Status: Position relative to that of others; standing

Mindset: a person’s way of thinking

When you become a Christian, your status is changed from being a child of the world/the devil to being a Child of God and an heir to His Kingdom (Gal 3:26, Rom 8:17). Before your status was a Child of God, you lived in accordance to the world, but now that you are a Christian you will live in accordance to God as portrayed by the life of Jesus Christ. Consider the words of John:

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

(1 John 3:8-10 KJV)

As representatives of Christ we are to appear as He appeared, act how He acted, be righteous as He was righteous and do the will of God as He did the will of God (2 Cor 5:20). We are not to receive God’s gift of grace and continue in a life of sin. As John said above, if you continue in sin you are still of the devil and not of God. Our actions manifest who we are—those who are righteous are of God and those who are wicked are of the devil.  

Jesus began His ministry by preaching, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt 4:17).” The word repent in Greek is metanoeō, which literally translates to ‘think differently.’ Galatians 5:17 says “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” So when we repent we are literally making a 180 degree turn and living in contradiction to our old, worldly and fleshly life that sought lust and desired the world and now we are to live in the spirit and seek the things of God that lead to righteousness and eternal life. We cannot live half for God and half for the world for they are in opposition to each other and as Jesus said Himself,” if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

When we were born into this world we lived fully in accordance to the ways of the world, now that we are born of the Spirit (born again) we are to live fully for God and walk in the ways of the Spirit by obeying His commandments and plan for us. No one can serve two masters (Matt 6:24). Now that you can serve God’s eternal purpose that inherits righteousness, why would you ever want to serve the world that breeds death and destruction just for temporary pleasures?

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage (Gal 4:9)?

Now that you have been saved by Jesus and free of your sin, why would you wish to return to the bondage that once held you captive? Now that you have tasted and seen the truth that Jesus offers, why would you want to go back to your old way of living? As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly (Pro 26:11). If you return to your old way of living it is because you don’t really know Jesus and don’t appreciate the sacrifice He made for you. If you know Jesus, you will live by His standard and appreciate the sacrifice He made for you.

In order to live in the Spirit and for God, rather than the world, you must repent of your old way of living and change your mindset! It is literally like you are being born again, you must learn a new set of values and live in accordance to them. But these are not to be thought of as a legalistic set of rules that you must observe religiously. Jesus criticized the Pharisees for obeying the law outwardly but inwardly being impure and having wrong motives (Luke 11:39). We are not to obey God’s laws just because they are True and Righteous but so they change our inner being (Mat 5, Isa 58). The law should be our schoolmaster to show us our sin and our corrupt heart as to make inward change that manifests outwardly. A prayer that I often say is not only that I am not led to temptations but that my desires that lead me to temptations are destroyed. I don’t want to fight the urge of sinning; I want my heart renewed that I no longer desires to sin. I am not interested in creating an image that men adore. I want my mindset to be completely focused on God and I truly want a heart that is shaped by Jesus Christ and to live a life that will please my Heavenly Father.

Consider an employee who gets promoted to a management position. Their status is instantly changed, but until they change their mindset and take on the role of a manager they are not doing the work of a manager or advancing the company the way they should. Just like being a Christian, you are saved by grace through your faith in God and your status is changed but until you fully repent by changing your mindset you are not going to advance the Kingdom of God and do the work He has called you to do.

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23).

Continue reading the next part “Daily Practices” by clicking here!