The moment you come to faith in Jesus, your spirit is instantly made new. Your old sinful nature is nailed to the cross with Christ and you are reborn with a new nature, one that is like God’s. This is palingenesia, or regeneration. You now have the capability to think like Jesus because His spirit lives inside you. However, that doesn’t mean you will instantly know how to think and live as the new person you are in Jesus.
Your spirit has been transformed, but your soul (mind, will, and emotions) is still to undergo a transformational process in which you heal from old wounds and learn to walk in the fullness of Christ. This journey is known as hagiasmos, or sanctification, where empowered by His spirit, you become more like the Lord.
To be clear: God has already sanctified you in the sense that you are fully justified in His eyes (Heb. 10:10). You are set apart for eternal life solely because you accepted Jesus’ gift. The process of sanctification makes you more like Jesus; not to save you, but because you have been saved. Maturing in Christ is a result of your salvation, not a way of earning it. It can’t be earned because it’s already been freely given!
A major part of hagiasmos takes place in the mind.
Did you know that babies minds are incredibly powerful? They are born with twice the amount of neurons as any adult (100 billion!). They don’t speak, or do much of anything else really, yet they arguably harbor the world’s greatest minds. The excess of synapses rapidly firing in the brain makes them more sensitive and responsive to the world around them. Over the next 3 years a babies brain will grow more than the rest of its life. The rate in which they learn is simply phenomenal.
Why are we talking about babies? Because like a newborn child, your new mind has been made fresh and is state of the art. It can do things the natural mind is incapable of. Also like a newborn child, you don’t know how to use it yet! And you’re not expected to either. But you are expected to learn and grow.
When you as a believer awaken to the reality of the new creation, you step into the realm of son-ship. You are no longer a slave to mental warfare, but a son or daughter that the truth has set free. You have authority to literally rise above and command the waves (lying thoughts) to be still. Not only that, but as a child of God you have a brilliance waiting to escape you. Imagine a mind truly operating in the fullness that Jesus’s did. Jesus knew absolutely who He was and whose He was, and it influenced every aspect of the way He lived. He was kind, humble, obedient, compassionate, brave, strong (even in brokenness), wise and free from sin. Jesus modeled the relationship God desires to have with each of us as His children and gave us full access to it. He is a Son in constant relationship with the Father. As He is, so are you in this world (1 John 4:17). Like Jesus, you are now a son or daughter in loving and healthy relationship with a good Father.
“When you as a believer awaken to the reality of the new creation, you step into the realm of son-ship.”
Here’s the thing: our carnal minds are at war with God (Ro. 8:7). There is part of us that really doesn’t want to obey Him. We want to do what feels best for us, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind (Eph. 2:3), even when we know what God wants for us is actually the best thing. But Jesus provided a solution to this problem: crucify that part of us. And that’s exactly what He did. We are to consider ourselves dead to the old, and alive to the new (2 Cor. 5:17); no longer slaves, but sons (John 8:34-36). We are empowered to walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh (Ro. 8:1-4). Renewing our minds helps us to do that. We let go of the imprisoning mindsets that hold us back and keep us down, instead becoming active participants in the new life Jesus gave us that’s full of freedom.
God has made you a son or daughter. Now is the time to fill your mind with the truth of who you are in God, and who God is for you so you can live as more than a conqueror. In your new nature, you are set free from old thought patterns that challenge your identity in Christ. You are no longer held captive to your past, or even your own personality. You have spiritual weapons that destroy strongholds and free your mind to live abundantly.
Renewing your mind teaches you to use, or in other words, live and think, from your new spirit-mind. Here is what you can expect to happen as you renew your mind:
- You will heal from past wounds.
- You will be able to get off the wrong thought train.
- You will be set free from sin and spiritual oppression.
- You will be overwhelmed with joy and hope.
- You will start living in peace and rest.
“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”— John 8:38