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1775. Renewing the Mind

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2024 5:00 pm

1775. Renewing the Mind

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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May 17, 2024 5:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “New Life in Christ,” with a message from Ephesians 4:22-24.

The post 1775. Renewing the Mind appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit is continuing a study series from Ephesians entitled New Life in Christ. Today, Steve will show us in Ephesians 4, 22 through 24, how we as Christians can renew our minds. Please take your Bibles this morning and turn to the book of Ephesians. Ephesians chapter 4, we are continuing our study this morning and the fifth message that we have looked at in the book of Ephesians, and this will be also a part of your study tonight in your dormitories as we are working through our theme on new life in Christ. And we're coming this morning to a very, very key and important verse in scriptures. A very short verse, just seven words here in the English, but they are life transformative words. And so we're going to read verses 22 to 24 with our focus this morning on verse 23. Hear what God has to say to us today. That you put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Right here in the greater Greenville area, we have the largest BMW plant in the world. It is expected this year to produce 481,000 cars at a production rate of 1400 cars per day. What is amazing is that every car that comes off the line has already been sold. So why do people want a BMW? Well, it's pretty cool car. It really looks nice.

I would love for someone to give me one if they would be so kind. I'd drive it for sure. But why? Well, because of its quality.

And in one way, we know, for example, the engine of a BMW is rated to be one of the best in the world. So my question this morning is, what is the engine that drives the Christian life? Well, that's what we're going to look at this morning. Because in Ephesians 4, 22 through 24, he lays out what we talked about last week when we talked about Christ in the school of conversion. And I jumped over verse 23 and said we would come back to it this week because this is really the engine that drives Christian living.

So let me just do a brief review from what we learned a couple of weeks ago. The message was entitled, With Christ in the School of Conversion. We looked at verses 17 through 19 where we find that Paul communicated to the Ephesian Gentiles the Gospel. He preached the Gospel to them.

And he told them how they were converted. And that is as Paul preached the Gospel in Ephesus and as he proclaimed the message, the Holy Spirit communicated through Paul. The Spirit was preaching. And he was preaching in such a way that actually it was Jesus speaking through Paul to those who were hearing. They were hearing Christ. And when they believed the message, they entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

That's what verses 17 through 19 are about. And then we come down to verse 22 and Paul here explains the response of the Gentiles in conversion. What happened when they were converted? They heard the message and they responded.

And what was their response? They put off the old man of sin and they put on the new man of Christ. And that putting off and that putting on is a two-fold step in conversion and we call that repentance and faith. Leaving the old and embracing the new. Now what's really interesting to me is that Paul squeezes between the put off and put on verses one of the most important and significant verses in the entire Bible concerning how you spiritually grow and mature as a Christian. We would call verse 23 a sanctification verse. Look at what it says.

It's very simple. It says, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. What is the engine that drives the Christian life? It is being renewed in the spirit of your mind. Dr. Michael Barrett said, right thinking about the Gospel produces right living in the Gospel. So my message title this morning is simply renewing the mind.

That's the study of the chapter that you have. This is the engine that drives the Christian life. And three things I'd like us to see this morning regarding the idea of renewing the mind. Number one, the first is what the renewing of the mind is not.

So before we understand what it is, what is it not? And first of all, let me say that the renewing of the mind is not an experience to be separated from your conversion. As I said, Paul strategically places this verse, verse 23, between the put off and the put on verses. So why did he put it in between?

For example, why would he not put it after put off, put on? I mean, to me that would make more sense. Doesn't sanctification flow out of your salvation experience? Well, I believe that the reason Paul did this was that he was having a careful emphasis on the way sanctification actually works. And the main idea is that your spiritual growth cannot be separated from your own salvation. It's not like you get saved and that you grow and you leave the salvation experience, but actually growth is rooted in your salvation experience. If it happens that you leave that, then what often takes place in Christian circles is they develop a wrong thinking about sanctification. Let me give you two examples. One example is this. One way of wrong thinking is that spiritual growth is getting beyond the gospel.

Spiritual growth, you could say it this way, is moving past the basic or the simple truths of salvation. And I think that we have a classic example of that every single day in chapel, and that is every day we say the creed. How many of you have ever wondered, why do we say this thing every day? How many have ever wondered that?

Please be honest, nobody's going to get in trouble. How many say, why do we do that every day? How many have ever wondered that?

Sure. How many of you have thought, well, yeah, I mean, I believe that. Of course I believe that, so let's move on beyond that. And what often happens is the basic things that we believe in order to be saved, we move beyond these things in order to spiritually grow.

But the reality is the opposite. That spiritual growth is not getting beyond the gospel, it's getting into the gospel. It is actually living in and living out what happened to you the moment that you were saved. Christian living is living out an experience, what happened to me the moment that I was converted. For example, it's making the crucifixion and the resurrection a central part of your daily life.

Listen to what Paul says in Galatians 5, 24, and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh. Christian living is daily crucifixion. It's living out what happened when Jesus died on the cross. And then he says in the next verse, if we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit.

That's the resurrected life. And so Paul calls the Christian life the crucified resurrected life. That's living out the gospel. It's practically putting off the old man and putting on the new man just like I did the moment that I was saved. And this is what we mean when we talk about a Christ-centered or a gospel-centered life.

It's a life that's rooted in what God did in and through His Son on the cross. But then there's another problem that can happen if we separate the salvation experience from our sanctification. And that is it can lead to practically making justification necessary for salvation and sanctification at best secondary. And in some cases, unnecessary for salvation. Now let me make sure I'm very clear on this. I'm not teaching at all that you have to keep your salvation or work for your salvation or earn your salvation.

That's very clear. We're all saved by grace through faith, but you have to understand something. Then when the Bible speaks of salvation, it actually sees it as a whole. You're justified, you're sanctified, one day you're going to be glorified.

Romans chapter 8, for whom the Lord did justify, He also glorified. God sees it as a whole. You got saved, you're getting saved, you're going to be saved.

He sees the whole thing. Now what can happen is practically you can make justification of such an important deal that actually sanctification takes a back seat. If we separate justification from sanctification, the practical result of that is we minimize Christian living. We get people saved, but we really don't worry that much about how they live because in the end, as long as they're saved, that's the most important thing.

And when you separate justification from sanctification, it will inevitably lead to what we call antinomianism. That is simply put, the way you live doesn't really matter as long as you're saved. So verse 23, Paul actually infused in the whole concept of conversion because Christian living is living out an experience what happened to you the moment that you were saved. Renewing in the mind is not an experience to be separated from conversion. And then notice number two, secondly, the renewing of the mind is not just an intellectual exercise.

Bible study and scripture memory are important. But that doesn't necessarily mean you're renewing the mind. How many of you have ever memorized a verse and then a day later you completely forgot it? It didn't necessarily change your mind. It just made your mind tired.

But it didn't change your life. How many people can sit in a Christian university like this at Bob Jones and listen to preaching every single day or go on to seminary and they study in classes and yet not necessarily are they growing spiritually? So intellectual understanding is not necessarily spiritual maturity. And then thirdly, let me say renewing of the mind is not simply replacing old habits and establishing new habits. An unsafe person can make some basic moral changes in their life.

They do it all the time. The very thing that Paul commands us to do to put off and we later read in verses 25 through 32 like don't lie, don't steal, don't be angry, don't have corrupt communication out of your mouth. All of these things can be superficially changed by unbelievers. But what Paul is talking about is something much deeper. He's talking about the renovation of your whole inside way of living. He's not talking about self-improvement or developing external character qualities. Though those things are important, that's not what he's talking about here.

He's talking about the renovation of the whole person from the inside out. My mother for 14 years lived in New York City. She lived in Brooklyn and her apartment was what they called the brownstone apartments in Brooklyn Heights. And you looked outside my mother's back window and it was a million dollar view.

I mean it's unbelievable. You could see the East River, downtown Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, you could see them all. And right across the street from where my mother lived, they renovated this building that stood about eight or nine stories tall and for weeks and weeks all you could hear all day long was banging and clanging because they went inside that building and I mean they gutted it. And everything came out, downshoots into big bins and they hauled the bins away with all the junk.

And then they quit the banging and clanging and then people started going in and they started renovating it. And when they were finished with that building, on the outside it looked the same but when you walked in on the inside it was transformed. That's what Paul is talking about. He's talking about a transformation that takes place in your life. So that leads me to the second point and what is then the renewing of the mind. And let's go back to verses 22 and 24 and just note a couple of things.

Let's remember some things. For example, 22 he says put off the old man. What is the old man? The old man is everything you are in Adam because of sin.

It's a life that is characterized by selfish living, living for your own lust. That was put off at the moment of conversion. What is the new man? The new man is everything you are in Christ because of grace.

That was put on at salvation. That's the new life that you receive from Christ. It's the restoration of the image of God that was lost by Adam in the fall but is regained by Christ through the cross and through his resurrection.

What Adam lost, you regained. And Paul specifically says that the qualities of the new man are twofold. He said number one is the desire to do what God requires. We call that righteousness. And number two is a devotion to know and love God.

We call that holiness. What is he saying? He's saying a transformation has taken place in your heart. God has put within you what did not exist.

What did Adam have in the garden? He had a spontaneous inherent inner desire to love God and obey God. He wanted to know God. His life was wrapped up in God. That is exactly what God does in your heart the moment you're converted. And all change of life then as a Christian begins through the sanctification of the desires of your heart. All change of life starts internally through the nurturing of the sanctified desires growing inside out.

A famous Scottish theologian of the 1800s was a man named Thomas Chalmers. He wrote a piece entitled The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. And his conclusion was this. And his main point was that you cannot change your old affections without replacing them with new affections. Making a moral resolution to change is insufficient to displace an old love for sin. Only by replacing a new love will we effectively change. Our hearts must be transformed by loving the truths of the gospel and loving the riches that we have in Christ. Let me put it this way.

You will never displace your old love for fried chicken unless you replace it with a new love for grilled chicken. There's got to be a change. So how does that take place? Well let's look at verse 23 and let's break the verse down into two parts. Notice what he says. Number one, he says be renewed.

And then he says number two in the spirit of your mind. So what does it mean to be renewed? Well, first of all, it's in the present tense. It's something that's happening right now. You're being renewed right now.

It's also in the passive mood which is referring to something that you, it's not referring to something that you're doing, it's referring to something that's happening to you. You are being renewed. Something is taking place in your life.

You're in a particular place where something is happening. And so this means that you are not the agent of renewal. You don't renew yourself. And in this case, God is the agent of renewal. God is renewing us.

Now the idea of the word renew simply means something that's fresh, like a piece of fresh fruit. Or fresh air that you go outside after you've been in a stuffy room. Or opening the shade so fresh light can come into the room after being in the dark. Or getting in a bathtub filled with fresh, clean water. Could you imagine having to take a bath after five other guys have used it?

And how dirty and nasty it would be. Fresh water. It's also the fresh new strength you feel after you've exercised and you've worked out. Maybe you've done a cardio workout or you've pumped some iron and it's that feeling you get, that rush you feel from exercise.

So the ideas are refreshing. The word also means something that's new, like new clothes or a new car or a new house. Have you ever gotten into a new car and you got that new smell? We ought to buy some perfume called That New Smell. Smells wonderful.

It's brand new. That new sensation that comes from something that's new. So the idea is that you're receiving a continual perpetual experience of spiritual freshness. God is refreshing you. And the idea is that without this you lose vitality, you decay, you become old, you die.

What is renewing? It's the continual outflow of the spiritual life that you received as salvation. Well do you have any scriptural statements on this?

Yes. Listen to the Old Testament. Isaiah 40 29, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary.

They shall walk and not faint. God will renew your strength. Listen to the New Testament. John 4 14, Jesus said, whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. God puts within you this perpetual spring of life.

John 7 37, if any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink and he that believeth on me, as the scripture says, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, this spake he of the Spirit of God. God puts the Holy Spirit in our life, that new life, and out of that new life comes that strength of life. So the renewing then is this renewal of life that began the moment that you're saved and it's a continual refreshing spring for us. But then there's a second phrase and he says be renewed in the spirit of your mind. What does he mean spirit of your mind? The word spirit there is not referring to the Holy Spirit, it's referring to your inner spirit. And if I could just make it very, very simple, it's the inner life that was dead in sin that is quickened by God's power through the resurrection power of Christ. In other words, when the Bible says you're dead in trespasses and sin, it means you have no connection with God.

But what does God do? By grace He raises you from the dead and instantly you become connected to God's Spirit. Romans 8 16, the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. There is the inner — the human spirit is energized through the Holy Spirit.

You're made alive. So he says be renewed in the spirit of your mind. What's he talking about there? He's talking about an attitude that is developed through a relationship. Everybody here, if you have a relationship, if you have a person that you really like and you enter into a relationship there's like this new life there that you didn't have before. It's relational.

It's like me seeing my wife and I haven't seen her for a week. And to be with her there's this renewal, there's this freshness, there's this life that comes out of that. This is what he's talking about. When he says renewing of the spirit of the mind, he's not talking about intellect.

He's talking about relationship. Where you get to know God. Now very quickly, how does this renewing work? And I'm just going to say a couple words and that is — and I won't turn there but many of you know the verse — he says in Romans 12 2 we're to be renewed — we're to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We're to go through a metamorphosis, a change.

And how does that happen? Number one, through daily communion with God through the Word. If you're saved and you're connected to God through the person of the Holy Spirit you're also connected to the living power of the Word of God and every single day we develop a new outlook of life as we read and study the Word. If you're not in the Word you're not being renewed.

It's that simple. And then secondly, and I'll take this more up the next time we meet, but it is a renewal of your life through obedience to God because folks, let me tell you something, you cannot separate spirituality from morality. Or let me put it this way, you can't live in sin and grow in grace. And so when he says put off the old and he says put on the new, we are to discard and separate ourselves from the corrupt elements of our sinful life. And he talks about those.

He says anger and stealing and lying and rotten words and all these things are to be put off. And then he says we're to put on the elements of the new life. We're in a new family.

We have a new enemy. We have a new mission. We have a new person living inside of us. We've experienced new grace and a new love. And so those new things that have happened inside of us are the very things that motivate us on the outside to tell the truth and not go to bed angry and to give generously and speak words of grace, to be kind and forgiving, to be morally pure.

All of these flow not out of a strict moral code on the outside, but out of a new life that flows from the inside. That's the engine of the Christian life, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Would you bow your head and close your eyes as we pray? Father, we thank you this morning that you have given to us a way that is very clear in how we change.

Lord, we know we cannot go a different direction, circumvent another way. Lord, help us to grow in grace, in the knowledge of the Lord. Help us, Lord, to love you and live in your presence so that our life is constantly being refreshed and renewed, where, Lord, there really is a reviving going on in our spirits. We pray this for our campus. We pray this for every student that's here, that they will experience the renewing of the spirit of their mind in Jesus' name. Amen. We've been listening to a sermon from Ephesians chapter 4.

My name is Wyatt Smith. I'm a senior here at Bob Jones University studying multimedia journalism and I want to tell you a little about my experience here at BJU. I've been here a little over three years and I truly cannot say enough about the community here at BJU. Whether it has been in the halls of the dorms, in my incredible society, or even in the classroom, I have always felt a very strong sense of community around me that has aided in my growth as a person and as a Christian. BJU's commitment to academic excellence has also pushed me to discover and refine the skills and talents needed to succeed in life after school, such as communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.

My time in the classroom has allowed me to gain hands-on experience in my field of study, all while giving me the freedom to think creatively and build my skills. One aspect of BJU that I have really appreciated is that I have been continuously challenged to develop and grow my faith in Christ through the preaching of God's word and chapel and the daily discipleship of those in community around me. I have truly loved my time here at BJU and I hope others will be able to share the experience I have had. If you or someone you know is interested in an experience such as mine, I would encourage you to check us out online at our website bju.edu and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at bju.edu. For any further information, please feel free to give us a call at 800-252-6363. Thanks again for listening. Join us again next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-17 18:19:26 / 2024-05-17 18:28:57 / 10

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