The purpose of this series of teachings is to help enable you to renew your mind. I could simply post a teaching about renewed mind and leave you to it. But I wanted to lay out for you the aspects of the mind; how they interact with one another; how they are affected by the world and by yourself. A child of God who fails to successfully renew his/her mind will have an intermittent, at best, walk with their heavenly Father. The same is true concerning a walk with power; without renewed mind the world can still toss a child of God to and fro with every wind of doctrine.
1 Peter 2:1
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
This is what the world has fed us since birth. In other words, we come to God with a lot of mental baggage. Opinions, theories, prejudices, hardness, hurts, fears things that separate us from others, from the real person within, and from God. Humility and meekness should be our mindset because without those we will never grow or find that inner man.
1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow [auxano] thereby:
Infants, young children, go to their parents so they have the physical nourishment to grow. Children of God should go to their heavenly Father for their spiritual nourishment to grow.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
All who want to be Christ like should be turning to their heavenly Father, just as Christ did.
As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned [manthano] he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
These verses in Hebrews are speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ. He learned obedience, hupakoe, from the things he suffered, experienced, pascho. The Greek word manthano means to learn. But it goes much deeper than just learning. There is an external effect to the learning contained in manthano. The effect in these verses is obedience. If the subject was math, after learning addition you would be expected to add correctly. However, learning is a process that generally takes more than one hearing.
And he that sent me is with me: The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
It is plain to see in the Gospels that Jesus always obeyed his Father. The principle in Hebrews chapter 5 shows obedience is the goal each time you learn from God. Whatever it is that God has taught you today; do it!
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience [hupakoe] of faith:
The revelation of the mystery, Paul’s teaching of the gospel of grace was given for the obedience of believing.
Manthano, as defined by Precept Austin, is “literally a learner has the basic meaning of directing one’s mind to something and producing an external effect… manthano means to genuinely understand and accept a teaching, to accept it as true and to apply it in one’s life.”
Roy B. Zuck said of manthano, “learning is a matter of a pupil acquiring knowledge of content through a teacher to the extent that such knowledge is experienced in the life."
Manthano is to learn something, to understand what has been taught and further it is to then apply what has been learned. Learning would be the process, application of what is learned would be the result.
But go ye and learn [manthano] what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The religious leaders were upset with Jesus because he was eating with publicans and sinners. The Pharisees would never eat with such people, they were impure and to associate with them, they thought, made them impure also. So, Jesus sent them back to the scriptures to learn about mercy, to learn compassion. Sometimes it takes more than one hearing to learn an aspect of God’s heart, to learn God’s doctrine as Jesus spoke of in John chapter 7.
Jesus answered them, and said, my doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Jesus’ answer to these leaders in Matthew chapter 13 was to send them back to God’s Word to learn about mercy, compassion. Matthew chapter 13 sets a standard for all who would receive right learning; go to God, go to His Word. Go to God and allow Him to teach you. The starting place is going to God's Word, going to the scriptures.
It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned [manthano] of the Father, cometh unto me.
God has set the standard for right learning; it is Him, our heavenly Father. It was set in Genesis chapter 1 when the world was under the right and godly arrangement. Adam was to go to the Tree of Life for right answers to questions, for right understanding, for right learning, for right believing.
A standard is required for learning. The standard for correct learning is God. Adam’s standard was the Tree of Life, for these Pharisees it was the written Word of God.
How was Jesus informed, what was the standard he used to gage the phronema presented to him?
And the Jews marvelled, saying, how knoweth this man letters, having never learned [manthano]. Jesus answered them, and said, my doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his [God’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
God is where Jesus got his doctrine, his standard for life and living. Until you became a child of God most of your standard for life and living came from the ungodly world, this is our mental baggage when we come to the Word of God. Now it will take work, a disciplined effort to switch to the godly standard.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience [hupakoe] by the things which he suffered;
Now, Hebrews 5:8 begins to make more sense.
Obedience, hupakoe, means to listen attentively, placing yourself under. Obedience in the Greek consists of two words; hupo, meaning under and akouo which means to hear. Literally, to hear under. Listening as though you are a subordinate. A subordinate hears the directions of the acknowledged greater and simply complies. Consider a father giving instructions to his child, or a supervisor giving goals and directions at work, or a General telling a private what is expected on the mission.
For as by one man's disobedience [parakoe] many were made sinners, so by the obedience [hupakoe] of one shall many be made righteous.
Two very interesting words in this verse. The first, is parakoe, referring to Adam translated disobedience. The second is hupakoe, referring to Jesus translated obedience. Adam heard his directions but not as a subordinate. Adam saw God’s words more as those of an equal, words that could lay alongside of his own words, his own thoughts. Adam, in his mind, was not bound to keep the words he was given. Whereas Jesus received what he heard as a subordinate and thus he obeyed. Jesus recognized the superior position, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of God. Jesus tapped into the power of God by way of believing the words of God.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Look at the esteem wherewith Jesus held the words of God. He received those words as one who is subordinate to all that God had said in the old Testament.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered [pascho];
Pascho means, “essentially what happens in a person’s experience. It means to undergo something; to experience a sensation, to experience an impression from an outside source, to undergo an experience…”
Kittles says, “The basic meaning of pascho is “to experience something that comes from outside,”
Jesus understood obedience by placing himself under the authority of God’s Word, written or by revelation, due to the things, phronema, that came at him or that he experienced.
Jesus could see the only way to go was God’s way. He knew God’s thoughts were higher than men. He knew God was not a man that He should lie. Jesus understood and saw both sides of the spiritual reality to life. So, he controlled his mind, his nous, by going with the standard, accepting only phronema from God. Other phronema, phronema that didn’t line up with what God had said was rejected.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience [hupakoe] of Christ;
If phronema did not line up with God’s Word, then Jesus rejected its authority and its self-proclaimed superiority. He was sharp on God’s Word so he could be sharp in life.
2 Corinthians 10:5 is telling us to bring every decision “to” Christ. The Greek word “to” is translated from the word eis and means unto, with the idea of reaching the goal. The goal is that every decision is under, or subordinate, to Christ, he is the one we accepted as Lord. He is the Head of the Body, we are subordinate.
God doesn’t give us unreachable goals, He isn’t looking to cause frustration in His children, that means this is a reachable goal, it is available for every child of God to make every decision subordinate to Christ.
Now, the child of God can move into a new day with one standard for Truth. Now, a child of God can begin to change his diet. Feeding upon the words of God verses the words and concepts of the world.
Too many standards only cause confusion and two standards is too many. I understand we live in a day and age when people talk about “my” truth and “your” truth. Truth is not subjective! There is no such thing as your truth verses my truth. There is one absolute Truth and that is what God has said. The rest is facts and facts change. Truth stays or remains the same; every single day.
Job thought to question God, to go to God with his truth verses God’s truth; my truth verses your truth philosophy. So, God asked him a few questions and Job responded:
Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Once a child of God begins to understand the nous, the kardia, the phronema, the thumos, the manthano and a few other things, he will see and understand the process of renewed mind and move towards that very goal; having a renewed mind.
The process will involve changing the dietary phronema he is feasting upon. No, we can’t stop the world from throwing it’s phronema at our lives, but we can add new phronema into our lives. We can’t stop the world’s phronema from confronting our daily lives, but we can cut back on how much we are receiving.
If God’s Word is your standard, then introduce more of God’s Word into your life.
The philosophies of; “get him before he gets you”, “look out for Number One”, “if it feels good do it”, “follow your heart,” “all’s fair in love and war,” “the ends justify the means.” How many worldly philosophies have exalted themselves in our minds against the knowledge of God?
Begin to read and study God’s Word more on your own. Listen or read teachings from other people who hold God’s Word as their standard. Put on some godly music and read some godly books. Build some relationships with others who hold God’s Word to its proper and elevated status.
It doesn’t mean you ignore all sources of information that are not based on the Bible. God’s Word does not teach you about flying an airplane, or installing plumbing, or doing electrical work. God’s Word doesn’t teach you how to be an artist or how to do what ever job you are working at today.
In the first century Rabbi’s use to say, “Whoever does not teach his son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a robber.”
Another source of information does not equal unrenewed mind! The point is God and His Word is our only source for Truth our standard for life and living.
The ultimate standard for Truth is God’s Word, all other sources of information are secondary. God’s Word will not teach you how to be a lawyer, but it will teach you how to be an ethical lawyer, a lawyer with integrity. God’s Word can teach everyone, no matter what the career, to walk in love and compassion and grace.
We have secondary sources of information but only one standard for Truth.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Here are some godly ethics we can apply across the board no matter what the occupation.
We have many sources of information but only one source, one standard for Truth, the Word of God.
We are to come to God’s Word to hear and to do; to learn.
We come with a subordinate attitude, the heart of a child to a Father.
We come to fellowship and learn under the authority of our chosen Lord.
We come to learn and obey because the world will still bombard us with its phronema, and we want to succeed spiritually and in life.