Blessings dear brothers and friend of Steemchurch the peace of God be with you all the days of your lives.
The renewal of the mind, mentioned by Paul in the letter to the Romans, represents much more than a simple change of point of view. When we understand that we have a new faith, our minds must be worked so that we always walk in accordance with Christianity. Renewing our mind does not mean simply saying that we are Christians, but demonstrating this through our way of thinking, of reasoning. The renewal of the mind also reminds us that we should stop following the teachings of men, as religious, and observe, study in the Scriptures if what we are learning is correct, coherent. The habit of accepting everything we have been told must be changed by the habit of analyzing everything they teach us, not to create conflicts and disagreements, but to watch over us and not fall into human concepts.
In the letter of John writes to the church of Pergamum (Revelation, chapter 2 of the book, verses 12 to 17), we can see that his main intention is to give an idea to the faithful not to fall into the leaders that manipulated the people to follow philosophies and ideologies What has nothing to do with Christianity.
Write to the angel of the church in Pergamum: These are the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live, where is the throne of Satan. However, you remain faithful to my name and have not renounced your faith in me, not even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was murdered in this city where Satan lives. However, I have some things against you: you have people there who adhere to the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to set traps against the Israelites, inducing them to eat food sacrificed to idols and to participate in sexual immorality. In the same way, they also have those who cling to the teachings of the Nicolaitans. So, repent! If not, soon I will go to you and fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the victor I will give him the hidden manna. I will also give you a white stone with a new name inscribed on it, known only to the one who receives it. Revelation 2: 12-17
The passage reveals that the church in Pergamum was walking the wrong way. Although there are several studies on the details, what is clear is that the leaders kept and ate of the offerings of the faithful, in addition to promoting prostitution, and possibly in favor of polygamy. Although they followed Christianity, they did not seek a renewal of mind, they continued with their old practices.
Renewal of the mind and manipulation of the mind.
The purpose of this text is to alert us to possible manipulations of our faith. Therefore, we want to argue that the renewal of the mind involves exercising our mind to avoid manipulative discourses. The best way to do this is by praying and seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit to free us from the bond of all strangers.
We know that many religious leaders use their power of influence and leadership to implant their ideologies in the ruling church, allowing their opinions to be more important than a balanced and impartial study.
The renewal of the mind mentioned by Paul in Romans 2 implies not thinking that we are superior to others. Soon after, the apostle begins his discourse on the comparison of the church of Christ with the human body and its members. There are different theologies, which are natural, but we can not live a religiosity, where religious acts and customs are more important than love of neighbor and mercy, for example.
How to identify
Now, to know if one speaks about oneself, or if one really teaches what is true, we must know the basis of our faith. As a Christian, I need to read, understand and study the books of the Bible calmly and alertly to identify when someone teaches what contradicts the teachings of the Messiah: Jesus. It is also imperative to ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment, so that His Holy Spirit can guide us and show us what to do, how to do and when to do it.
There is no magic formula, but our mental renewal begins with a broken heart, ready to serve the father. It is useless in theological concerns if our heart is not at the feet of the Father.
We are not free to err
But if we must be alert not to be deceived and manipulated, we must also have wisdom not to talk about ourselves and identify our opinion of what absolute truth is. What is interpretation and what is done. Therefore, I want to emphasize that the text of Romans 2 is aimed at the renewal of the mind in a personal way, as a private reflection and not as a reason to criticize and disagree with everything and everyone. I may have my convictions about, say, Adam and Eve, or about the Apocalypse, but I can not defend this as an absolute truth and deny different views to mine. In addition to being careful not to be manipulated by vain philosophies, we must also have humility and wisdom so as not to be manipulative and intolerant.
A new brain
So that our faith does not cool, we need to renew our brains so that we have two powerful weapons: the wisdom and the certainty of salvation.
Proverbs 9:10 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is prudence."
Renewing the mind also means reflecting to discern right from wrong. What is of God and what is of men. We live in a time when some churches preach many doctrines and point to their point of view as "of God." Everything is revelation, vision. If we do not have wisdom and discernment, we end up hearing contradictory words and we will no longer hear a preaching from God, but from man, weakening our faith. Many people feel cold and turn around because they no longer hear God speak but men, and there comes a time when their hunger does not go away.
Let us ask God for wisdom so as not to allow human opinions and concepts to undermine his heart. Just as we do not allow our point of view and our way of thinking to impose on others as divine truth. We must seek a renewal of the mind aligned with Christ, the head of the church. We must also be wise to understand that our point of view is often not the only truth.
Micah 7: 8 "My enemy, do not rejoice over me, even if I fall, I will rise, if you live in darkness, Jehovah will be my light."
We are constantly tested. Financial difficulties, family conflicts ... in those moments when the words of doubt reach our ears. "Is it just a coincidence? Is God really there? Is there Noah's Ark? Was the Tower of Babel? Why believe in the Bible?" We begin to doubt if everything we learn and live really proves the existence of God. "Maybe, everything has not happened by chance." Therefore, the renewal of the mind is also related to the certainty of salvation.
Always ask God for the certainty of salvation. The Micah passage teaches us to trust in God in adversity. Not only in financial or health problems, but in internal adversities, when we ourselves doubt the existence of God. In times of doubt, have wisdom. God offers us a new and renewed mind, precisely so that we do not allow ourselves to be guided by human philosophies or internal conflicts.