Repentance 4 – To change your mind

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the need to re-evaluate and change the way you perceive life and respond to it.

Scriptures

Colossians 1:19-21

19  For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20  and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21  And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled [to himself]…

Romans 12:1-2

1  Therefore, I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Observation

Note: Romans 12:1-2 is the turning point in the letter where Paul moves from orthodoxy (“right thinking”) to orthopraxis (“right behavior”).

  1. Concerning Colossians 1:21
    1. In which way were the Gentile readers “enemies in [their] minds” towards God? (1:21)
    2. What was the result of being “enemies in [their] minds”?
    3. What has God done to bring an end to the enmity?
  2. Concerning Romans 12:1-2
    1. What is the “therefore” that Paul begins this section with? In other words, what is the motivation for rendering one’s body in service to God and renewing one’s mind? [Hint: Look at the Note above].
    2. What is the two-fold appeal to the Roman readers? And what is the link between the two?
    3. What is motive for mind renewal? [hint: “and do not be…”]
    4. What is the motive for mind renewal? [hint: “that you may…”]

Personal reflection and application

Paul comes to the end of his glorious teaching God’s righteousness in his letter to the Romans.  He comes to the consequence of (or response to) the Gospel – how one live it out, end appeal to the readers: based on the mercy of God I just presented to you, it is reasonable to give your life in service His will.  So don’t live like non-believers!  Change the way you think so you may serve Him rightly.

  1. How does Romans 12:1-2 relate to “repentance”?
  2. In which way have you become aware that you were an “enemy in your mind to God” by the way you used to reason?
    1. How did you realize it?
    2. How did you change the way you think?
  3. Is it possible that there are ways you reason that are opposed to God’s will?
    1. How will you know which thought patterns are against God’s will?
    2. What will you do to respond to God’s mercy and transform your thoughts?
    3. Who must keep you accountable in this pursuit?

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