A New Way of Thinking

God is pure and righteous and so He is totally separate from the thinking, desires, ambitions and ways of all men and women. Therefore, when we commit ourselves to God through baptism, He asks us to separate ourselves from the ways of the world and commit ourselves to His ways and principles. Thus the new way of life needs a new way of thinking:

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:1-5).

In Galatians 5:16-24 Paul again shows how our thinking has to change. ‘Flesh’ stands for our sinful thoughts and ‘Spirit’ for Godly thoughts. He shows how they are opposites:

“… the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do”.

GALATIANS 5:19-21
THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE:

GALATIANS 5:22,23
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS:

… sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

This shows clearly that there will be a continual struggle in our spiritual lives because “the fruit of the Spirit” (godliness) is very different from “the works of the flesh” (the ways of the world).

The apostle Paul also likens the change to taking off old clothes and putting on new ones. He tells us in Ephesians 4:22,24 to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires … and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.