Updated: May 19
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2.
To understand the renewing of the mind it is first needful to define the mind. In your King James Bible the mind is best defined as the settled opinions of a person based on that person's application of knowledge. Regardless of the motives for repentance and regardless of the sincerity or actions that follow repentance, repentance is a change of mind. To get a person to repent or to change their mind is to give them more facts with which to make up their mind or to reason with that person using such facts as they already know.
And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, Genesis 23:8. What Abraham is asking is, "What do you think? What is your opinion on whether or not I can bury my dead in your land?" God has opinions. And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them, Leviticus 24:12. In other words, what is God's opinion on these men that we have put in ward?
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5. By this we are exhorted to consider the greatness of Jesus Christ and how that contrasted with the position he took on earth. He made himself a servant. We are told to let that mind be in us. All through the King James Bible, the mind is how God describes the opinion of a person.
What then does it mean to renew our minds? To renew our minds is to have the word of God applied to all of our thinking. It is to have God's word review each and every opinion that we hold and for us to consider its merits by that same word. A person who never changes his mind or never refreshes his thinking is like a street person who never changes his underwear. After a while he stinks.
There is no substitute for having a relationship with the word of God. One of the great proofs of the King James Bible is its ability to affect a person so deeply within. For those of you who have suffered through feel good bible studies in neo-evangelical settings; having the King James Bible affect your mind and heart is not to be compared with a multi-version bible study where someone reads a passage and some girl says. "oh! that is so true" while the guys give inward sighs of agreement sounding more like love sick suitors than men vocalizing an "amen". ( For those offended by that statement, sit in on one of those sessions. It always strikes me as effeminate the way the men just give a little hmmm, like an inward moan when a point has been touched.)
The King James Bible affects the inward ruminations of its readers and hearers as only a book written by the creator of the hearts of men could do. The single greatest proof of the King James Bible is its effect upon the hearts and minds of those that hear it.
The 19th century introduced four great changes to Western Civilization. These were changes that were to supplant basic understandings that undergirded the tenets of our thought and eventually our society. Marxism sounds so good in a text book that even though it has never wrought anything but misery, poverty and death to those societies that attempt it, its popularity never seems to diminish.
Darwinism relieved the collective conscience of men from feeling any need to give an account of their lives to their creator. Despite the fact that no Darwinist has ever explained the lack of two celled, four celled or eight celled creatures, they substituted their theories of our origins for the rock solid science of scripture. Co-equal with the destructiveness of Darwin were the theories of Freud and other psychoanalysts who explained away the sin nature of man as inherent weaknesses affected by potty training and mommy's inconsistencies.
Perhaps our society could have eventually worked its way past these debilitating theories that took hold upon its collective conscience. As long as men had infallible scripture to guide their decision making, there was always hope that the pulpits could shine enough light to guide men out of the mist of science falsely so called. That brings us to the fourth horseman of our destruction, that being the theory that the bible hasn't been perfect for the last couple of millennia. What Marx was to economic theory, what Darwin was to creation science, what Freud was to human responsibility, Westcott and Hort became to scripture.
A great grace that God had given the English speaking people is that he gave them the King James Bible. Its exact phrasing, its perfect matching of tenses, its simple use of one syllable Anglo Saxon words, its use of directed pronouns and its unique rhythms were designed by heaven to instill the thoughts of God into the human heart. The collective mind of the English speaking people had been formed by its precepts. The tearing down of the King James bible in the collective consciousness of the English Speaking people was a death knell to its collective goodness. Since that time, our culture is like a man who has taken a lethal dose of radiation. He can walk out of that place. He can go home. He can eat. He can sleep, but slowly that lethal dose destroys him piece by piece. We are living in the age when the debilitation outlined in Romans chapter 1:21-32 is taking a firm hold on our collective societal health.
In following posts we will look more closely at the renewing of the mind as it pertains to believers.