Some people have familiar sins that tend to tangle them up again and again and again. If you can relate (and who can’t!), I want to tell you:
It is possible to overcome those familiar sins and to bring your body and mind into subjection.
How? It starts by realizing your body has been purchased by God, and through Christ’s redemption, you can have the power to live in victory over sin!
Romans 8:5-6 says this: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
The key to living in victory over sin is what we do with our minds.
I don’t know about you, but my body is very skilled at being naughty. In fact, for a whole lot of years before I came to Jesus I let it do almost anything it wanted. I got saved, my spirit was recreated, delighting in the law of God… but my body still wanted to do all those naughty things (Romans 7:22-23).
But the thing that makes the difference now is what I do with my mind: Whether I set my mind on the things of the Spirit, the Word of God, the Spirit of God… or if I fill my mind with things that are contrary.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.”
The word conformed literally means to be squeezed into a mold. The unregenerate world around us is always applying pressure, always trying to box us in and mold us into something that is far below what God wants for us. But we don’t have to be conformed to this world. We can experience the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God! But it’s our minds, or souls, that are the hinges that determine which way our life will swing.
So whether you swing the way of the flesh and sin, and indulge in stuff that’s going to take you on a pathway away from God… or whether you swing in line with the Spirit, and obey God and do the things that you were created to do and live a higher life… it all depends on what you do with your mind.
The Greek word for transformed in Romans 12:2 is “metamorphoó.” We get our English word metamorphosis from it. It literally means “to allow what’s on the inside to work its way to the outside.” When we were saved, God poured out His love and grace into our hearts. Our spirits were born again and we received the life and nature of God—inwardly.
The question is, how do I allow what is on the inside to transform my outward, everyday living?
How do I let that inward “God-deposit” work its way into my marriage so that I’m not short with my wife, so I don’t lose my temper with her, and I love her like Christ loves the church? How do I let what’s on the inside work its way to the outside in my marriage?
How do I let what’s on the inside work its way to the outside in my business so that I’m even and honest in all my business dealings? How do I let what God’s put on the inside in my spirit work its way into every area of my life?
How do we live this thing out?! We’re transformed by the renewing of our minds!