1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
<b>Paul says, "You used to belong to sin the way a slave belongs to a master. body, mind, and spirit: you were captive. Now, you belong to one another, with bodies that belong to the body of Christ, whom God raised from the dead."
In the Old Testament animal sacrifices, were laid upon the altar after they had been slaughtered.
Animals now are no longer to be sacrificed, but that believers give themselves completely over to God on the altar of service to God as a living sacrifice accepted in Christ, being sanctified (set apart) through Him and thus the sacrifice is acceptable to God (Eph. 1: 6).
Separating ourselves to God, means separating ourselves from the things of the world and the worlds system which operates under the law of sin and death (Eph. 4: 22-24, 7, Jam 4:4).
Moving into the kingdom of God's way of doing things and being right, in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit we are, putting to death the promptings of the body, (Rom 8:13 amp) thereby changing us into the likeness of Christ that His mind might be in us (Phil. 2: 5-7).
This will prove to us, what is God's perfect will for our lives.
We are a living sacrifice for God by not being conformed to this world and the worlds way of thinking and acting.</b>
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
<b>There are two systems, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the law of sin and death
God's way of doing things and being right is the law of the Spirit of life or the Kingdom of God's system.
The world's system governed by satan operates in the law of sin and death, the kingdom of the world's system.
The world's system is based on the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) and is headed for destruction.
When a person believes in his heart and confesses that Jesus is Lord, he enters into the new birth (John 3:3) and His human spirit becomes a new creation. (2 Cor 5:17)
The work of God within us perfect. He has left nothing out and nothing undone.
However, we are made up of spirit, soul and body. (1 The's 5:23) Our human spirit is recreated in the image of Christ and in our spirit, God has filled the new believer with His Holy Spirit.
Many new Christians stop at this point and never progress to grow into Christ. Although our spirit is recreated, our soul (mind, will and emotions) remain the same as they did prior to the new birth, our soul operates in the kingdom of the worlds system
The key is our minds. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he". (Prov 23:7)
If we think and continue operating the same way that the world thinks, we are going to get the same results as the world.
If we keep our minds stayed upon God through the study of His Word and fellowship with Him, then we'll have perfect peace (Isa 26:3).
We now have to renew our mind, the way we think, the way we speak, the way we act, it is not just gathering more information about God.
The mind is the control center of your life, it determines your destiny. By taking every thought captive and aligning your thoughts with God's way of thinking, your mind will become renewed with His Word and you will walk in continuous victory.
Making our thinking line up with God's Word will affect this complete transformation in our lives.
The process of renewing the mind includes :-
1. The thoughts that come from the outside of a person, these are not the thoughts that defile him, but the thoughts that come from inside, those things on which his mind dwells (Mark 7:14-15, 18-23).
2. Continually dwelling on the past, this will hinder your future. (Phil 3:13-14)
3. Feeding your heart and mind with the word of God, so that your thoughts will line up with God's word.
4. Paying attention to how you think, this is the source of your actions. i.e. A person doesn't just wake up one morning and ask for a divorce. Divorce was a thought that had been nourished, nurtured and meditated on for a long time.
5. Hearing God, through the Holy Spirit in your born again spirit, so that you can live a life from the 'inside-out' guided by your reborn spirit.
6. Thinking from the source, the word of God, your thoughts will cause your ways to rise higher into God through Christ. (jude 1:20, Is 55:8)
7. Taking your mind off God will cause you to fall. Adam and Eve fell when they took their minds off God (Gen 3).
8. Everything that is in life begins as a thought, thoughts are seeds, words follow thoughts, decisions follow words, actions follow decisions, actions lead us to our destiny. (harvest in life, from the seeds)
9. Changing our destiny, begins with changing our thoughts (to the seed of God's word) to seek God and His righteousness and all these things will follow. (the 100 fold harvest, Mark 4)
10. If we fail to renew our minds, we can live our entire time on this earth without experiencing the abundant life that Jesus provided for us (Joh 10:10 amp).
When our mind is unrenewed, the kingdom of the worlds system dictates through our soul, how we should think, feel, act and live.
11; When we begin the process of renewing our mind to the word of God, it is God's word through the Holy Spirit that carries the image of Christ in our born again spirit, progressively creating the same image in our soul.
Our soul, now moves into subjection to the spirit and we are guided by the Holy Spirit, from our human spirit, through the renewed mind.</b>
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
<b>No one should regard themselves as the measure by which they attempt to judge others, nor should they think that others should be entirely the same way as they are, doing the same things they do and in the same way.
Both faith and its measure are God's gift., through Christ. (Eph 4;11)</b>
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
<b>Just as the body has many parts which all have a different function, in the same way there are many members in the church (body of Christ, not the building) and they are all part of the one body of Christ.
Everyone has been given the same potential, but all people have different functions, and we all need each other.</b>
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
<b>One body, unity in God (Ps 133) is not about being in total agreement with one another, but is about coming into total agreement with our Heavenly Father, through His Son and Holy Spirit. (1 John 5:8) Each one when in Christ, is then in agreement with each other. (Eph 5:27) </b>
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
<b>The gifts mentioned here, illustrate that all believers can operate in these gifts, but that doesn't mean that is their ministry.
For example, they can and should be able to teach others, by the word of God, but that doesn't make them teachers.
Paul also made it clear that not all are called to be prophets (1Co 12:29, 1Co 14:31).
All believers should show mercy and be givers, but some people are given supernatural gifts in these areas.</b>
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
<b>Human love is conditional on the other reciprocating our love, 'If you love me, I will love you', 'if you are kind to me I will be kind to you'
This is why it is impossible to love our enemies, our love is to be in the love that Christ has for us, unconditional.
Unconditional love says I will love you no matter what you do, even if you do not love me.
At the same time, we are to hate all that is evil and to hold tight to all that is good.</b>
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
<b>'Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.'
Every word we speak releases either life or death. Our negative talk releases death. When we speak against others, we are actually releasing the law of sin and death against them. (Prov 18:21)
When we speak in line with the word of God to others, we release the law of the Spirit of life in Christ into their lives.</b>
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
<b>If we judge people by the worlds system and standards, we could miss those who are intended to be a blessing in our lives.
We risk shipwrecking our faith when we seek the honor that comes from man. (Joh 5:44)</b>
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
<b>The word of God will overcome evil with good and win the battle over your mind.
Putting off the old ways of thinking (Eph 4:22-24), and then setting our mind and affection on higher things (Col 3:2, 6-10).
Fear gives satan access to our mind (2 Tim 1:7). Fear is designed to get your thoughts off God. Be perfected in God's love, because perfected love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Renew and develop a sound, or disciplined, mind. An undisciplined mind is one whose thoughts wander (2 Tim 1:6-7, amp); it is unstable. (Jam 1:5-8)
Keep focused on God's word, what gets our attention, gets us, giving attention to the wrong thing brings confusion, a disciplined mind is not easily confused. (Eccl 5:1 amp).
A focused and care-free mind leads to perfect peace (Is 26:3-4; Phil 4:5-8).
The cares of the world will choke your harvest (Mark 4:19).
Be aggressive in casting down evil thoughts with the Word. Study, listen to and speak the Word daily.</b>