but in the way that we think and are very mindset in how we think about who we are in Jesus Christ so sure you have it, a question about what other signs of a true work of God and one of the signs of the true work of God is when I'm not thinking about anything in particular I find myself drifting back to Jesus to the gospel to justification to the overtures of redemption to Scripture to God is in all this when we think about in her idle time reveals who we really are referred from regular teaching fellow Dr. Derek Thomas today here on Renewing Your Mind and were glad you joined us were featuring Dr. Thomas's series on Romans chapter 8 and he says in the course of the series that he considers this to be the greatest chapter in the Bible. Paul explained salvation so completely here and he gives believers great cost to have hope and assurance would like to send you this series there are 12 messages on two DVDs and will send them to you for your gift of any amount to Ligonier ministries. There are a couple of ways you can reach us to make a request.
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That's why we continue producing teaching series like the one we heard today and it's why we covet your prayerful support. So again, if you'd like to request the series. Call us at 800-435-4343 or go online to Renewing Your Mind.org and ask for the series, simply titled Romans eight next week. Return to Dr. scroll series knowing Scripture is the privilege and duty of every believer to study God's word diligently along with privilege comes the responsibility to interpret the Bible correctly. RC will provide us with the tools to do that, beginning Monday here on Renewing Your Mind