“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
The key to developing the character of Christ is developing the mind of Christ. The word renewing here indicates a complete overhaul, a whole new way of seeing everything. Jesus says it like this in John 8:31-32: “If you abide in my words, you are my disciples indeed. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
All of the world’s schemes are based on false and incomplete conceptions of reality. But Jesus is omniscient and the perception of reality he imparts is the Truth itself. 2 Corinthians 10:5 puts it this way: “We are destroying speculations and every loft thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Now allow me to make a few observations about the transformation produced by renewing of the mind:
First, the goal is not orthodoxy alone, though it certainly includes orthodoxy. The renewing of the mind is not just the development of correct doctrine, it is about a mind occupied with the person of God himself—a personal knowledge of God, not an academic knowledge of God.
Second, the goal is not orthopraxy alone. The renewing of the mind is not just about replacing sinful behavior with righteous behavior, though it certainly includes that. The goal is personal knowledge of God—to see Christ as he is and to be like him.
Third, I make myself available for the renewing of the mind by bathing my mind in Scripture. I cannot possible be familiar enough with my Bible. In this present life, the only infallible revelation of God, the place where I can see him as he is, is the Bible.
Fourth, our life in Christ is a life we live together in the body of Christ, so a mind in renewal is a mind guided by good mentors—people who see Christ better than I do and can show me the lay of the land.
Finally, the renewed mind develops a comprehensively Christian perspective. In other words, it takes every thought captive. Whatever the subject, the renewed mind perceives it with Christian eyes.