Cardio - Transformed Hearts, Renewed Minds, Aligned Lives

Bible Book: Romans  12 : 2
Subject: Renewal; Mind, Renewed; Heart, Transformed
Series: Cardio
Introduction

Have you ever had this thought? “I seem to be doing well in my Christian walk with the exception of _______________________.”

Quit looking outside you for the reason you do what you do. Look inside and then look up for the help that can only be found in Jesus.

“No, the people and situations around you aren’t your biggest problems. The sin in your heart is and for that there is transforming grace.” Paul David Tripp

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

Luke 6:45 - “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Our hearts and our minds were created to worship God. There is no doubt a connection between the heart and mind. The heart seems to be the primary focus of where transformation (change) occurs first…through salvation. But our minds need renewing…otherwise they will continually produce idols our hearts go after.

The heart describes to us the inner person, “Scripture divides human beings into two parts, inner and outer. As I am transformed on the inside and conform on the outside. The inner person is often described as the spirit, soul, mind, emotions and will. These are not different from the heart, but aspects of it, parts or formations of the inner person. The heart is the “real you.” Paul D. Tripp

Our heart in the Bible (Ezekiel 14:1-5) is the primary seat of our worship, where we hold our deepest affections.

Ezekiel 14:1-5 - “Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?

"Therefore speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols."'

An idol in the heart is anything that rules me other than God. As worshipping beings, human beings always worship someone or something. If God isn’t ruling my heart, someone or something else will.

John Calvin said, “Man’s nature is a perpetual factory of idols. Man’s mind, full as it is of pride and boldness, dares to imagine a god according to its own capacity.”

What hope does the Lord in His Word offer as encouragement to our tendencies?

I. A CHALLENGE THAT’S IMPERATIVE - 2a

“and do not be conformed to this world” – being a worshipper means denying the patterns and schemes of this world.

“Don’t allow yourself to be pushed into the mold of this world.” John Phillips

1 Peter 1:14-15 - “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,”

Our conduct, motives, thoughts, desires, and intentions are not to be consistent with the patterns of a lost world, but of new creation.

“Be conformed” - refers to our outward experience that does not reflect what is within. It is word of masquerading, or putting on an act. It carries the idea of being transitory, impermanent, and unstable.

The verb itself is passive and imperative, passive indicating that conformation is something we allow to be done to us. The imperative is indicating a command, not a suggestion.

J. B. Philips, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.”

Kenneth Wuest, “Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world, an expression which does not come from, nor is representative of what you are in your inner being as a regenerated child of God.”

“world” – refers to the philosophy of life, a system of thought dominated by Satan; speculations, hopes, opinions, impulses, aims, and aspirations.

THOUGHT: It is not uncommon for unbelievers to mask themselves as Christians. Unfortunately, it also is not uncommon for Christians to wear the world’s masks. They want to enjoy things of the world that do not conform to the standards of God’s Word.

CONSECRATION PREVENTS CONFORMITY

II. A CHANGE THAT’S INTERNAL - 2b

“but be transformed” - the metamorphosis is from the inside out. This is the word that describes how we are being changed and made into the image of Christ.

“be transformed” - also a passive imperative; we are commanded to allow ourselves to be changed outwardly into conformity to our redeemed inner nature.

NOTE: Our metamorphosis (change/transformation) is one time (through justification) and ongoing (through sanctification) and is accomplished by the renewing of the mind.

Transformed is not constant; it is proportioned to our obedience, which can be intermittent at times. If we are not careful in our walk with the Lord, we learn a few truths and feel we have a handle on His life. Our inner redeemed nature also is to be manifested outwardly, but as completely and continually as possible, in our daily living.

NOTE THE CHALLENGE:

Jeremiah 17:9-10

"’The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?

I, the Lord, search the heart,

I test the mind,

Even to give every man according to his ways,

According to the fruit of his doings.’”

“by the renewing of your mind” - like our hearts our minds feel the crushing blow of sinful depravity. Present passive again, the ongoing work of the Spirit

Romans 8:4-9 - “…that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

The Holy Spirit achieves this transformation by the renewing of the mind. The outward transformation is effected by an inner change in the mind, and the Spirit’s means of transforming our minds is the Word.

Psalms 119:11

“Your word I have hidden in my heart,

That I might not sin against You.”

God’s own Word is the instrument His own Holy Spirit uses to renew our minds, which in turn, He uses to transform our living.

Colossians 1:28 - “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. “

This renewing is a gradual conforming; a process where the mind is adjusted to think like Christ.

This is a picture of progressive sanctification that is at work in the heart of the believer. As a child of God, we should always be moving forward to holiness and obedience. But even this isn’t a work of our own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ at work in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 - “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”