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Welcome to the Point of Purity Podcast! A weekly study filled to the brim with the all the tools from Scripture you will ever need to build a lasting life of Biblical purity. I’m your host Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry and this is Episode #156. In this week’s episode we take a final look at my book entitled “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” This episode is entitled "Radical Transformation."
In last week’s episode I asked: Have you ever wondered why you do some of the sinful things you do? Ever ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” Hey, we’ve all been there, my friend. Even the apostle Paul battled with this issue.
Listen as I read Romans 7:15-25. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
Did you notice that Paul speaks of two different “I’s”? He says the things “I” want to do, “I” don’t do—and the things “I” don’t want to do, those are the things “I” go ahead and do. Is Paul battling with multiple personalities? Is he schizophrenic? Nope. He’s simply describing the same struggle every Christian faces: the battle between the sinful flesh and the new, holy nature.
Here is why you still struggle with sin: “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17). Can you relate to this battle Paul has been talking about? This is exactly what he’s referring to in Galatians 5:17 when he says, “The desires of the flesh (my sinful body) are against the Spirit (my new, holy nature), and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
In Romans 7, verses 17 through 19, Paul makes a very interesting declaration. He says, “It is no longer I (my new, holy nature) who do it (who goes against God and sins), but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I (my new, holy nature) have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out (I struggle making my body do what God wants me to do). For I (my new nature) do not do (daily behavior) the good I (my new nature) want, but the evil (sin) I (my new nature) do not want is what I (my flesh) keep on doing.”
This is war, my friend, plain and simple … all-out-war!
Isaiah 26:3 promises that God keeps us in perfect peace when our mind is focused on worshiping Him. When your mind is totally focused on God, when your thoughts are disciplined to think only on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8); God promises to keep you in a place of safety—a place where you are able to experience an inner peace that is indescribable, and one that will stand guard over you at all times (Phil 4:7).
This is why Satan’s strategy is to attack your mind. He knows if he can impress your thinking, he will impact your living. “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart” (Proverbs 27:19). “Heart” in the Hebrew is the word “mind”; so, your behavior is a direct reflection of your thinking. When your mind is focused on living for God, your decisions and actions will be more glorifying to God as well. So, to keep that from happening, the enemy is waging guerilla warfare on your mind.
As we saw a couple of episodes ago, the greatest example we have of this is found in Genesis 3: the temptation of Eve. Paul speaks of that event with great fear—fear of what the enemy is capable of doing to each of us. “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Romans 7:22-23 warns that the battlefield is your mind. You must never allow your thoughts free reign. The result could be disastrous. Why? Because your sinful flesh is always pleading with your mind for satisfaction. It’s relentless in its pursuit of sinful pleasures. This is why you’re commanded to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
There is one final text we must consider before we close out our study. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
I like the word “transformed” here. It’s the Greek word “metamorpho-o” from which we get our English word “metamorphosis.” Can you remember science class in grade school? A metamorphosis is a supernatural change that transforms something from one thing, into something totally different—completely unlike what it was before.
What makes a metamorphosis so unique is that the transformation takes place from the inside out! Oh, I gotta repeat that one. A metamorphosis is a supernatural change that happens from the inside out. In other words, when the metamorphosis is complete, that which was on the inside is now being lived out on the outside, thereby making you a totally different being from what you were before.
The reason a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, as opposed to an earthworm becoming a butterfly, is because the caterpillar already has the nature of the butterfly inside of it. Once in the cocoon and the transition begins, the internal nature of the butterfly works its way out, totally transforming that caterpillar. Now, plug that back into Romans 12:2. We are to be “transformed.” We are to undergo a spiritual metamorphosis. That which is on the inside is to be lived out on the outside. So, what/ WHO is on the inside of every Christian? (Hint: Galatians 2:20 gives us the answer. It’s God!)
What does that mean exactly? How does that impact or help me become God’s Man of Steel? Let me share some Scripture here that will help you discover the answer. “I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44) “Speak to all the congregation of the people and say to them, You shall be holy for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 20:7) “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) According to these verses, what is it God expects us to be? Is that even possible? Can we ever be holy while here on earth?
Never forget, when God commands you to do something, no matter how impossible it might seem, with His power and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, you can do it. You can actually BE holy even as he is holy. But how? How can I possibly be holy when I struggle so much with sin?”
Watch this now: It’s vitally important that we not lose sight of the fact that God has already placed His holiness inside of you. Your new nature is a holy nature. You are Teknon Theos. You are a Super Man of God. According to Romans 12:2, all you have to do to be transformed, to let that holiness which is “inside” of you be lived out on a daily basis—all you need to do to actually be a Super Man of God—is to renew your mind. Change the way you think! “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
To “renew” is another word for renovate. Think about it this way: When you are renovating a room or house, you always go through two major phases. First is demolition—you are gutting out all the old, leaving nothing behind. Second is remodeling—you are putting all brand new into the space vacated by the old.
It’s the same thing with renovating your mind. To change the way you think, you must first gut the old way of thinking. That old way of thinking is centered around King Me. What will make me happy? What will bring me the most satisfaction and pleasure? All hail King Me.
That thought process needs to be gutted completely. Why? Remember that what I think strongly influences what I do. When I think about King Me, I will worship King Me. I will expect everyone and everything else to worship King Me as well. To be a Super Man of God you must get rid of that way of thinking. It’s not about Me!
Once you’ve gutted out the old way of thinking, you then need to replace it with a brand new way of thinking: thinking that is centered on King Jesus. What will make God happy? What will bring Him the most honor and glory? All praise to King Jesus! Think about God and I will worship God.
Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Here’s a question for you: when I change the way I think; when I take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ; when the focus of my heart is on glorifying God in everything I say and do … what is the final result?
OK. I would like to read one more short story I wrote in Chapter 11 of my book d this is Episode #156. In this week’s episode we take a final look at my book entitled And I quote:
“Pastor Rogers stood off to the side of the room, arms crossed over his chest, a tear running down his cheek, a massive smile beaming from ear to ear as he watched Mitch talk with a small group of men. It wasn’t that long ago that Mitch was in his office, groaning over his failures to be a man of God. Now here he was, sharing his testimony with a group of men. Truly Mitch had become a Super Man of God!
“Guys,” Mitch was saying, “you can do this! You can be God’s man of steel! If God can change me, He can definitely change you!” Mitch paused for a moment, looking each man squarely in the eye before he continued. “Truth be told, I’ve learned that on my own I’m no Super Man. Shoot, on my own I kept messing things up. I thought I could be the man God wanted me to be, but every time I tried, I’d blow it big-time!
“In this journey called life, God has taught me four very important truths.” Mitch glanced over at Pastor Rogers and smiled. “If it weren’t for my accountability partner, investing his time in patiently walking me through Scripture, praying for me—and with me; and, if it weren’t for the power of God’s Word at work in my life, I wouldn’t be standing here right now telling you these things.
“So, as I close my time with you, I’d like to remind you of those four simple, yet life-changing truths I learned.
“#1: YOU ARE AN ALIEN
“Superman is an alien from another planet. No matter how hard he tries to fit in, he cannot be like the world around him because he is not like the world around him. As a born-again believer, you are also an alien. This world is not your home. No matter how hard you may try, you can never fit in to the world around you, because you’re not like the world around you. So, embrace the fact that you are a stranger, a pilgrim, a foreigner in this wicked world and start living like the citizen of heaven you are! BE a Super Man of God!
“#2 YOU ARE A SUPER MAN
“Superman’s supernatural powers come from his proximity to Earth’s yellow sun. Without the sun he is weak, powerless over his archenemy who is trying to take him down.
“As a Super Man of God, you draw your strength to stand firm in the faith and resist the enemy from your proximity to God’s Son. Without Christ, you can do nothing. Without Christ, you are powerless to stand against the archenemy of your soul. So, draw close to God. Make it your priority to invest time with Him DAILY. Be in the Word. Be on your knees in prayer. Be fully yielded to His Lordship in your life. BE a Super Man of God!
“#3 WATCH OUT FOR YOUR KRYPTONITE
“There is only one thing in the entire galaxy that can weaken Superman. Only one thing can sap him of his strength and make him vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. That one thing is Kryptonite. Kryptonite is simply radiated chunks of Superman’s past. Anytime he gets near a piece of Kryptonite, anytime he hangs around a piece of his past life, it gets between him and Earth’s sun and it drains him of his strength.
“As a Super Man of God, there is only one thing that can sap you of your ability to stand firm in the faith, only one thing that can weaken you and make you vulnerable to your archenemy’s attack. Your Kryptonite is your past: past habits, past choices, past thought patterns, past sins. When you choose to hang around and play around with your former life, your Kryptonite gets between you and God’s Son.
“So, stay strong and stay away from your Kryptonite. BE a Super Man of God!
“#4 TAKE OFF YOUR COSTUME
“What makes Superman special among the long list of many of our comic book superheroes is that he doesn’t have to put on a costume to become Superman. He is always the man of steel. He never ceases to be Superman. However, In an effort to “fit in” with the world around him, in an attempt to blend in so as not to be noticed, in his struggle to be accepted by his peers, Superman puts on the costume of Clark Kent. But that’s not who he really is.
“As a born-again believer, you ARE a Super Man of God. That’s not a costume you have to put on. It’s not a persona you have to try to manufacture. It’s who you are. But more than likely, you are wearing a costume: not a superhero costume, but an average Joe costume. Our tendency is to shy away from being a Super Man of God so that we can fit in with the rest of the world. We tend to want to blend in instead of stand out.
“Guys, I challenge you to remove the costume. Rip open your proverbial shirt and reveal the real you to the world around you. BE a Super Man of God!” end quote
OK, this concludes our journey through my book “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” Next week’s episode marks the start of another fantastic study of God’s Word. If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com ".
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.
Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!
I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!