Romans 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
The complexity of the mind for me is on par with attempting to understand the Universe. The further I look, the more I realize I lack the grasp to understand it. What is it about the law of the mind that differentiates it from other laws in God’s Word? Why is it so important that we learn to control our minds and take precautions as to what enters it? The mind is a topic I’d like to explore more in God’s Word, if it’s important enough to be addressed by the Patriarch’s of old, it’s important enough for me to find out why.
Psalm 26:2 “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.”
A good place to start is in prayer. That is actually a good place to start with pretty much everything in life. When we place ourselves before the Lord in a position of Holy respect, we honor the Lord and His Spirit moves upon us. When we hold ourselves to God’s standard of righteousness and not our own, we see ourselves in a different light, His Light. That light illumines the darkness and scatters all that deviously remains in the crevices of our minds.
What is it that we hold onto that must be brought into accordance with His will?
Romans 7:25 “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
——-Perception doesn’t always match up with Reality.——-
We may assume we are doing what is right, when we focus on moral topics of our day, the world can be really convincing as to what is right and what is wrong. The world says that every person has a right to express themselves as they see fit. We hear such reasoning and think, they’re right, who am I to judge them based off what they are doing, it’s not up to me to say what or who they should be. We are now witnessing an explosion of transgenderism in our society, gay marriage is as common as heterosexual divorce and every other form of expression is rising in prominence in how it is being expressed. We are seeing an increasing number of gay priests, churches waving rainbow flags, businesses being castigated if they don’t support the cause and entrepreneurs losing their license if they don’t cater to this thinking.
What is the right approach? Shouldn’t people be allowed to express themselves as they see fit?
These are the questions we are bombarded with on a daily basis….this inclusion criteria is in our workplaces and in our churches, our schools and universities. Our businesses have signs on the windows showing their support and television is including some form of expression in almost every source of programming.
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I work with several gay and lesbian people and I care about them as much as anyone. They are good co-workers and fully capable in their level of expertise. I believe they have just as much of a right to live a homosexual lifestyle as I do a christian lifestyle.
Now, I don’t want to dig too far into this highly controversial topic but as an ambassador of Christ, I have a moral responsibility to represent the law of God and His standard of righteousness.
The question I have to ask myself is: “Do I want to eliminate opportunity to be a light to them by a dogmatic approach to sin or do I want to express love in a way that reflects the love of Christ?”
In my mind I know what the Word of God says regarding sin and it doesn’t seem to differentiate between the individual laws as one being greater than another. My homosexual co-workers are no more of a breaker of God’s laws than I am…Yes, I am just as guilty as they are. When I treat someone as being a greater sinner, I quantify sin based off a cultural perspective and not from God’s perspective.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Now, I must ask myself, am I living by the law of sin or by the law of grace?
——The law of sin is self-righteousness——
When I live by this law of sin, I attempt to justify myself through my actions, my beliefs, and ultimately by my inherent sense of pride. I may look in the mirror and think, “Your a pretty good person!”. What I fail to see in that illusion is the man behind the facade of appearance and into the heart and mind of that man. With my mind I draw conclusions based off what I want to believe and not what I should believe.
It is by believing the illusion of who we think we are is what births all forms of hatred, bigotry, and for those in power, historically oppression.
Another mind altering excuse is the claim we have a right over our own bodies. This excuse has been the foundational claim that has led to 100’s of millions of abortions the world around. The excuse is and has been hypocritical from its inception since the baby growing inside the mother is it’s own body that wants to live it’s own life.
1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
Any mother can see the independence a child exhibits from a very early age.
These little, tender, helpless sweethearts have a mind of their own, a will of their own, and a spirit of their own. This is why pro-life advocates have fought for years to outlaw this blight upon society.
The devastation that the abortion industry has left in its wake has affected nearly every aspect of society. From the estranged teenager to the now sterile woman, from the mother dying during an abortion to the propaganda that has led to more sex, more unwanted pregnancies, more broken lives, and much more regret. This evil was founded in bigotry and a heart towards population control and has cascaded into one of the major topics for elected leaders today.
Morality, apart from God is a standard that people conjure up in their minds and it has its roots in narcissism, self-adulation, pride, and rebellion.
2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.”
Whether it is people who rely on self-righteousness by obedience to the law or people who rely on self-righteousness by obedience to the world, it all is darkness.
Our minds can be blind to the Truth.
We will believe want we want to believe if it fits our lifestyle or cultural views.
There is an epidemic of drug use in America. Whether the drugs are from illicit street use or prescription drugs, we are witnessing the erosion of our heritage, one drug addicted family at a time, one small town at a time.
Many of the drugs we observe on the streets are mind altering drugs. The methamphetamine user will often transcend into a paranoid neurosis within a short period of continuous use. Whether it is attributed to the effects of the drug or the effects of sleeplessness, many people have been observed standing on street corners or in the middle of the road screaming into the wind. Nonsensical gibberish ushers out of their mouths during an extended high that makes for a very fruitless conversation…I’ve experienced this personally on numerous occasions.
Perform a brain scan on a drug addict and you will see the results of their addiction. The chemical tsunami that floods their brain cells with each event causes a physical change to occur that is an attempt by the brain to accommodate the continuous dopamine exchange.
I’ve talked with many folks when they first began such a lifestyle and I’ve witnessed the slow progression of insanity, darkness, and dissolution. Everyone has a philosophy on the streets of conspiracy theories and if they go through the right channels, they attain the mental disease evaluation necessary for psychiatrists to prescribe even more medication. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves people in an almost catatonic state of separation and hopelessness.
What is the answer to this world and it’s troubles?
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”
We have a responsibility in this world to bring an element into it that it does not know…..Jesus.
It is Christ in us that this world must see. We cannot bring with us condemnation, if this is our message, all the world sees is hatred. God condemns all who attempt to justify themselves apart from Christ. The world doesn’t need more condemnation, they need to know what the answer is to their hopelessness.
John 3:17-18 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
When someone exhibits a lifestyle that is sinful, commits an act that we despise, professes a morality contrary to God’s truth, how will we respond? Will we condemn these people or will we show them love? I’m not talking about loving someone to Hell, I’m talking about tailoring our response in a way that isn’t condemning but restorative.
The Lord wants to restore the relationship He had with Adam in the garden. Those few short years before sin entered in and corrupted our relationship with Him, was what God intended for us all along.
What we see now in the world is not God’s purpose for humankind. When we share God’s standard of righteousness that is detailed in His Moral law, we share with people the standard by which they will be judged. The end of the law is Christ and His love answer to the world was the sacrifice He made on the Cross.
This is how we show love to people…..we give them Jesus.
Love isn’t displayed in affirming lifestyle, actions, or blatant sin….love is expressed in giving people of this world the answer to all their problems. Our job is to learn how to express God’s standard and not our own. People don’t receive God’s love by us judging them, they actually receive it by us showing them love.
I’ve walked up to random people on hundreds of occasions and expressed the gospel with the law and on most occasions, they have not been offended. On one occasion, a traveling homeless couple said to me as I walked away…”Hey, man, thanks for not judging us!”. I thought to myself at the time, I shared the entire moral law with them and they didn’t think I was judging them?
They way people perceive your approach is dependent on where your heart is in regards to them. If you hate their lifestyle, they will sense that hatred. If you love them the way God loved you, then they will respond to that love and you may just open a door for the Spirit of God to draw them out of their darkness.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
The Lord gives us the wisdom and understanding of how to approach others and talk with them about the path of destruction they are on. The Word of God is mighty and is useful for teaching, reproving, and correcting in righteousness. If we see a brother or sister in Christ who has succumbed to the doctrines of this world, we have a responsibility to correct them in love.
We also have a responsibility to honor God in our minds. It takes discipline to govern our minds, to not think hatefully, or lustfully, or in envy, but to see people the way God sees them….in need of a Savior.
Some people will oppose you with all that they have. They have listened to the lies of the world for so long, they refuse to hear anything contrary to what they believe.
2 Timothy 4:3-5 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
We are not to shy away just because the message we bring isn’t popular in the world! We just continue on, share the gospel and be ready to give an answer when the world has run out of solutions. This dilemma Paul was warning Timothy about concerning false teaching is the day we live in now.
What should our response be?
1. Guard yourself from being drawn into compromising God’s Truth.
2. Be ready for the world to say all manner of evil about you and afflict you with hatred, that is all they have to give.
3. Continue the journey of sharing the gospel, don’t let opposition hinder your joy.
4. Complete the work you’ve started. Opposition doesn’t mean we should stop, it just means the enemy doesn’t like what you are doing. It’s actually a good sign!
Where is our mind? What have we set it on?
These questions are what the Word of God refines and purifies in us. Stay in the Word, stay in prayer, spread the Word and be a light in this world….it is the Lord who leads and guides you in the Way.