Posts Tagged 'thinking'

Whatever is Right

Whatever Is Right Sermon Audio Here
the Whatevers of Philippians 4:8

2 Thessalonians 1:1-7

A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie and soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the figures on world population. He did a little arithmetic on a pad and then said to his secretary. “Give this gentleman l6 cents. That’s his share of my wealth.”

What is “fair” and what is JUST/RIGHT are not the same thing…

What are the Roles of Righteousness?

Righteousness as a State

  • Ps. 14:1-3 – we are not natively righteous
  • Rom. 3:9 – We are corrupt TOGETHER; spoiled by sin

Righteousness as a Measure of Inner Condition

Righteousness as Judgment

  • Ps. 9:7-8 – God alone can correctly judge
  • 1 Jn. 1:9 – God’s forgiveness is justified because of Christ’s work

Righteousness as a Lifestyle

  • Gal. 3:11 – Abraham lived by faith BEFORE the Law was given
  • Rom. 1:17 – we live in given righteousness; “Carl Sagan apple pie”

Righteousness as A Gift

  • Isa. 45:13 – what will be given to me by God?
  • 2 Tim. 4:8 – crown signifies victory; Jesus wins, we benefit!

Righteousness Because of Christ

  • 1 Pet. 3:18 – Jesus’ righteousness IS for our reconciliation
  • Rev. 16:5 – God alone has the necessary perspective to judge

Jesus alone is ultimately righteous. Therefore, when we allow Him to fill our thoughts, our thinking itself becomes transformed.

More thinking about thinking…

φρονέω,v {fron-eh’-o}
1) to have understanding, be wise   2) to feel, to think   2a) to have an opinion of one’s self, think of one’s self, to be   modest, not let one’s opinion (though just) of himself exceed   the bounds of modesty   2b) to think or judge what one’s opinion is   2c) to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same   views, be harmonious   3) to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for   3a) to seek one’s interest or advantage   3b) to be of one’s party, side with him (in public affairs)

(By the way, I’m still in mourning for the loss of zhubert.com; it was a great online Greek resource… but http://www.greekbible.com/index.php is no slouch.)

I found this verb in Romans 8:5 this morning. I’m still mulling over what it means to “consider yourself dead to sin”. I thought this verse could be related to the conversation.

It’s quite a wake-up call to realize that when I allow my mind to become focused on the flesh, I become hostile towards God!

I love God. I don’t want to be hostile towards the One I love the most (and who loves me more than I can ever understand). But there it is in black and white… when I allow my mind to stay in the flesh, instead of staying grounded in the Spirit, my attitudes and actions become hostile towards God. I begin to get upset at “having” to follow, rather than rejoicing in the Way that God has laid out for me in the Word (Ps. 119:105, right?).

Another thing that caught my attention: in English, when I read verse 6, I see a verb: “to set the mind”… as if I’m making a conscious choice, a decision to jettison the Spirit and to choose the flesh. So, I went looking for that verb in the Greek… IT’S NOT THERE.

What IS there is a NOUN. Phronema, “as a result of thinking; mind-set, way of thinking, outlook, aim”. Do you see? I’m not making a CHOICE to reject the Spirit… the mind-set of staying in the flesh is a RESULT of when I consider my life to be “fleshly”. In other words, whenever I choose to live according to the flesh (phroneo, at the top of the post), I’m going to develop a mind-set of being in the flesh. One follows the other. And once I’m in the mind-set of the flesh, it’s very difficult to break out of that mind-set.

In fact, the only way I know how to get out of it, is to go back to verse 5b: “but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” When I PONDER the things of the Spirit, I develop a mind-set of the Spirit… which, in turn, reinforces the actions of the Spirit in my life.

Which leads to the question: what are YOU thinking about these days?

Thinking about thinking… about “dead to sin”

λογίζομαι,v {log-id’-zom-ahee}
1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over 1a) to take into account, to make an account of 1a1) metaph. to pass to one’s account, to impute 1a2) a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight 1b) to number among, reckon with 1c) to reckon or account 2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate 3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer 3a) to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on 3b) to suppose, deem, judge 3c) to determine, purpose, decide – {{from greekbible.com}}

I’ve been processing through the idea in Romans 6:11-12 for the last few weeks. I’ve really been trying to chew through the meaning of “consider yourselves dead to sin”.

I find it somewhat interesting that I’m spending so mental thought on the process of mental thought itself – what does it mean to “consider” something? Especially when that something that I’m considering is my own death to sin.

Does anyone else see the inherent contradiction? If’ I’m considering myself as dead to sin, that means I’m mulling over my own sin in my mind, right? How can one who is truly dead be mulling over anything? Wouldn’t that person just be decomposing (if they’re truly dead)?

Ah, but that’s the whole of it… The process doesn’t just stop with the thinking phase; how you put that thinking (about being dead to sin) into action makes a big difference. I found that the Message translation by Peterson really put it into interesting perspective for me:

From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time–remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!–into God’s way of doing things.
Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

(the Message, Romans 6:11-14)

I loved the phrase “don’t even run little errands” that are connected with sin! So, as you’re walking through the day today (this week, this month, etc.), remember to be conscious of the little “errands” that might be tempting you to sin. Instead, say to yourself “I’m dead to sin… and alive in Christ”. Then consider what life-related thing you’re to be doing instead.

It’s made a huge difference in my quality of life!


Pastor Ed Backell

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