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What is the Renewing of the Mind?

The expression renewed in the spirit of your mind in Ephesians 4:23 speaks of a crucial matter in the walk of a believer. The apostle Paul testified that the mind needs to be renewed, urging the Ephesians to “no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk in the vanity of their mind” (Eph. 4:17). The Gentiles are the fallen people who live without the consciousness of God and are controlled and directed by their fallen mind devoid of reality. This vanity of the mind can be traced to the fall of man. God placed Adam, representing all mankind, before the tree of life (Gen. 2:8-9), which signified God as the source of his living. God also warned Adam about taking in another source, which represented a living independent from God and under the satanic influence. Adam’s choosing to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, representing Satan, plummeted man into sin, causing his mind to become vain and his understanding darkened (Eph. 4:18; Rom. 1:21).

Although we received the life of God in our spirit when we were regenerated, as genuine believers we may still walk according to our fallen mind with its concepts, views, and philosophy. Through our faith in the Lord Jesus, we have put off the old man and have put on the new man by means of baptism (Eph. 4:22, 24; Rom. 6:6, 4). Although these are accomplished facts, we must experience the reality of these facts by being renewed in the spirit of our mind. Otherwise, we may be a new creation in our spirit through regeneration but remain unrenewed in our mind.

We must be renewed in our mind by the Spirit’s spreading into our mind.

When we were regenerated, the Spirit of God entered into our spirit, causing the two spirits to become one mingled spirit (Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 6:17). To be renewed in the spirit of our mind indicates that our spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, “invades” our mind, spreads into it, and even becomes the spirit of our mind to rule over our thinking, speaking, and acting. This is how our mind is renewed. The renewing Spirit renews our mind by bringing a new element into our mind to replace our fallen thoughts and old concepts (Titus 3:5) that the mind of Christ may be in us (Phil. 2:5). By this renewing of our mind, which is the principle part of our soul, the rest of our soul—the emotion and will—is renewed resulting in the transformation of our whole soul (Rom. 12:2).

We should not be content only to be regenerated with the Spirit of God in our spirit. We must be renewed in our mind by the Spirit’s spreading into our mind. By praying to take the Lord Jesus within as our life and our view, reading the holy Scriptures, and setting our mind on the mingled spirit (Rom. 8:6), our old thoughts and concepts will be washed away and our mind will gradually change. As the Spirit in our spirit spreads into and saturates our mind, our old mind that is full of vanity will be a renewed mind with the proper concepts and view. Our mind will even be one with the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Then our walk will be in the newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

For further reading on this subject, please see the footnotes for the above referenced verses in the New Testament Recovery Version; The Organic Aspect of God’s Salvation; and Salvation in Life in the Book of Romans, both by Witness Lee, published by Living Stream Ministry.

From Issue No. 47, March 2002

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