Creflo Dollar - The Importance Of Renewing The Mind
Romans chapter 12 and verse 2, let's look at verse 1 and 2. In fact, let's look at 1, 2, and 3 in the King James and then look at it in the Amplified Bible. So, we're gonna talk about the importance of renewing the mind, and I want to start here at this verse of Scripture here. Verse 1 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service". And verse 2 says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind," notice the transformation comes by the renewing of the mind, "that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and that perfect, will of God". And then verse 3 says, "For I say, through the grace of God given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith".
The importance of renewing the mind, I will go so far to say that it's vital, that your success or failure in life is gonna be based on how you do where renewing the mind is concerned. Now, let's slow up a little bit, and let's look at these same verses in the Amplified Bible. And I want to bring some points out here because this is so important. The most important thing you can do as a human being is to get born again. But the most important thing you can do as a Christian is to renew your mind. If you're wondering why is it that Christian people who struggled before they got saved and then after they got saved, they still struggle in some of the same areas, it's because there was never the transformation because there was not the renewing of the mind.
Look what he says in verse 1 in the Amplified. He says, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies". So, verse 1 is all about dedicating yourself to God, dedicating yourself to the service and worship of God. He said, "presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice," and that just means all of you, I mean, your body showing up in times of worship. You know how people say, "Well, you know, I wasn't there with you in the flesh, but I was there with you in spirit". No, God wants your body there. He don't want you just talking about, you know, you were there in spirit; he wants your body there. He's asking for dedication in light of the mercies of God, in light of the grace of God, in light of everything that Paul had just finished preaching about the wonderful favor of God. He's asking for now dedication. And he says, "presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice, holy".
All right, you're separating yourself now away from the things of the world. You're going to stand opposite to what they're going through. When they're sick, you're healed. When they're complaining, you're rejoicing. He wants you to be that. "He wants you to be devoted, consecrated, and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable, rational," watch this, "intelligent service and spiritual worship". So, he's asking for dedication in spiritual worship. And look at verse 2. He says, "Do not be conformed to this world. Don't be conformed to this age. Don't be fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs". Now, you've gotta ask yourself that question, "Am I conformed to the world? Have I become conformed to the world? Have I become a part of those superficial customs or ways of doing things in the world"? But he says instead of being conformed to the world's way of doing things, instead of being conformed to the world's way of thinking, he says, "I want you to be transformed," and he has in parentheses "changed". "I want you to be transformed, or I want you to be changed".
Well, how am I gonna be transformed and changed? I mean, I'm sure lots of people want to know. Listen, you know, you were hooked on this, and now you're born again and you're still kind of hooked on it. Or you used to do this, it wasn't that bad, but you're still kind of doing it. And you're like, "I'm interested in the change. I want to, I want to be, I want to change. I want to be transformed". I mean, how many times have you heard people say, "I want to change"? Or they say, "Well, I'm just trying to change". Well, the Bible tells us exactly what has to take place in order for this transformation, this change to happen in your life. And he says, "But be transformed, be changed," how? By the entire renewal of your mind, by its new ideas, and its new attitudes. So notice he says, if you, if you want change, you're gonna have to, first of all, change in your mind. You're gonna change your way of thinking. Transformation and change won't take place until you are willing to renew your mind with the Word of God.
Renew your mind with God's way of thinking, with God's attitude, with the Word of God's attitude. He says, like, if you become a Christian, but you fail to renew your mind, he says, don't expect for transformation to take place. You become a Christian, but you fail to renew your mind, how can you ever expect to change? And there are lots of Christians who they do just that, and that's such deception. You think you're gonna change without spending any time with the Word of God, without changing the way you think. Change your thinking, change your life. And he says, so you can prove so when you renew your mind, you will now be able to have proof for yourself of that good, and that acceptable, and the perfect will of God. And I know people who want the perfect will of God for their lives. And it's very difficult to see that happen without the renewing of your mind. But he says when you renew your mind, you're gonna see that good and perfect and acceptable will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in his sight for you.
I don't know about you, ladies and gentlemen, but to understand the will of God for your life, and to understand the assignment for your life and understand the mission for your life and to miss that mark over and over and over again, nobody wants to die and stand before God and hear him say, "My good and faithless servant, job incomplete". And all because, you know, we're sitting there, "Well, come on, God, tell me, come on, God, tell me". You're rubbing a lamp like a genie, "Come on, Jesus". And what he says is if that transformation into the perfect will of God is gonna take place, it's gonna require the renewing of your mind. And you will change by renewing your mind. So, what are some things you need, you desire to have change in your life? Is it your attitude? Are there some things that you carried over from the world and it's still there? What are some things that you want changed in your life? Well, that won't happen without the renewing of the mind.
And notice what he says in verse 3. He says, "For by the grace, this unmerited favor of God given to me," Paul says, he says, "I want every one among you not to estimate and to think of themself more highly than he ought, not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance," that's pride. He says, "But to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him". So, you understand, there's this principle again that's gonna be very difficult for the grace of God to have anything to do in the life of a person who has a high or exaggeration of his own self-importance because it'll be by the grace of God. But we cooperate with him by renewing our mind in that Word, and we cooperate with the Spirit of God.
So, most people, they become Christians and they still remain conformed to the world and all of the world's failure and all of the problems until they renew their mind. That's something I want you to hear. I hope it's something that a lightbulbs coming on like, "Oh, wow, so no wonder I'm still the same". Most people become Christians and still remain conformed to the world, and all of its failure and problems until, until they renew their mind. Here's my question tonight, are you still renewing your mind? Renewing the mind is not a one-time event. And I'm gonna say that over and over again. It's a lifetime process. So, it's not, "Well, I've renewed my mind". If you can say, "I've renewed my mind," you're in trouble because it's gotta be a continuous renewing of the mind to keep you from being conformed to the ways of the world.
Now, you may be born again on your way to heaven, but at the present time, you're living in hell on the earth, why? Because you're still conformed to this world. You're still fashioned and molded and controlled by the ways of this world. And if you're still depressed, and if you're still afraid of life circumstances, and you're still treating your spouse badly, and you're still struggling in poverty, you're still having to adjust certain things that you used to do when you were not saved, you're still having sex with someone who is not your spouse or somebody you're married to, you're still caught up in pornography, you're still mad at the world. And then, though you may be born again, you're still conformed to the world, and that's why all that happens. If you're still doing something that you thought that getting born again would stop, I'm telling you, that's not how it happens. You can get born again and don't renew your mind, and you'll still be caught up in the conforming to the ways of the world.
And that's what that's all about. That's why people keep doing that 'cause they have not understood the importance of the Word of God and renewing their mind with God's Word. We keep doing our best to try to throw the Bible away and say it's just no good. And I'm telling you, it is the very essence that God has provided to us as Christians for change and transformation in our lives. So, some believe that if Christians were to ever sin in some of the ways I just called out, that they couldn't be born again. Well, you know, that's that old tradition that just really doesn't understand the Word of God. But let's look at what John said in 1 John chapter 2, verse 1 and 2. And so, you know, your concern may be, "Oh, my goodness, I find out that I'm doing all those things". But, you know, God's still got you back in a lot of areas.
Look at what he says in verse 1. He says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not". That's God's best, that you sin not. And if any man sin he says, "Listen, we have an advocate with the Father," Jesus Christ the righteous, that's our advocate. Verse 2, "And he is the propitiation for our sins". He is the peace offering for our sins. Literally, he is the ransom that has been paid already for our sins and for all the consequences of those sins. That's powerful. Jesus is the ransom. He is the peace offering. He is the sin offering for all of your sins. I mean, to me, that's just enough to want to be dedicated to this, to be dedicated to spiritual worship because he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Do you get that? Do you get that Jesus did not come to just take care of our sins only? But while he was at it, he took care of the sins of the whole world.
So, people who are not even born again, and they don't even know that their sins have been paid for. I tell you, what a tormenting thing to die and go to hell when all you had to do is accept what Jesus has done for you. He's paid for your sins. But, you know, you have to accept it. You gotta sign for the package. You got to receive what Jesus has already done. You see how important it is to renew your mind in that area? And because you don't renew your mind in that area and you don't know this, or may not understand it, then you're gonna be condemned, shamed, and continue to be beat up in guilt and condemnation because you don't, and have not renewed your mind to what Jesus has done where your sins are concerned. And so, you will continue to conform to the world and not renew your mind. And so, it's one thing to be forgiven, another to overcome those failures. It's one thing you can be, you know, it's one thing for you to be forgiven, it's another thing for you to overcome those failures.
So, I'm grateful that I am forgiven. I'm grateful that Jesus has paid the ransom for sin in my life and the consequences of those sins. But it's another thing to be delivered from those failures, wow. I believe God wants us to overcome those failures. I don't think it's enough for us to go around, "Oh, praise God, I'm forgiven," or even go around say, "Oh, God loves me". I mean, yeah, God loves you. Yeah, God loves you and yes, you're forgiven, but God wants you to be delivered. Think of that now: oh, God loves you, oh, God forgives you, but then he just leaves you in failure? No, no, he's got something to get you out of those failures, and it's all gonna be based in your decision to renew your mind. So, how, how do I overcome these failures? Listen to me carefully, by renewing your mind. Renewing your mind is exchanging your thoughts with God's thoughts, your ideas with God's ideas, and your ways of doing things with God's ways of doing things. It's, wow, it's the most important thing that Christian can do. And yet, I can't understand how is it that people who call themselves Christians and they wear Christian T-shirts, and they don't even, they don't know anything that's in the Bible.
And somebody says, "Well, that's not important, God loves me". Yeah, but you're not going to overcome your failures until you renew your mind, until you exchange those thoughts and those opinions that you have. And you line your thinking, you line your thinking up, you know, with the Word. Listen, you allow the Word to change the way you think. You don't try to change the Word. And there are lots of people in our world today, they're doing everything to change the Word instead of allowing the Word to change the way they think. You know, they celebrate sin. God's forgiven them, but they celebrate sin. They celebrate perversion when God says you can be delivered from all of that. But you're so busy celebrating your liberty in it. You don't understand when Jesus sent us free, he didn't set us free to do wrong. He set us free to do right, you know? And grace is not a license for us to do wrong. Grace is the answer for sin. It's not the excuse for sin. It's the answer for sin.
Let me show you something in Jeremiah chapter 4:14. I want to read it out of the King James and then the Amplified. Jeremiah 4:14, this was prophetically written in Jeremiah. But even then, I mean, the human system, if you're gonna get born again, it's still subject to dealing with those thoughts. Look what he said, he said, "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall by vain faults lodge within thee"? Wow, how long will those vain thoughts lodge within thee? And then look at the Amplified here and I'll make my point. He says, "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved! How long sure... your iniquitous and grossly offensive thoughts lodge within you"? You know what he's saying? There's no change until you begin to change the way you think. There's no change until you begin to change those thoughts that are in your mind.
Look at James chapter 1, verse 13 through 15, because I know I'm challenging people, but listen, this all Bible. This is all Scripture. You know, there always gonna be somebody say, "Well, I don't agree with that". Well, just because you don't agree with the Bible. You're still trying to find a way to justify, you know, what you're doing and how you're living. Then you're still trying to change the Word instead of allowing the Word to change you. James 1:13-15, I want to look at that in the King James and then the NLT. Verse 13 through 15, he says, "Let no man say when he is tempted," or tested or tried, that "I'm tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and then sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death".
Now, this is so important for you to understand. These are the things that are available for folks who just won't renew their minds. I mean, this Bible is the most important book that a Christian can have. And when it is rightly discerned and rightly divided, it will change your life. Look at this in the NLT, verse 13, he says, "And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, 'God is tempting me.'" Think about that. When you're being tempted especially with evil, don't say that's God, God's not the one tempting you. He said, God, he says, "Don't say that you're been tempted. Do not say, 'God is tempting me.' God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never attempts anyone else to do wrong". God's not tempting somebody to do wrong. Look at the next verse, 14. "Temptation comes from our own desires".
Temptation comes from those desires that have not been dealt with, those desires that derive from a unrenewed mind. He says that pressure, that temptation, those tests, those trials, they keep showing up because you won't allow the transformation to take place by renewing your mind. "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us, and then they drag us away". And verse 15 says, "These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death". Well, God wants all of that to be dealt with by renewing the mind, but God can't come and renew your mind for you. You've got to be willing to cooperate with God. You know, the Holy Spirit, the Bible says, works on the inside of us, and he changes our desires to do what pleases God and gives us the power to be able to do that. And I think the idea is, is that, you know, as Christians, we just chill out and just don't do anything. But that's why he talked about dedication first. Can you dedicate yourself to this? I mean, something happens when you renew your mind with the Word.
Now, I understand what it feels like when you're trying to renew your mind with the Word, but you're not getting the right teaching and then the teaching becomes condemning. And it becomes, it's shaming you and all that. Well, that's not, it's not being rightly divided. But when you get an understanding of how to rightly divide the Word and you start letting it renew your mind, it brings freedom and all you want to do is do what's right. You're gonna be more into doing what pleases God and less into doing what pleases you when you begin to really understand the gospel.
And so, when our minds are renewed by the Word of God, and I say the Word of God. I've gotta be very precise. The Word of God or in the New Testament, or, you know, after Jesus rose from the dead, the Word of God was that word of grace. And I'm specifically talking about renewing your mind with that word of grace so it could bring you to a place you've never been before. When that happens, we will overcome negative desires and we will live in God's perfect will for our lives. Now, renewing the mind is more than learning. It's changing. Renewing the mind is more than just learning. It's changing. Somebody says, "Well, my mind is being renewed because I didn't know this but now I know that". No, no, no. The acid test here is when you know you're really renewing your mind, it's changing, not just knowing.