Cleaning Up the Mind

The First Step in Renewing Our Minds

Romans 12:2

October 9th 2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

I. Introduction (Psalm 119:9)

A. We are told that we must renew our minds as Christians.

1. Revive our minds from apathy, and sinful tendencies

2. Restore our minds to their proper use and purpose

3. Daily!

B. Our minds FIRST need to be cleaned up!

1. The things that occur between our two ears are hurting us more than we admit – and yet we spend very little time and effort making sure this most marvellous organ of our body is clean and functioning well!

2. When any of us got born again, we didn’t leave our minds behind… we just had them fixed, washed, cleansed, renewed – so that we can use them for right!

3. It’s like putting all kinds of grunge, and dirty petrol and diesel into your engine and thinking it will just keep running. I mistakenly put petrol briefly in our diesel van there several years ago, and nearly ruined the engine – the diesel had to be flushed out, the fuel filter had to be replaced. If I had driven it very far at all, the cylinders would have melted, and the fuel pump would have burned out because of lack of any lubricant.

C. So many people live with filth-filled minds, and need a good flushing out – a good cleaning

D. I aim to do that this morning! With the aid of this Book! Pay attention to what the Bible says about fixing the mind, and you will have a life, a clean conscience, a walk with God that carries no guilt or shame!

II. Background

A. What is the Mind?

1. Our mind is what governs our life

a. We are not vegetables, or blobs of skin and bones

b. We have a mind that can mould and shape the world around us to match what we envision in our heads!

c. Our mind decides what our heart can feel

d. Our mind decides what our lips say

e. Our mind is what decides where our feet take us

f. Our mind decides what our eyes look at

g. Our mind, is what governs, and directs our whole life!

2. It is how you think. It’s the way you think about things.

3. It is the source of all your thoughts – what you think, why you think them.

4. It is your memory storage unit

5. It is your realm of dreams and design – our imagination

6. It is the courtroom where you weigh evidence and make decisions.

7. It is where your will is decided upon.

8. It is our conscience

9. It is the most marvellous thing!

a. It can store and remember memories from our earliest childhood

b. It can remember smells, textures

c. It can instantly weigh up facts and make decisions

10. It is what we love God with (Mark 12:30)!

a. We do not love God with just our hearts or just our minds, but both.

b. Not just being "intellectual" about our faith, but thinking and feeling about what we believe.

B. What’s Wrong With the Mind?

1. We all start off with messed up minds. Blinded, darkened, lust driven, animalistic, defiled, ruined

a. Gen 6:5,11,12 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. It leads to all violence and corruption, tyranny!

b. You may think your mind is doing pretty good, but God sees our thoughts and imaginations as they really are – vain, selfish, sinful (Ps 94:11)

c. What goes through your mind are not just “thoughts” but the seeds to all your actions

1) If you hate someone, you will end up hurting them

2) If you lust after someone, you will end up committing adultery

2. It is defiled by our heart – which is ruined beyond repair (Jer 17:9; Mark 7:20-23). Wicked Thoughts Come from the Heart

3. It is fed by our flesh (Ephesians 2:3). Be careful what you allow your flesh to do – your eyes to watch; your ears to hear!

C. There are basically only two kinds of minds (Rom 8:6)

D. Which mind do you have, and which kind of mind do you want this morning?

E. I would like to show you this morning how to clean up your mind, and how to live with a clean mind, and a clear conscience, and have strong, simple thinking that gives no place to the devil!

III. Message - How to Clean Up a Wicked, Filthy, Sin Infested, Dark, Damned Mind

A. What Does It Mean to Clean Up the Mind?

1. For the pagan, the religious but lost, it is called Illuminating the mind (2Cor 4:4) – filling with truth where once was only ignorance of God and especially Jesus Christ!

a. Not like the cults!

1) Here are the thoughts of a man named Clarence, on a blog he wrote on the Mind.

2) “In A New Earth, spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) advocates present moment awareness and the dismantling of the ego as the path towards awakened living. A New Earth gets its title from a Bible verse referring to the rising of "a new heaven and a new earth." According to Tolle, "heaven" is the awakened state that will bring about "a new earth".

3) This book will make you an intellegent life form. It will open your mind to the transporter, black hole input and white hole output. The Universe is a machine and only through understanding, working within the machine, is deep space transport possible. The nature of symmetry is the truth mathematically and spiritually.

4) Ah, huh!

b. But like Jesus!

2. For the Christian, cleansing is referred to as Renewing the mind (Rom 12:2)

a. Revive our minds from apathy, and sinful tendencies, to think right thoughts like Christ did

b. A constant maintaining of a clean conscience, wild and wonderful imagination, joyful attitude, and powerful, victorious decision making!

c. Steve Jobs should not be a rare innovator in the world today!

d. Bible believing Christians who learn how to renew their mind in this Book, will change the world far greater than any ipod or ipad ever could!

To Clean Up Your Thinking…

B. Jesus is the First Step (Mark 5:15)

1. Cleansing is NOT going to happen by sheer will power

2. Only with Jesus, comes a new mind!

3. He is the repairer of the breach – of all that is broken (Isa 58:12; 53:4-6)

4. As the perfect and final Lamb of God (John 1:29; 19:30)

5. He offers a new, clean, sound mind to every person on this planet!

6. He already did what had to be done to clean up your mind, your thoughts, your whole life

7. Get born again. Invite HIM into your life, and you are 99% of the way to a clean, stable, sound mind!

C. Identify – Take Inventory of What is in Your Mind (Psalm 139:23,24; Eph 2:2,3; 4:22-31)

1. That’s a scary request!

2. Quit ignoring what is in there

3. Start taking a good hard look at the thoughts that come out of your heart, and are thrown around in your mind

4. Your heart feeds into your mind

5. Your flesh fulfils your mind’s desires

6. These two influences on your mind ruin your life!

7. YOUR MIND should be what influences your heart, and your MIND should be in charge of your body! Not the other way around!

8. Do you have any idea what is IN your mind?

a. All the past images, conversations, experiences, feelings, successes and failures

b. Every hurtful word you ever heard – and every hurtful word you ever said – recorded

c. Every TV show, and movie you have ever watched

d. Every sinful act you ever participated in

e. Every emotion and feeling that you felt when you were doing any of the above!

9. All that stuff has an effect. It produces guilt, sorrows, fears, and sometimes joy.

10. But, if you are not careful about what you allow to roam free in that head of yours, it will all only harden your heart and mind, and sear your conscience, and ruin your life!

a. Eph 4:19 “past feeling”

b. 1Tim 4:1,2 “their conscience seared” – burned out

D. Hate What’s In Your Mind and Heart

1. A carnal mind is any mind that tries to live its own way – by its own rules

a. It is an animal’s mind – only seeking to eat and reproduce

b. It is a way of thinking that ignores God

2. We allow in our minds what we would never allow in our actions

3. You cannot ever love God AND still love the sins that easily flow in your heart. No worldly way of thinking can co-exist with the new mind of Christ (Luke 16:13)

4. God already KNOWS is in your heart and hates it

5. He is waiting for US to hate it too!

6. You cannot compartmentalise your mind

a. Have some ungodly thoughts in one corner

b. Have some godly, clean thoughts in another corner

c. The Christian governs all thoughts by their relationship with Jesus Christ

7. Repentance begins in the Mind. 1Ki 8:47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

E. Mortify What is In Your Thoughts (Col 3:5-10) R.I.Pieces!

1. To mortify is to render lifeless, to starve out, to allow to die, and then bury!

2. You WON’T kill off what you still love, so change your mind about what you are loving in your mind and heart! That’s where Biblical hatred comes in!

3. Cast down whatever should not be there (2Cor 10:5)

a. Describes the pulling down (deposing) of a wicked ruler

b. So that the rightful Lord of your life can take the throne again!

4. Purge – apply the blood of Christ – it sterilises all sin! Memorise these Scriptures!

a. 1John 1:7

b. Rev 1:5

c. Hebrews 9:13,14

F. Overwhelm What’s In Your Mind – the most important thing

1. The Bible never commands us to CLEAR our mind, but to CLEAN it!

2. The principle is to overwhelm evil with good (Rom 12:21; Gal 5:16)

3. People are so used to turning to drugs and drink, and to wild parties to overwhelm… boredom, depression, guilt!

4. What should we get to overwhelm our minds???

a. The Mind of Jesus Christ – with HIS way of thinking (Philp 2:4-7) – let it blow you away

b. The Words of Christ (John 15:3; Col 3:16; James 1:21-25)

c. The Love OF God (Rom 5:5)

1) So many people struggle day after day simply because they have never been loved, or even known that they are loved!

2) Allow yourself to be loved by God, as you are! Messed up and ruined!

3) Accept the fact that He loves you, and gave Himself FOR you (Gal 2:20)

4) Just sit and thank God for loving a sinner like you!

d. Your own love FOR God (Mk 12:30)

1) Hey, start loving God back

2) It cleans you when you start using your heart on GOD instead of on sinful things!

e. A load of praise

1) I can’t emphasize this enough!

2) No more complaining, fault finding. Spend a load of time remembering only the goodness of God

3) 1Sa 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

4) Psa 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

f. All these following efforts cleanse the heart – no matter how filthy!

G. Believe It Works! Reckon it all to be so (Rom 6:11)!

1. God Overrules Men’s Imaginations! (Gen 50:20)

2. It doesn’t matter how you feel, as much as what God feels and says in the Bible (1John 3:20)

3. 2Tim 1:7 God constantly gives us a Sound Mind

4. Don’t let the devil or any other creature ruin your clean mind now – protect it. Build it up (as we will learn next week)

5. And if you ever are struggling in your mind again, just remember…

a. Jesus took the First Step (Mark 5:15)

b. So constantly Take Inventory of What is in Your Mind (Psalm 139:23,24)

c. Hate What gets in Your Mind and Heart

d. Mortify What is In Your Thoughts (Col 3:5-10)

e. Overwhelm What’s In Your Mind – don’t just try and replace it

1) With the Mind of Jesus Christ – with HIS way of thinking (Philp 2:4-7) – let it blow you away

2) With the Words of Christ (John 15:3; Col 3:16; James 1:21-25)

3) With the Love OF God (Rom 5:5)

4) With your own love FOR God (Mk 12:30)

5) With a load of praise

6) Believe It Works! Reckon it all to be so (Rom 6:11)!