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.


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.


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?

Salvation and the Spirit 5

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in the knowledge and understanding the Holy Spirit’s function in our ongoing salvation.


1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

1   Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4  that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5  not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6  that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.

7  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8  Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.


  1. As Paul starts to conclude his letter to the church in Thessaloniki he addresses the cultural acceptance of Greco-Roman immorality. From this text try to summarize
  • his appeal to them (what should they do?) v1-7
  • the motive of his appeal to them (why listen?) v3, 7
  • the warning he gave them (what if they won’t obey?) v6
  • the urgency of the situation (why is this important?) v8
  1. What is the link between the appeal to holy conduct, the warning of punishment and the indwelling Holy Spirit?

Application and prayer

  1. Paul is writing to Christians, reminding them of previous instructions (v1-2). Do you find it strange that they be reminded to walk in holiness now that they are saved?  How do you relate, since we live a similar promiscuous world?
  2. Consider your own daily life with your thoughts, feelings, motives, relationships, actions, dreams – now think of Paul’s appeal “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness… [He] gives us his Holy Spirit” (v7-8). What thoughts and feelings /convictions does that conjure up in you? Bring those thoughts and convictions in prayer to God – in confession or repentance or humble reflection.

James 4:4-5  Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

  1. Consider also the similar instruction of James 4:4-5 above. We have discovered in the previous posts on Salvation that God has saved us from the sin, death and the world, marking us as his own through the seal of the Holy Spirit – setting us aside to and for himself.  Spend time in prayer to reflect on this truth of salvation as being set aside for God, who has given his Spirit to live in us so we can have fellowship with him. How will this change your life today?  Write down your thoughts and talk it through with a friend.