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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mind or Spirit

One of the men with which I meet regularly shared some observations on Romans 12:1 – 2 with me yesterday.  In the context of the events and conversations I have had with people this week some of his observations were helpful and re-centering.  I live in a place that places much emphasis on the Holy Spirit.  The Word of faith movement has strong, deep roots here.  While I reject the majority of the underlying theology of that movement, the acknowledgement of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer was and is a needed emphasis.  With that as a bit of context…
If we are to grow in our relationship with Christ do we focus on our mind or the Spirit?
If someone were to challenge you to grow more deeply in your spiritual life, what would you expect them to emphasize, the renewal of your mind or the renewal of your spirit?  Paul consistently lands on the mind.  Look at Romans 12:1 – 2.  Jarringly in the midst of his treatise on spiritual gifts he warns that it is important to engage one’s mind, 1 Corinthians 14:14 – 15 (I would encourage you to work through chapters 11 – 15 as a whole).  Further in the parallel passage on gifts in Romans 12, Paul challenges us to think with sound judgment, Romans 12:3.  Paul is joined in this by Peter, which is at some level shocking since before Acts 2, Peter was known for opening his mouth without engaging his mind.  I wrote about this in an earlier post, but it bears repeating.  Peter is committed to stirring up the minds of his readers (2 Peter 1:12 -15; 3:1 -2).

The Holy Spirit inspired these words.  We ignore them to our peril.  The clear message of the Holy Spirit is that as believers we are to engage our minds in the pursuit of Christ.  We cannot do that without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, John 16:13, but it is imperative that we think well and train our kids to do the same.

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