Being a Christian isn’t just learning how to say the right things. It is very easy to join a biblical church and try to externally mimic the behavior and speech of everyone there. But God doesn’t just want us to copy what other people without actually knowing why we are doing it. Does your behavior flow from a renewed mind, or just external conformity to fit into a certain church’s mold?
This excerpt is from the full sermon, “Be Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind“.
Paul is not calling for mere mechanical conformity. You know, somebody can come in the church and they can see how we act. They can see how we talk. They can listen to people who have studied Scripture. A parrot can imitate what we say. I've more than once felt people say the right things, but something's wrong with them. And it comes back to this - the spirit of the mind. Paul is not looking for mere external mechanical conformity. He's asking us to put into practice an intelligent change. You see what's happening? When we get to putting on the new man, clothing ourselves with the new man - it's not just external conformity to GCC or external conformity to what we think Christianity looks like. It's got to happen at a deeper level. This is an intelligent conformity. Something is happening in the brain where we think different. Our thinking is superior to what it was before. There is actually an intelligent change taking place. Put on the new man. Yes, but the Christian must not do anything without knowing why he's doing it. Intelligence is essential. Knowledge is essential. The spirit of the mind operated on by the Spirit of God is essential. If you do not know why you are living the Christian life, you're not equipped to put on the new man as you ought. This comes out everywhere. One of my favorite places is there in Romans 6. What does Paul say? Paul says, "You must count yourself (reckon yourselves) to be dead to sin." Then he goes to on to say: Don't let sin reign in your mortal bodies. But before he says don't let sin reign, he says you've got to consider yourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God. You've got to think the right way. And if you don't think the right way, you don't fight the right way. And it all becomes external (incomplete thought). Anybody can come in here say I see the way they homeschool. I'm going to homeschool that way. I see the way they dress. I'm going to dress that way. I hear the way they talk. I'm going to talk that way. And we get people like that that come in here and they're doing that. But the spirit of the mind. You get talking to them very closely, you begin watching their life, and it seems like something's wrong. They're seeking to conform, but it seems like it's external. It seems like something's not right here. And ultimately, something isn't right there. This sermon excerpt was taken from the full sermon: "Be Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind" by Tim Conway.