Every Christian wants to grow spiritually. Every Christian wants to conquer sin and develop true godliness in life experience. If a person claims to be a Christian, but has no interest in defeating sin and growing in righteousness, then there is serious question about whether or not this person is truly saved.
But the question is this: how can a Christian fight against sin and pursue righteous virtues?
I think the key is found in Ephesians 4:23, which connects verses 22 and 24. In verse 22 we are commanded to put off the old life (old self). In verse 24 we are commanded to put on the new self created in the likeness of God in righteousness and holiness in truth. Verse 23 tells us how to do that; we are to renew the mind. Romans 12:2 says that we are transformed by the renewing of the mind. How does this work?
1. We renew the mind when read, study, learn, and meditate on the Scriptures interpreted correctly by rightly centering our understanding of the Scriptures on Christ and the gospel. We need to continually read and meditate on the Scripture all through life.
2. We renew the mind when we find our answers to life’s great questions and concerns in the pages of the sacred Scripture. The Scripture explains God, reality, life, and our life experiences.
3. We renew the mind when we conform our beliefs, values, and morality to the teaching of the Scripture.
4. We renew the mind when we find help and comfort in the Scriptures. The Word of God (the Bible) is God’s sweet balm to ease our souls in difficult times.
5. We renew the mind when we are convicted of sin by reading and thinking about the Scriptures. The Scriptures will be a light exposing all the places in us where we need grace and growth.
6. We renew the mind when we see in the Scriptures the beauties of Christ, the doctrine of the gospel, and true virtue that we must seek in our life experience.
All of theses things are vital. The Scripture is the piercing instrument that God will use to penetrate our resistance to engage our souls for godliness and soul edification. Let us commit ourselves to the reading, studying, and meditating on the Scriptures for the good of our souls and the renewing of our minds.