Romans 12:2 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.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus’s death in His Cross and victory in His Resurrection was for “all men” and “all of man,” meaning his entire being, inward and outward, spirit, soul and body. If you are saved, salvation has taken place somewhere in your being. Our spirits have been instantly changed, made new creations. Our bodies, in the future, will be instantly changed in the Resurrection or the Rapture. Our souls, the psychological part of us, our mind, will and emotions, where we think, decide and feel, is changed by a continuous, ongoing work called the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2) and the saving of the soul (James 1:21).
There’s still an ongoing work that needs to go on in our soul which is what makes us functional from all of our dysfunction. It is this work of God’s grace in our soul that makes whole our broken heartedness, heals and binds up our inner wounds, pulls down our strongholds (areas in our life that resist change and that are the roots to our attitudes and behavior.)
One aspect of the renewing of the mind has to do with bringing our mind into subjection to our spirit and the Word that is put in there. This involves a resubjection of our life to a new directing power. At one time, before sin, man’s entire being spirit, soul, and body were in the proper ruling order and subjection. God intended man’s being to function in harmony like the solar system—Sun (spirit) at the center; Earth (soul) revolving around the Sun, subject to its gravitational pull; and the Moon (Body) revolving around the Earth, subject to its pull. Sin threw this out of orbit so now fallen man’s life revolves around the desires of the flesh, desires of the mind, and controllable by the spirit of the age (Ephesians 2:1-3).
The Fall into sin affected “all men” and “all of man,” spirit, soul, and body. With the nature of spiritual death entering into man, his spirit, soul, and body system (Sun/Earth/Moon) became out of order or orderly subjection. Ephesians 2: 1-3 unveils the effects of the Fall, sin, and spiritual death on man’s entire being, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; v.2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: v.3 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
Fallen man became subject to EXTERNAL influences, that could conform or shape his attitudes, behavior, and experiences while living in this world (Ephesians 2:2, the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air). Fallen man became subject to INTERNAL influences, the desires of the flesh and mind, along with the fallen nature within his spirit which was dead in trespasses and sins. Romans 8:7 explains, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Notice the carnal mind is said to not be subject to the law of God. It became unsubjected due to the Fall.
The Fall brought the loss of the dominion, ruling, directing, and governing power of man’s spirit over his soul and body. From the power of desire in our souls, this unsubjected desire can motivate, create, initiate, and direct many things not under God’s rule. The soul though, unsubjected to God, was never meant to be the source of any of those. As long as man’s spirit is darkened and his soul is unsubjected, he will remain unhooked from God’s will and live outside of the life God planned (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21).
The Good News and hope of the Gospel is that in salvation, eternal life comes inside man’s spirit and a new ruler (and spirit) sets up residence inside. Now the world, the devil, the unsubjected mind, and the flesh aren’t running the show any more. We are not to let our lives revolve around the world, the devil, or unsubjected desires in our mind and flesh. Part of having our mind renewed is to resubject our mind, will, emotions, and their powers bringing them back into subjection to our spirit and the Word in there. Our mind becomes subject to the Word and our spirit’s desire, direction, motivation, initiation, influence, and governing from God. Everything can then get back in proper orderly subjection or “orbit.” The soul made up of mind, will and emotions becomes resubjected. That means:
- Our MIND (think about all that can affect us there) becomes subject to our spirit and the Word of God from the inside.
- Our WILL becomes subject to our spirit and the Word of God from the inside.
- Our EMOTIONS become subject to our spirit and the Word of God from the inside.
If we live controlled by our soul alone unsubjected, we’ll always be subject to manipulation, confusion, hurt and evil control. James 1:21 says “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” This saving of the soul by the implanted Word of God is what helps our spirit increase its dominating influence over our soul and body. As the Word of God enters man’s spirit, the gravitational pull is increased and can cause man’s soul to come under its direction and rule. God desires to work in man from the inside out (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:20, 21) instead of being dominated by the spirit of this age through the desires of the flesh and mind (Ephesians 2:1‑3).