Summary: There is a battle being fought for a strategic area of your life. The outcome will determine the course of your life! It is the battle for the mind.
1. Illus. of Iwo Jima
• On a small island in pacific called Iwo Jima one of the most ferocious battles of WWII was fought.
• Taken at great expense in money and lives.
• Why? Strategic value was enormous. If they won this island, war would go well. If they lost this island, war would go against them.
2. Whether or not you realize it, a strategic battle is being fought in your life. The outcome of this battle will determine the quality of your Christian life. Win this battle, and your Christian walk will be filled with blessing and joy and satisfaction. Lose this battle, then your Christian walk will be filled with spiritual poverty, frustration, and immaturity.
3. What is this battle? It is the battle for your mind. You see, what happens in your mind determines the direction your spiritual life will take. Romans 8:5
4. Disciples are people who obey God’s command to be renewed in the spirit of your mind. That is to say, their habits of thinking and acting are being changed because they are saturating themselves with the Word of God.
5. What does our text tell us about renewing our minds? I want to ask and answer three simple questions.
I. WHY DO I NEED TO RENEW MY MIND?
1. See vs 22. Paul is writing to people who have been Christians for years, and yet he tells them to put off… the old man. By the old man he means the old habits of thinking and acting they had before they came to Christ.
2. When you come to Christ, the Bible says that you are taken out of death and put into life. But it does not say that when this happens you automatically lose your old sinful ways of thinking and acting.
3. We must renew our minds because, until we do, we will continue to think and act like unsaved people!
4. Illus. of me going to “Doghouse.”
• We would go every Friday night to get a footlong chili dog and a pitcher of beer.
• I got saved.
• Next Friday night, went right back to Doghouse. I had been saved, but I still had the old habits of thinking and acting!
5. Now, I need to tell you that the renewing of your mind is not a function of calendar time. In other words, your mind is not automatically renewed in Christ just because a certain number of years have passed since you became a Christian! I know people who have been saved for decades who still think and act like they did before they were saved. Years have passed, but they haven’t been saturating their minds with God’s Word in those years.
6. We need to renew our minds because we don’t automatically lose our old habits of thinking and acting when we come to Christ.
II. HOW DO I RENEW MY MIND?
1. See vs 23. Compare with Colossians 3:10. There is a knowledge that we can put into our minds that will cause them to be renewed. Where is this knowledge? In the Word of God.
2. Illus. of your mind like a washtub
• Imagine this washtub is your mind. Dirty water represents what you filled your mind with before Christ, clear water represents Word of God.
• Filled up with dirty. Every time pour in new, old is replaced. What will eventually happen? (Become all clean and pure)
• What is from time to time pour in a little dirty water too? (Slows the process of purifying)
• That’s the way it is in your mind!
3. Three important ways to fill mind with Word of God:
Read God’s Word (daily devotional time).
Study God’s Word (get in Sunday School).
Memorize God’s Word (one verse a week).
4. How do I renew my mind? By refusing to fill it with trash, and saturating it daily with Word of God!
III. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN I RENEW MY MIND?
1. See vs 24. As I put on the new man (as I am renewed in the spirit of my mind), I begin to resemble God in my actions and attitudes. I begin to think and act like God thinks and acts, with the result that my life becomes characterized by righteousness and holiness.
2. To put it in simpler terms, when my mind is renewed I start becoming like Jesus!
3. Illus. of picture hanging at the Alamo in San Antonio Texas
• Near the main entrance is a portrait of a young Texan hanging on the wall.
• The inscription underneath reads as follows. “James Butler Bonham died at the Alamo. No picture of him exists. This picture is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle.