Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind
Renewed in the Spirit of your mind and conscience! I pray that is true for you as we come to the end of our 24 Day Challenge – Renewing Your Mind and Conscience. Over the last 24 Days we have covered a huge amount of Scripture and looked at our mind and conscience from a variety of perspectives. I’m sure that by now, you realize what an important part your conscience plays in your entire life. Because our mind and conscience are connected, this is truly a renewal in the entire ”spirit” of your mind.
“If you have heard Jesus and have been taught by Him according to the truth that is in Him, then you know to take off your former way of life, your crumpled old self—that dark blot of a soul corrupted by deceitful desire and lust— to take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit. Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.” Ephesians 4:21-24 The Voice
Where Does Your Attitude Come From?
Where does your attitude come from? Your mind. What we think sets our attitude. That’s why, if we take control of our thoughts, we can change our entire attitude (outlook) about life. It’s a constant process because our flesh always wants to revert back to wrong thinking and bad attitude.Where does your attitude come from? Your mind. What we think sets our attitude. That's why, if we take control of our thoughts, we can change our entire attitude (outlook) about life. It's a constant process because our flesh always… Click To Tweet
Here’s the definition of attitude – “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.” Look at that one word – settled. We have ‘set’ our mind on a way of thinking and it is usually reflected in our behavior. Does that remind you of any of the scriptures we have discussed over the last three weeks?
What about things like – set your mind on the things above, or whatever is good, pure, etc., think on these things?
Here is a summary of what we have discussed:
Intro – Day One
Day 1 was an introduction to the idea of looking at our conscience in conjunction with our mind, and understanding how they work together with the Holy Spirit. We found we are to have Jesus’ mindset, humility, and that we have the mind of Christ. We also looked at this quote from Baker’s Theological Dictionary:
“Conscience is an aspect of self-awareness that produces the pain and/or pleasure we “feel” as we reflect on the norms and values we recognize and apply. Conscience is not an outside voice. It is a inward capacity humans possess to critique themselves because the Creator provided this process as a means of moral restraint for his creation. The critique conscience exercises related to the value system which a person develops. Romans 12:1-2 makes the point that God desires that his creation conform to divine values by a process of rational renewal. The Scriptures provide the content for this renewal.“
Living By the Golden Rule
Our second day. Here, we looked at one of the foundations for life as a Christ-follower. The principles we choose to be part of our personal convictions and life-view teach our conscience how to respond and keep us on the track we told it we chose to live on! So, we need to be sure that those foundations are the ones Christ set for us. The Golden Rule is definitely a foundational truth.
“In everything you do, be careful to treat others in the same way you’d want them to treat you, for that is the essence of all the teachings of the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 TPT
If this is a core belief, we will not judge because we won’t give what we do not want to receive! None of us want to be judged by others. So, as we make the Golden Rule and core principle of our life, our minds will be renewed and our conscience will set up a new alarm to keep us headed in the right direction.
Being Falsely Accused
Paul ended up in prison because of false accusations – outright lies. For over two years his life was completely altered by lies. Have you ever been falsely accused of something? It’s frustrating, maddening, and hurtful. Usually, there is nothing you can do to defend yourself because, the more you say, the more others believe you are guilty.
Paul is standing before his own people, the Jews, who are crying out for him to be killed and spreading lies about him. Yet, this is his response:
“Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” Acts 23:1 NIV
If I was in his situation, would I be able to say the same thing? That is the question we have to answer. The key is forgiveness. It will allow us to maintain a pure heart and conscience and keep our mind set on the things above.
A Personal Testimony of Salvation
On Day 4, we look at Paul’s testimony of salvation.
This is part of Paul’s personal testimony. It is also part of his testimony as he stands before King Agrippa II and his sister, Bernice. Paul is still in prison and pleading his case. However, he takes the opportunity to give his full testimony of salvation by faith in Christ.
He says he strives always. Strive is a strong word. He didn’t say ‘I try’ or ‘I hope,’ The definition of strive is – make great efforts to achieve or obtain something; struggle or fight vigorously.
Do we strive to keep our conscience clear before God and man? Again, a challenge to us to rise higher.
Knowing Right From Wrong
Here is the crux of the situation:
Right and wrong are subjective. Cultural and familial norms, personal preferences, and other forces can shape our view of right and wrong. If we tell our conscience that we believe it is correct to hit anyone we are mad at, our conscience will accept that and exude good feelings when we follow through on what we told it we believed.
We must ensure that our standards are those of the Kingdom of God, not the world, our own preferences, or those standards imposed on us by others. God’s commandments are written on our hearts at salvation. We can erase them, but if we follow them, our conscience will conform to those standards. Romans 2:14-15 NIV
What is the Power of the Holy Spirit?
What is the Power of the Holy Spirit? It is far more than we realize. Because the Holy Spirit is the companion Jesus gave us, we need to know Him intimately. His power is the same as that of God and Jesus. He is the third member of the Trinity. He was present at creation and is present with us today creating Christ’s image within us.
This is a lengthy subject and I would encourage you to re-read it. The Holy Spirit’s place and power in our lives is incredible.
“But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the One like me who sets you free, he will teach you all things in my name. And he will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you”. John 14:26 TPT
We were only able to cover 5 of the things He does for us. The Holy Spirit uses our conscience to speak to us and help us stay in the path of holiness. We can grieve Him, block His voice, and corrupt our own conscience. Or, we can be more and more aware of Him and allow Him to do His mighty work within us. In the future, there will be an EBook about How to Know the Holy Spirit.
Submitting to Authority
We take another look at Paul as he discusses submission to evil authorities! The Word says that no authority can exist unless God allows it! Submission is a difficult and badly abused subject. The church has been, and, in some cases, still is, guilty of massive abuse of this concept. The same for the world. The abuses have given us cause to question but not to condemn or disobey.
“You are compelled to obey them, not just to avoid punishment, but because you want to live with a clean conscience.” Romans 13:5
Authorities uphold the laws of the land for the purpose of order and protection. As long as we are not being asked to violate God’s laws, we obey the laws of society.
If all authority remembered that they are, first and foremost, servants of all, power would not be a corrupting force. Submission to any authority is a choice and the person in authority needs to remember they have submitted to THE authority – God! It is Him to whom they must answer.
What is a Weak Conscience?
A weak conscience is not a sign of weak person! It is a sign of someone who does not fully understand grace. One of the things we learn is that, as mature Christians, we are free NOT to do things which will cause others to have a wounded conscience. We have a responsibility to protect the conscience of others, not just ourselves.
Living a Life Worthy of the Gospel
“We rejoice in saying with complete honesty and a clear conscience that God has empowered us to conduct ourselves in a holy manner and with no hidden agenda. God’s marvelous grace enables us to minister to everyone with pure motives, not in the clever wisdom of the world. This is especially true in all of our dealings with you.” 2 Corinthians 1:12 TPT
The value He placed on us was so high that He was willing to die. He is our highest value and we die to ourselves to live for Him! This is living a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus.
Speaking the Truth at All Times
In 2 Corinthians 4:2, Paul cited three things he was doing:
- Rejecting every shameful cover-up
- Refusing to resort to trickery
- Refusing to distort the Word of God
The truth can be twisted and cut up in tiny pieces until it no longer is the truth. We must be like Paul and maintain the purity of the Word in our hearts, actions, thoughts, and soul. In this way, we can maintain a clear conscience.
Purity of Heart and Mind
Hebrews 9:9 The Voice says that the Law could never purify the heart and conscience. So what can?
Hebrews 10:19-22 TPT tells us how Jesus set us free from an accusing conscience and now we are clean, unstained, and presentable to God inside and out! That is truly good news. No more condemnation from within.
This is the fullness of life in Christ which He means for us to enjoy here on earth. Once and for all shed condemnation and clothe yourself in Christ, His blood, and His fully completed work in and through you. Don’t allow yourself to be brought low again by condemnation. Even if you sin, just ask for forgiveness and then set your focus back on Him.
12 Steps to Overcoming Guilt and Shame
Condemnation, guilt, and shame are not meant to be part of your daily life so find your freedom in Christ. The fruit of the Spirit within you is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Condemnation, shame, and guilt are nowhere on that list! Focus on the fruit God wants to grow in your life, not the darkness the enemy wants to spread.
Living With Integrity
“And keep praying for us that we continue to live with a clear conscience, for we desire to live honorably in all that we do.” Hebrews 13:18 TPT
On Day 13 we looked at the principle of praying for our own conscience and that of others because of a desire to live honorably in all that we do. This means we must keep a close check on our desires and affections. They must always be set on Jesus.
The Goal of Unselfish Love
“Our teaching about this journey is intended to bring us to a single destination—a place where self-giving love reigns from a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a genuine faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 TPT
Self-giving love reigns from where? A pure heart, clean conscience, and genuine faith. This helps us see the vital importance of a clean conscience! The love mentioned here is ‘agape’ love. That love is unconditional and sacrificial. Living in unselfish love involves knowing what we believe; understanding the difference between convictions and preferences, not judging, and living in unselfish love.
The Shield of Faith
1 Timothy 1:18-19 The Voice – here Paul connects fighting the good fight of faith with our conscience! Our conscience is actually one of the parts of our armor. In the battle, we must have the shield of faith to protect us from the flaming arrows of the enemy.
Faith is a living and powerful force in our lives, not just a weapon. It is alive we can activate it in our lives!
The main point here is that a good, clean, pure conscience is a weapon against temptation, weakness, and attacks by the world. It is also an active, living force in our lives. However, we must continue to feed it with the Word and by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us every moment of every day. If we feed it good food, it will protect us from harm, whether self-inflicted, by the world, or by the enemy.
Leading By Example
In 1 Timothy 3:9, Paul is telling Timothy that the leaders in the church must ‘keep hold of’ the deep truths of faith with a clear conscience. What does that mean?
You cannot lead if you don’t know where you’re going. And, like it or not, we are constantly being watched to see where we are going and whether or not our words and life match! People see through words. So, is your conscience clear in regard to your lifestyle as it is compared to the Word?
This is not a mandate for perfection. Instead, it’s a challenge to live upward. Perfection is found only in Jesus and if you try to pretend you are perfect, you will fail. Instead, show others what it means to do your best to be like Jesus.
“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” John 13:34-35 The Voice
Being a Good Enough Christian
How can we avoid a seared conscience and being drawn back into the trap of the Law? The problem with grace is that there is no way to measure how well we are doing. This is what draws us back into the law – comparison and the desire for a Good-Enough-Christian-Ruler. How can we know we are being good enoug?
Paul’s warning revolves around our tendency to revert back to the works of the flesh. When we do that, there is a slow mental progression related to good-enough. Our flesh feels good because we can measure our level of good. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and, the boastful pride of life.
The good we do must flow simply from our deep love for our Savior. Then, there is no measurement – He is enough.
Standing Firm on Your Faith
Here is Paul, near the end of his life. He is writing to Timothy and says that his conscience is clear. Obviously, this was important to Paul because, when are only weeks from death, I think you probably focus on the really important things in life. Paul was standing firm on his faith at a moment when a tiny compromise would have set him free. But for him, there was no compromise. There was only faith in Christ.
How to Encourage Yourself
Sometimes, you need to be able to encourage yourself in regard to your life and who you are. Paul was instructing and encouraging Timothy who had a very difficult task to accomplish. Paul’s encouragement was surely needed, but Timothy also needed to use it as a way to continually encourage himself. After all, Paul wasn’t there. This was just words on a parchment.
We get discouraged because we compare ourselves to others. It is a useless and harmful practice. We don’t encourage ourselves through self-love and mantras about how wonderful we are. We must:
- Stop comparing ourselves to others
- Stop Listening to and talking about all of the negative
- Stop reading the Bible like it’s a roadmap for failure
Do Well by Doing Good
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17 NIV
How do you ‘know the good’ you ought to do? You guessed correctly – your conscience! We aren’t doing ‘works of the law’ to be acceptable to God, we are just doing what flows naturally out of a life given to Jesus and it brings joy to the giver, the receiver, and the God of both. We truly do well by doing good and maintaining a clear conscience.
Give A Reason for the Hope
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16 NIV
Be ready – be prepared. If someone asks, you can give a simple testimony of why you have hope. Do it with two guidelines – gentleness and respect. This way you will keep a clear conscience! Don’t minimize the impact of your testimony on someone who may have lost hope.
Choose Your Words Wisely
In 1 Peter 3:21, Peter is discussing water baptism and how our conscience is washed clean and a pledge we have made through baptism to maintain the clear conscience. In context, he is also talking about our words. Our words can corrupt our own conscience.
“If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive.” -Betty Eadie
Choose your words wisely, Speak in a way that conforms to the Word. You can laugh, be funny, be the life of the party without violating the standards of the Word. Keep the pledge!
Why Study the Bible?
Day 23 takes us to this question. What does it have to do with our conscience? A sound knowledge of the Word keeps our conscience pure so it can assist us in remaining in the truth. It protects us from deception, except for self-deception. We can choose to allow ourselves to be deceived because of the lure of the pleasures of sin.
The Word is there to protect and guide, but it is up to us to study and know the Word. We have no excuse and it is not up to the Pastor to educate us.
Be a Doer of the Word
In addition, you need to be a doer of the Word. In other words, you need to live it. The Bible is meant to be consumed. You don’t just read words on a page. You take them inside of you, deep into your innermost being, digest them, and make them a part of your very being. When you do that, ‘doing’ will come naturally. Also, your mind, heart, and conscience will be trained by the Word and then assist you in staying in God’s will.
Below you will find links to each day of the 24 Day Challenge. Each one has a link to the Devotional pages and some have links to additional resources like Scripture Cards and more.
I pray that you have truly been challenged upward and that you understand why your conscience is a precious gift to you!
**We use verses from different Bible translations.
To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.
Links to the 24 Day Challenge
1 – 24 Day Challenge – Renewing Your Mind and Conscience
2 – Living By the Golden Rule
3 – Being Falsely Accused
4 – A Personal Testimony of Salvation
5 – Knowing Right From Wrong
6 – What is the Power of the Holy Spirit?
7 – Submitting to Authority
8 – What is a Weak Conscience?
9 – Living a Life Worthy of the Gospel
10 – Speaking The Truth at All Times
11 – Purity of Heart and Mind
12 – 12 Steps to Overcoming Guilt and Shame
13 – Living With Integrity
14 – The Goal of Unselfish Love
15 – The Shield of Faith
16 – Leading By Example
17 – Being A Good Enough Christian
18 – Standing Firm in Your Faith |
19 – How to Encourage Yourself
20 – Do Well by Doing Good
21 – Give a Reason for the Hope
22 – Choose Your Words Wisely
23 – Why Study the Bible?