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Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #71, and in this episode, we are going to take a look at Romans 12:2 which says we are to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” What exactly does that mean? How do I do that? And why should I? These questions and more will be answered in this week’s episode is entitled, “Mental Metamorphosis!”
OK, so in Romans 12:2 Paul tells us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but instead we are to be “transformed.” The word Paul uses for “transformed” is the Greek word “metamorpho-o” from which we get our English word “metamorphosis.” A metamorphosis, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the supernatural process whereby something changes from one thing into something totally different. It is a marked, complete change not only of appearance but of behavior and character as well. In other words, it is 100% different from and totally unlike what it was before.
Now what makes a metamorphosis so fascinating is that the change takes place from the inside out! The most well-known example of a metamorphosis is that of a caterpillar to a butterfly. The caterpillar changes into a butterfly because the nature of a butterfly is already within – it’s inside the caterpillar.
Imagine with me for a moment that you went into your back yard and dug up a large earthworm. Bringing it inside, you set it on the dining room table and proceed to cut out small butterfly-shaped wings from colorful construction paper. You then lay the wings on top of the earthworm and, using a straight pin, pin the wings to the worm. Question: What would you now have? Answer: A squirming worm, and a dirty dining room table with a pinhole in it. But you wouldn’t have a butterfly. The reason is because it is not within the nature of the worm to become a butterfly. It just can’t.
This metamorphosis, or transformation, that Paul is talking about in Romans 12:2 is a change in your life that takes place from the inside out. Think about this: What (or better: Whom) is on the inside of every Christian? As a born-again-believer, as a follower of Christ, you have a brand new, holy nature created by God himself INSIDE you. This new nature is who you are at the core of your being.
Now think about this: Paul says you are to be “transformed.” That which is on the inside – your new, holy nature – is to be lived out on the outside every moment of every day. In other words, your everyday lifestyle should be characteristic of your new nature. The choices you make, the things you say and the things you do, are all to be in perfect step with the new, holy nature that God created and place inside of you. If you recall, Galatians 5:16 commands us to “live by the Spirit.” When you do that – when you choose to live in the way the Holy Spirit dictates – your new, holy nature doesn’t stay on the inside. It flows out of everything you think, say, and do.
Let’s look again at Romans 12:2. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Never put a mask on when you are around the unsaved. Never pretend to be like them. Rather, always let the new, holy nature God has placed within you come out and be on display in your daily living – no matter where you are or who you’re with. Live transformed!
Watch this now: That new, holy nature is lived out ONLY when you renew your mind. OK, I’ve gotta ask here – how does renewing your mind bring about a transformation that changes you from the inside out? Consider carefully what it means to renew. The verb Paul uses in Romans 12:2, “to renew” refers to a total and complete renovation – an extreme makeover, if you will. In other words, to glorify God in our everyday living, your mind needs to be thoroughly overhauled. You need an Extreme Mind Makeover.
Think about it this way: when you are doing a renovation there are two major phases that are required. The first is demolition. You are gutting out the old junk. Ripping, pulling, tearing, stripping, removing, cleaning out all of the old stuff to make room for the new. Once that is done, the second major phase is rebuilding, remodeling – replacing it with brand new everything. God’s command in Romans 12:2 is that we renovate our mind. Totally remove and completely oust the old thought process and replace it with a brand-new way of thinking.
OK, so what’s the old way of thinking that need to be demolished? Before salvation, your old nature got you into the habit of thinking, “How can I please myself?” How can I make King Me happy, happy, happy? Every thought was geared toward one thing, self-enjoyment. That kind of thinking led you to living a self-centered, self-worshiping kind of behavior. Everything about your life was ultimately said or done for your own personal happiness. God says that in order to honor and glorify Him, that kind of selfish thinking needs to be totally gutted out and replaced with a new way of thinking.
This leads us to part two of the renovation process. Replacing the old with brand new. We need to develop a new way of thinking. The new, holy nature God placed within you wants you to learn to think, “How can I please God?” You see, when your mind is totally focused on how to glorify God in everything you say and do, your heart will desire to please Him, and your behavior will be godly.
I have another question for you here. Is this new way of thinking automatic for the Christian? Most definitely not, which is why we need the Holy Spirit to discipline our minds and renovate our way of thinking. The fact is, “you were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
God’s instruction in Scripture is clear. “Put off your old self.” OK. Great! But what is the “old self” that we’re supposed to put off? Well, first, we already know what it is not. It’s not the old sinful nature. We know that because, as we saw in Episode 63 (“Understanding Sin – Why do I do it?”) that old nature was crucified – it was put to death at the very moment of your salvation. And Paul says the old self “is being” corrupted. Since the old nature is dead, it is impossible for it to be presently corrupted. Therefore, the “old self” is not the old nature, but rather the sinful tendency your flesh sill has. You may recall in Episode 63 that I likened it to driving a car that’s permanently out of alignment. The old self is the sinful desires and fleshly pursuit to please King Me that your new nature continuously struggles against. Paul describes it well in Romans 7 when he talks about doing (in the flesh) what he doesn’t want to do (in his spirit), and not doing (in the flesh) what he does want to do (in his spirit).
Now also want you to notice in Ephesians 4:22-24 that Paul says your fleshly desires are “deceitful.” They are deceitful because they lead you to believe that fulfilling them will be satisfying. They try to convince you that keeping them happy is what life is all about. They are deceiving you, lying to you, and telling your mind untruths. If you are going to renovate your mind, and if you are going to live a life set apart from sin, you must counter those deceitful lies by filling your mind with God’s absolute truth found in God’s Holy Word – the Bible. Jesus said that we are sanctified (set apart) by the truth – that which is an absolute, certain, and genuine reality. He then goes on to explain that only God’s Word is absolute truth (John 17:17).
OK, so this is our stopping point for this week’s episode. Be sure to tune on the lookout for next week’s episode entitled “Under Construction” as we continue our deep dive into how to glorify God in our thought life.CONCLUSION
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our 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
One of those resources I would like to highlight for you here is my book entitled “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God.” This book takes you on a journey through the Bible to examine what God has to say about how your thoughts, words, and actions influence and impact your heart.
If you’ve followed this Point of Purity Podcast for any length of time, then you’ve heard me emphasize the fact that what you think becomes what you do. When you train your mind to think godly thoughts, the things you say and do day in and day out will be godly. On the flip side, when you allow your mind to think sinful, fleshly, ungodly, King Me centered thoughts, the result (your daily attitudes and actions) will be ungodly. So, how do I change the way I think? How do I change the things I do? How do I successfully and effectively guard my heart? This book, “Extreme Mind Makeover” takes you into God’s Word to help you answer those questions.
So go to our website, ThePurityCoach.com, and check out our resources page, or go directly to Amazon.com and purchase your copy of “Extreme Mind Makeover” today.
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, 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.