Renewed in the Spirit of the Mind
A Sermon on Ephesians 4:23
23and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
What is the nature of the new life of the Christian? In this sermon on renewing your mind from Ephesians 4:23 titled “Renewed in the Spirit of the Mind,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the renewal of the mind by the power of the Holy Spirit transforms one’s most central faculty. This is what the apostle Paul calls the renewal in the spirit of the mind. This transformation is not simply a repair of minds, but it is a Spirit-empowered supernatural recreation of what the fall and sin has corrupted and distorted. This does not mean that fallen people are not as smart as Christians or that only Christians can know truth. But this transformation allows the new self to see the fingers of God in all life. It is a new orientation towards the same world that both Christians and non-Christians live in. This does not mean that when the minds of sinful people are renewed, they immediately become more intelligent, but this spiritual renewal allows them to see the gross nature of sin and the glorious love of God. The Spirit transforms people from the inside to the outside. This new self lives in accordance with godliness having been renewed by the power of the gospel.
- The apostle Paul is calling Christians to an intelligent change, not just outward conformity.
- Becoming a Christian is not just changing your actions or habits, but changing the spirit of your mind.
- Christianity is not just adopting a new set of opinions, but thinking in a new way with a renewed spirit.
- The Christian life is not mechanical or unthinking. Christians should understand why they think and act the way they do.
- Regeneration renews the spirit of the mind, though the mind itself remains the same. The Christian has the same abilities and faculties as before.
- The fall corrupted the spirit of man's mind, though the mind itself remains uncorrupted. Man can still think and reason, but in a twisted way.
- The world is in chaos because people cannot think straight, not because they cannot think at all. Their minds work, but the spirit behind their thinking is disordered.
- God looks at the spirit behind our thoughts and actions, not just the thoughts and actions themselves. Christianity is about a change in our fundamental disposition, not just a change in outward behavior.
- We must be constantly renewed in the spirit of our minds, not just once. Our thinking must be repeatedly re-oriented around God.
- The Christian life is a process of learning to think in a new, godly way. New Christians start with basic truths but must develop full Christian thinking.
- It is possible to appear spiritually renewed without actually being so. Some adopt Christian language and actions without a renewed spirit.
- The spirit of the mind is the inner power that governs and directs the mind. It is this spirit that must be renewed, not just the mind itself.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.