Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Online Bible Study: Becoming a Woman of Freedom Day 2: The Way You Think is KILLING You

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Ephesians 4:22-24 in the New Testament of the book called the Bible

Strip off your old self, which follows your former ways of living and ruins you as it follows the desires that deceive.  Become new in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, which is created to be like God, righteous and holy in the truth.

(Scroll to the bottom if you want to listen to the podcast as you look over these notes)

Let’s imagine for the next few moments that these bible verses are not simply talking about sins like murder, lying, stealing and cheating.  What if in fact these verses were more far reaching and include the invisible shackles that have a hold on you that NO ONE ELSE knows about?  Like the way your mother’s views friendships with other women?  Or the way your father viewed the roles of men and women in relationships?  Maybe the shackles do not feel like damaging ‘sins’ per say but they are nevertheless just as damaging to the way you walk around in life.  Do you notice that your thoughts make all the difference between whether your life feels like a joyous celebration or a prison?  What if God was NOT JUST interested in cleaning up the way the world views you, but getting you some deliverance from the way you view the world that is destroying you?  What if the TRUTH meant more than just standard Christian answers to moral dilemmas?  What if the answers to why your life feels stuck is MORE understandable you had imagined?

What does it mean to be “New in the spirit of your minds”

Let’s look at the original language that this book was written in to gain more understanding of what these words might mean for us today.
Why do we look at the original language?
Have you ever used the google translator?  Or received a message from someone that used the Google translator?  What you find is that meanings are lost in translation.  This is especially true with both the languages you find in the Bible.  The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek.  Both those ancient languages contain fewer words.  So each word actually CONTAINS MANY TIMES 3,4,5 WORDS/PHRASES IN ONE WORD.   

So… let’s look at the word “new”
ä-nä-ne-o'-ō (Key)
an-an-neh-o'-o; from ana and a derivative of neos; to renovate, i.e. reform:—renew.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
Strong's Number: g365
Greek: ananeoo
Renew, Renewing (Verb and Noun):
"to renew, make young" (ana, as in No. 1, and neos, "recent," not different), is used in Eph 4:23, "be renewed (in the spirit of your mind)." The "renewal" here mentioned is not that of the mind itself in its natural powers of memory, judgment and perception, but "the spirit of the mind," which, under the controlling power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, directs its bent and energies Godward in the enjoyment of "fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ," and of the fulfillment of the will of God.


neh'-os; including the comparative νεότερος neóteros neh-o'-ter-os; a primary word; "new", i.e. (of persons) youthful, or (of things) fresh; figuratively, regenerate:—new, young.
“new” Similar to what is found in the following verses:

Matthew 9:17:
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins.  For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins.  New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”

Luke 5:36:
“Then Jesus gave them this illustration:  No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment.  For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment.”

“Put on”
en-dü'-ō (Key)
1.      to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one's self
Strong’s Definitions:
ἐνδύω endýō, en-doo'-o; from G1722 and G1416 (in the sense of sinking into a garment); to invest with clothing (literally or figuratively):—array, clothe (with), endue, have (put) on.

So let’s now apply this to our example of the woman who is trapped in her own thoughts.  Let’s say she is in a relationship where the person she is with is not physically abusing her but say is dismissive with her.  And let’s say that her mother was accommodating to that type of behavior from this woman’s father. Maybe her mother said that she was being ‘submissive’ to her husband.
Or maybe this woman is very suspicious of friendships with women.  She takes on a posture of women need to be perceived as ‘the enemy’  - someone she needs to compete for the affections of men or to be superior over when it comes to roles of women.
Are those mindsets sinful?
Is she to blame for the way she thinks?
Does she notice how this worldview is shaping (possibly even damaging) her life?
Take some time today to sit quietly and ask God for eyes to see ways you are being held back by your thoughts.

One last comment on the phrase “put on’
This signifies that it action oriented.  You must decide to change the way you think.  And make no mistake it will feel uncomfortable, scary, people may not be happy with the decision and you may not have the courage to make the change.  Notice this.  And take small steps to move into the change.  It may take some time.  And it may hurt. A LOT.  But this is the kind of freedom you have been longing for.

Did you miss lesson 1? You can find is here: CLICK HERE

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