The physical world runs on the principle of entropy, which basically says that things proceed from a state of order to disorder. If I leave a piece of wood outside in the elements, it will eventually rot and decay. There is a lot of evidence that our entire universe is “running down” and will eventually arrive at “heat death.” Our own physical bodies are heading for death and decay.
The spiritual world is quite different and has a bias for change in the other direction. According to Romans 8:29, believers are “predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.”
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16, emphasis added).
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2, emphasis added).
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:20, 21, emphasis added).
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51–53, emphasis added).
I referenced quite a few passages, because it is important to see this bias for change in the spirit world.
Granted, the flesh can exercise a drag on the spiritual life—what I sometimes call “spiritual entropy”—but ultimately the spiritual life will prevail and we will be changed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even if we live our entire lives in the power of the dying flesh, we will ultimately experience the positive change indicated in the previous passages.
The main idea, then is to see this positive change take place in this life, before the redemption and resurrection of the body. We can be assured that this sanctification is our God’s will for us and that He has given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” through His divine power. That is why we can say confidently that, in Christ, there is a bias for positive change.
How is this change worked out in the life of a believer? Through the mind and its thoughts:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2, emphasis added).
Transformation—change—comes through the renewing of the mind, by careful cultivation of the thought life. Romans 8 contrasts the carnal mind and the spiritual mind. The carnal mind is at enmity with God and must be forsaken as we saw in Thoughts - Part 1. The spiritual mind is the one that thinks the way God thinks and gives life and peace.
Ephesians 4:2 tells us to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” because right thinking is the foundation and center of right living. It is where positive change originates from.
Physical entropy can be slowed by treatment and preservation of physical objects. We can pressure-treat a piece of wood so that it lasts longer out in the elements. We can exercise our bodies and eat better to make them “last longer.” Similarly, there is a temptation to avoid “spiritual entropy” through outward conformity to what is expected of a believer.
But unless we walk in the Spirit and exercise discipline and control over our thoughts, spiritual entropy will eventually take over. That is why the biggest spiritual gains take place by renewing the mind.
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