The process by which the mind is renewed reveals the genius of the New Testament and the intimate working of Jesus Christ in the life of the believer. We have already seen that man is a three-part1 being: spirit, soul and body; and in the book of Romans the Holy Spirit declared that the heart of the New Christian is ‘recreated’ by God, but the ‘renewal’ of the mind and the management of the body pertains to man. ~ “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” (Romans 12.2). Notice from this verse that God has given the believer the option to be conformed to the state of the first man – the man, Adam. Also, he says ~ “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed”
The Last Adam
He is saying that if you understand how to renew your mind, you are able to conform to a different ‘age,’ the age of Adam before sin entered the world. This is why Jesus is called ‘the last Adam.’ The first man Adan fell into sin and death through the ‘knowledge of evil,’ which is passed on to all his descendents. ~ “And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam [became] a life–giving spirit” (1Corinthians 15.45). Jesus, ‘the last Adam,’ through obedience unto death gave to all men through the renewal of the mind the power to become as the first man Adam was before the knowledge of sin entered into the world. Take a look with me at what the Bible says about the renewing of the mind in the book of Ephesians. ~ “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4.22-24).
Two Deaths of Adam
When he tells you to get rid of ‘the old man,’ he is talking about the spiritual death (sin nature) that came upon Adam when he sinned in the garden of Eden. Remember, God warned Adam that if he sinned, he would die ‘twice,’ which means he first died spiritually — this was immediate, and then several years later Adam died physically, too. To see this clearly in scripture, you must check the definition of two words in your Hebrew dictionary… Notice, God told Adam… ~ “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2.17). Notice how the words “surely die” appear in the original Hebrew manuscript – they are “מוּת מוּת ” – they are the exact same two words, literally the verse is saying ~ “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall DIE DIE” (Genesis 2.17). This is a very well-known fact that many preachers have taught for hundreds of years. So, what does it mean to us? — It means that when Adam sinned his spirit died first, and later his body eventually died.
The Spirit of Your Mind
So, how did Adam live before he sinned?… before he died spiritually…? Before Adam died spiritually, his mind was completely subject to his spirit, which was (without sin) in perfect harmony with God. When the Apostle Paul tells us… ~ “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12.2), he is telling us to bring our mind into subjection to the Holy Spirit, so that we do not conform to this present age, but rather conform to the way God originally created man to live, in perfect harmony and comunion with God through the Holy Spirit. This is what “RENEW” means. It means to bring your mind back to the state that it was in when it was NEW, like Adam. Adam had both, mind and Spirit, but he gave the preeminence to his spirit, not his mind. Take another look at what it says ~ “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4.23). Did you notice the words “the spirit of your mind”? This is telling you that the renewal of your mind will bring your mind into union and submission to your reborn human spirit, which is now in harmony with God. Let’s put this a little more into perspective for you here. God gave every man a spirit, so that by his spirit-man he could understand and navigate all of the things that pertain to God and the spiritual realm. And God gave every man a mind (soul), so that he could understand and navigate everything in the natural realm (of the 5 physical senses).
The New Man
This is the way the first man Adam lived and the way Jesus lived here in the earth. Jesus is called the last Adam2 because he lived the way the first Adam lived before he sinned. Instead of being restricted to operate in the natural realm only, Jesus got out of the boat and walked on the waves of the sea because His mind was enlightened and governed by His spirit, which was in perfect harmony with the Holy Spirit. When other people could only see sickness and death because they they were spiritually dead, Jesus only saw life, and he commanded the dead to rise, and they did. Now, you can see why the Holy Spirit tells us that we are to ‘put on the NEW MAN’ by renewing the mind… which new man? — the new man who is like Adam was before sin entered the world, the new man whose mind is illuminated and directed by the Holy Spirit. Can you see the power that God has given you…? Stop living in spiritual darkness. Stop living in the blindness of the five physical senses. Turn on the light! You can now begin to live the way God originally created mankind to live with your spirit and soul completely renewed and operating in perfect harmony with the power and light of the Holy Spirit.
For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
1. 1Thessalonians 5.23
2. 1Corinthians 15.45
© L. Jonathan Blais 2021 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.