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Series: Renewal of the Mind
Sun am 7 September 2014 – Kobus Swart
(John 19:30); Acts 2:37-38; Rev. 1:4-5; Heb. 10:1-2; Rom. 6:11 (Message); Eph. 2:10 (Amplified);
Matt. 1:15-17; (2 Corinthians 5:16); Gen. 22:17-18; Gal. 3:16; John 12:21-25;
Rom. 8:28-29; 1 Cor. 12:12; (1 Cor. 9:24); (Heb. 11:39-40)
What does it mean to be “saved”? If you are saved and it does not affect your thinking, your life does not change. Many people have gone through the different steps and ways in which you “join” a church, read the Bible and pray. But it has to go deeper than that. It has to affect who you are.
In Acts 2 there was the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Then Peter began to speak the living Word which changed the lives of 3000 people. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38). They were pierced to the heart. Many come to church and sit under a living word but for some reason they are not pierced to the heart; it does not penetrate their mind. To repent means to think differently, to think with “another mind”. There is such a thing as sorrow, but it goes much deeper than a few tears and saying “I’m sorry.” If your mind is not renewed and you do not think differently, the old life-style will return. How shall we respond to a living word? Repent, allow the word to pierce your heart, think differently about yourself.
I want to show you who you truly are. I want you to have a whole new appreciation of what happened on the cross and – as a result – what has happened in you. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood (Rev. 1:4-5). This word came to the whole church, the redeemed community; He has released us from our sins. You have been released from your sins! This truth must change the way we think about ourselves! Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? (Heb. 10:1-2) What do we understand by ‘sin consciousness’? The way I think, whether I absorb lies or truth, will impact me. The problem with sin consciousness is that you cannot experience the truth of being released from your sins, because you still think of yourself as the “old Adam”. When preaching is legalistic it fosters sin consciousness. Sin consciousness wrongfully strengthens the battle in the mind. Our battle is not against the devil, he is conquered, defeated and under judgement. The battleground is in the mind. Even so consider (reckon) yourselves to be dead to sin (Rom. 6:11). How do you reckon? With your mind! Think of your old self as being dead, as being released from sin; then you can live your true identity. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did (Rom. 6:11 – The Message).
We need to break out of the half-truths of previous seasons and break into the truths of this season, and have a renewal of the mind. We have been set free and released and we are part of a kingdom of priests and kings here on earth. Align your thoughts with what happened 2000 years ago.
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live] (Eph. 2:10). There is a pre-ordained life for you to live and until you connect with that Master-plan, your life will not taste fulfilment. You will live with frustrations.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations (Matt. 1:17). This is the genealogy of Jesus, all in all it adds up to 42 generations, but if you count them you find only 41 generations to Jesus. The transition was made from Jesus to the Christ in the 42nd generation. Something happened in this transition. Paul explains: Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2 Corinthians 5:16).
I am establishing in your mind who you are in Christ. Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice (Gen. 22:17-18; see also Gal 3:16). One seed, singular! Then the seed died. Jesus explains: Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal (John 12:21-25-the Message Bible). If Jesus (the Seed) had not died the way He did, that would have been the end. Where does our problem lie? We are hanging on to the old life. The seed (singular) died so that it can become plural in its expression in the many-membered Body of Christ. It reproduces itself, so it is not inferior but the same quality of expression, an exact representation, as Jesus was an exact representation of the Father.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:28-29). If you hang on to your life, you are missing out. Anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal (John 12:24-25-The Message Bible). If we become reckless in our love, worshippers in spirit, soul and body, abandoning the sense of control and handing it over to Him, then something else kicks in. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). We are part of a generation called Christ. We are part of the 42nd generation, the corporate Man. One man will win the prize (1 Cor. 9:24); it is going to be the corporate Man – together, collectively, this generation called Christ. There is a finishing generation. All those who died in faith and did not receive the promise will not be made perfect until there is a last generation that will cross the finishing line (Heb. 11:39-40). The whole generation called Christ will receive the prize.
Think about yourself as part of this generation called Christ, released from sin once and for all. Stop fighting the devil and sin; just live your true identity. Your true identity is linked to the corporate. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind; be transformed by thinking who you truly are and not thinking as the old Adam.