“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:1-2 NLT).
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – true righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:21-23 NLT).
Life is full of choices. You can be happy if you want to and start your day on cloud nine, and not to worry about the cares of this world. Or, if you choose, you can wake up on the wrong side of the bed and be a pain in the neck to all the people around you. You may say that life is not fair, but it is erroneous to say that not everyone is given a choice to be happy. And you cannot blame the devil for all the wrong decisions you have made in this life. The fact is that you are what you are today as a result of your decisions yesterday – a wrong choice and a wrong move begets a bad day.
On the other hand, there are always positive things that will occur in every negative situation in this world, only if you know how to make it happen. As a believer, it’s your choice to draw out the good stuffs from the bad. Some positive people will always say, “Make the most out of it.” You have a choice, it’s either you live heavenly or hellish on planet earth. To live a blessed life, you must not lock yourself up in the box. Get out of the “religious mentality” and start living as a child of God and enjoy life.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome and Ephesus to change the way they think about themselves and live according to their new identity in Christ. Paul is pleading to renew their former thoughts which are according to the old sinful nature. They should have been enjoying the newness of life according to who they are and what they have in Christ. But they are not. They’re still living according to the ways of the unbelieving world. You, who claim to be a believer in Christ, should have a visible positive change in your life.
According to Paul, it appears they missed the point of taking the new life in Christ seriously or ignorantly. They continue to live like destitute. Imagine an impoverished that was invited to a big feast, and refused to indulge to a free meal for fear of paying the cost. That’s who they are. Paul is doing his best to convince them to renew their thoughts according to their identity in Christ: who they are and what they have in Christ Jesus.
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living” (Roman 6:16 NLT).
In his writings, Paul has been very consistent of teaching believers that their old life has been done away with, and that they must live the newness of life in Christ. To summarize Paul’s teaching in the simplest way, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
One of the hindrances of faith is the “religious tradition” which is built in the minds of the believers for centuries. After the passing of the apostles, the next generations of the so called “fathers of the church” had arisen. Most of these religious people were not born again and don’t have the life of Christ in them. The devil didn’t waste his time and used them right away. This demonic religious tradition was subtlety handed down to the Body of Christ and was received without question or resistance for centuries. It was the spirit of fear which is the very spirit of religious tradition that brought the believers down, and forced to live in such a miserable life in this planet. Fear brings bondage to the Body of Christ.
Church history reveals that fear was used in the body of Christ to control people. Tradition painted God as God to be feared, and so are His messengers. Fear always threats. Fear takes advantage of the ignorant. But if you know the truth, the truth shall make you free. During His earthly ministry, Jesus opposes every religious leader He meets. He called them vipers, liars, hypocrites, blind leaders, gluttons, self righteous, and immoral. As a child of God, you shall confront fear and cast it out from your life forever.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18 NKJV).
Christ has made us free from all bondage of sin, and through His blood our conscience was cleansed forever. And this is the Gospel of Christ in which Paul has been preaching to the Body of Christ.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1 NKJV).
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty …” (Galatians 5:16 NKJV).
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV).
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2 NKJV).
Religious tradition did a good job in concealing the identity of the believers in Christ. Majority of the message from the pulpit is condemnation from sin. While listening to a sermon, it was a no brainer to form an opinion that the preacher appears to be preaching to a whole bunch of losers, good for nothing, and have no bright future. The preacher whacked the congregation’s heads severely that almost all don’t want to come back the next Sunday Service. So what kind of a Body of Christ do we have? A bunch of whacked up head and good for nothing bench warmers.
It’s amazing that you seldom see believers talk like the apostle Paul. As a matter of fact Paul has ordered us to follow his lifestyle and imitate him. Paul knew who he was in Christ. He knew what he can do in Christ. In his epistles, he keeps on repeating himself of telling us of what Christ has done for us. He wrote the phrase, “in Him,” “in Christ,” “through him,” “through Christ,” “by Him,” “by Christ,” and so forth. In Christ, Paul knew that he was invincible. In Christ, Paul was more than a mere man. He was a superhuman in Christ.
The Apostle Paul’s revelation knowledge of his identity in Christ is the most dangerous weapon the devil had ever faced against a believer. Paul went through all kinds of temptations, persecutions, trials and beatings almost to death. Paul came out good and overcame every bit of the devil’s ammunition. The devil cannot make Paul commit sin, period. Or fall from grace.
Now, Paul wants us believers to do the same. We must renew our minds according to the Gospel of Christ. And the only way to do it is to soak our minds in the Word of God and immediately put it in action or put it in obedience. The word of God shall not remain in the mind and stocked there forever. The mind shall immediately make a decision to follow and act the Word of God.
You don’t need to memorize the Word of God word for word, only obey it. It’s no use if you have all the verses in the Bible tucked in your memory but never do it, it’s futile. It won’t do you any good. Many struggle in faith, but the only solution is obedience. Obey God’s Word and that is faith. When the Word of God says that God is your help, then obey that word. Begin your day that God is helping you all throughout the day. Stop looking for someone to help you out because God is your help.
When you read the Bible and it says that God shall supply all things you needed according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus, then obey that Word of God. How do you obey it? Stop worrying where and when the money will come in. Obey that God is going to supply all your needs because that is what the Word of God says.
The same is true with healing for sickness and disease. The Word of God is telling us that by the stripes of Jesus Christ we were healed; then we were healed. We have to obey this Word of God. And how do we obey it? You must consider that your sickness and disease has been cleared and healed. Don’t think that your sickness is unique and difficult and impossible that it looks like there is no hope of getting it better. Act the word of God. Act you are healed. Act you have no more sickness and disease. People may tell you that you are a fool. Yes they are correct; we are a fool for Christ.
In the corporate world, if you want to be promoted to a higher position with bigger responsibility and of course with bigger pay, you have to act like you already have that coveted position. You begin to renew your mind or thoughts, change the way you think and speak according to the expectations of your peers and superiors. By doing this, you are projecting the image of the inside of you, that you are the only qualified employee for that promotion, and no one else.
The illustration above is an example in making a choice in this life. You have a choice to live the life of God that is in you. You have received the newness of life in Christ. You are a partaker of the divine nature of God. Your life is hidden in Christ. You have been freed from sin and the effects of sin. The devil has nothing to do with you. You are a masterpiece of God, a new creation in Christ. You need to act what’s inside of you because that is who you are.
Renew your thoughts. Act like a real child of God for that is who you are. Your place in this world shall be on the top only. You shall be the head and not the tail. You don’t beg for anything because God is your source. You don’t even ask for favor to anyone because God will give you His favor. Renew your thoughts and be bold to come before the throne of His grace with a clean conscience for the blood of Christ has cleansed for conscience forever.
No one shall put fear in your heart because the love of God is in your heart, and love cast away all fear. No one shall threat you because you are more than conquerors in Christ and always triumph in Him. No one shall take away the blessings of God that is in you because you have been blessed going out and have been blessed coming in. No one can deceive you because you have the mind of Christ. You have the knowledge of Christ in your heart because the Word of Jesus dwells in you. You are invincible and a superhuman because the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit abides in you.
You have to put your mind on these thoughts because that is who you are in Christ. A child of God shall never live in defeat. A child of God is not a loser but a winner. A child of God was bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He was bought by the precious blood of God Almighty. It is impossible to fathom a whipped and a whacked child of God. It is incomprehensible indeed. It is impossible for you as a child of the Almighty God to live like a worm. Your Father in Heaven is the God Almighty. You must renew the way you think of who you are.