Summary: The church is transformed by thinking right
The Transformed Church
The word “think” or “meditate” means to consider, reflect, reason, and ponder. The idea is that of focusing our thoughts until they shape our behavior. The truth is:
⇒what we think is what we become.
⇒where we have kept our minds is where we are.
⇒our thoughts shape our behavior.
⇒what we do is what we think.
William Barclay says, “...it is a law of life that, if a man thinks of something often enough and long enough, he will come to the stage when he cannot stop thinking about it. His thoughts will be quite literally in a groove out of which he cannot jerk them” (The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, p.97).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
The apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans and Philippians under the inspiration of God. God knows how we humans are and quite often what we think on is wrong. It could be how we were raised, the events that have happened in our lives, our perception of the situation or person all could be wrong.
For example if we took a test today and asked the question are men smarter than women? The truth is women have 40 more brain connectors from the left side of their brains to the right side and therefore able to multi-task more than men. Women typically are more emotional because they can more easily access the emotion center of the brain which is on the right side.
Men think left side, logic point A-B. Women are more relationship oriented. That’s why two young ladies out with their guys, one says I need to go to the restroom, the other one says I’ll go with you—Men would never say that…
So God wants us to understand we need to think right about Him, about ourselves and about other people. Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and mind are pulled apart and we are strangled by anxiety that’s why the Bible mentions that in v.6. We must realize that thoughts are real and powerful, even though they cannot be seen, weighed, or measured. We must bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthian 10:5).
Someone wrote, “Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny!”
A Transformed mind is:
I. A Prepared Mind (v.8a)
In the book of Philippians the mind is used 7 times. God’s number for completion. The mind is spoken of as united with God and speaks to the church that we should be of the same mind. God wants our minds ready for the attack of the enemy. He wants our minds focused.
Another denomination has a commercial open hearts, open minds, that sounds good but it’s not biblical. Our hearts should be open to want God wants us to hear but no place in the Bible does God say open your minds. We are commanded to have the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says “Let this mind be in you, our minds should be focused on the truth of Scripture and closed to the world, the flesh and the devil.
A. Whatever is true
Dr. Walter Cavert reported a survey on worry that indicated that only 8 percent of the things people worried about were legitimate matters of concern! The other 92 percent were either imaginary, never happened, or involved matters over which the people had no control anyway. Satan is the liar (John 8:44), and he wants to corrupt our minds with his lies (2 Cor. 11:3). “Yea, hath God said?” is the way he approaches us, just as he approached Eve (Gen. 3:1ff). The Holy Spirit controls our minds through truth (John 17:17; 1 John 5:6), but the devil tries to control them through lies. Whenever we believe a lie, Satan takes over!
B. Whatever is noble and just
This means “worthy of respect and right.” There are many things that are not respectable, and Christians should not think about these things. This does not mean we hide our heads in the sand and avoid what is unpleasant and displeasing, but it does mean we do not focus our attention on dishonorable things and permit them to control our thoughts.
The KJV uses the word honest instead of noble. The word literally means honorable in character. Some are honest like Dennis the Menace. He caught his friend Joey trying to get a paper out of the machine without paying any money. He said, “Wait, Joey. First you have to put in the money... and then you can get all the papers you want.”