Urban Renewal

Psalm 119:104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. 107 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O  Lord , according to your word! 108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O  Lord , and teach me your rules. 109 I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. 111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. 112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Often times we don’t take into consideration reading, studying and meditating on the word of God.  Looking at Romans 12:2, we find these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.“  What type of mind do we have before Christ?  What kind of mind does God wants us to have after Christ? How does a person renew his or her mind?

Before Christ we were sinners and slaves to sin.  We bared fruits of the flesh because we were slaves of the flesh and did whatever we desired.  We loved and hated ourselves as we loved to sin and walked the path of wrath which leads to destruction.  Our minds could think of all types of evil and our hearts encouraged us to act them out.

After Christ we are to be conformed to His image.  We are also to have the mind of Christ and live a life accordingly, which properly displays Jesus Christ in glory.

Philippians 2

1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 contrasts our different mind sets as we go from sinner to saint.  Having the mind of Christ goes against all of man’s wisdom and the ways of the world.  This mind comprises of wisdom that comes from God which is made clear by the Holy Spirit.  This mind is given to us by God the Holy Spirit himself and it cannot be understood without the Spirit.  This mind gives the saint discernment of spiritual things as well as lead us in our daily lives.

The involvement of the Holy Spirit is ironic in this matter as in order to renew a mind what is present must be replaced by something else.  But how does something else get there?  Where does the Spirit get this something else?  He gets it from Himself, the Holy Spirit who is the author of the Holy Scripture, the Word who is the Christ made flesh.

John 1

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

1 Corinthians 2

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, eventhe depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.[a] 

2 Timothy 3

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

In order for this renewal to take place, salvation must be present meaning the Holy Spirit is indwelling us.  We must have a love of Christ but not just Christ but His word, his commandments.  As Christ says if you love him, you will keep them.  I can get a degree in whatever field of study that I want but if I have never practiced it, read it, actually studied it, or just don’t know anything about it; then what good is the degree.  Our lack of true love of Jesus Christ and disregard of his Word makes our confession of faith a matter of personal opinion.  A fruitless life and a complete separation from Christ’s commandments leaves us void of life.   Our hearts are left to its own devices as it seeks to fulfill the lust within.  We will backslide and continue to conform to the ways of the world.  Can you see the love David had for the word of God?  Without that love how can we hope to have a mind of Christ (Psalm 119).  How can we hope to have the blessings, mercy, love and grace of God on us?

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