Grace is appropriated through faith for the renewing of our minds – that we might be obedient to the faith and experience the perfecting of our faith through the work of grace.

This is not a play on words; it is the way we mature as children of God.

The grace I am thinking of:

  • The Father working in us (Philippians 2:13);
  • Jesus making us (Matthew 4:19); and,
  • The Holy Spirit transforming us (2Corinthians 3:18).

Isn’t it amazing and incredibly encouraging that each person of the Godhead has taken responsibility for our spiritual development and progress!!

So, how do we appropriate this inward grace? We do so by choosing to join the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the work they are doing (note: “choosing” is the operative word).

How does that happen? What can one do to engage in the sanctifying, transforming, and faith-increasing work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? How does one respond to their invitation of a good work, done in us?

We do so by practicing the grace-empowered disciplines God has provided!

For example, we are encouraged by Paul to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). This is a process and a challenge. We are not sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God (2Corinthians 3:5). To join in His process for the (re)setting of our mind:

  1. We must choose to hear Colossians 3:2 as God’s word for each of His children (Romans 10:17). That requires the disciplines of Bible study and prayer.
  2. We must choose obedience to the faith that now resides in our heart (Romans 1:5).
  3. We must choose to meditate on His word (another discipline), that faith and desire would increase.
  4. We must choose to commit our way to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, trusting them to bring our transformation to pass (Psalm 37:5).
  5. We must choose to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting when opportunities present themselves for the work of faith (James 2:22).

We must choose! Choosing is a big part of spiritual discipline!

In my case, right now, I have been convicted that looking for news of any kind – particularly first thing in the morning – works to set my mind on the things of this earth. However you want to explain it, my carnal mind is using the news to set my mind in the wrong direction. Consequently, I need the process of faith and its disciplines to empower me to stop opening news apps on my phone/computer.

Believing God wants something better for me, I trust Him for the grace of discipline to avoid the tempting distraction. Every time I practice obedience to the faith He has given, His grace grows stronger. My mind becomes renewed and I am further sanctified for His use. This is God’s provision for the grace I need to overcome my carnal mind and become a more effective instrument of righteousness.

It is exceedingly important to remember that without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5); this includes obedience to the faith. Furthermore, it is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to put to death the deeds of our flesh (Romans 8:13). We must resist our carnal mind’s ruse to help us accomplish its defeat.

As we continue to exercise obedience (i.e., choosing to participate with God’s grace), our faith is perfected to continuously walk in the grace offered for obedience. This is God’s way for increasing our faith and renewing our mind. This good work is ongoing, iterative, and accelerating.

To exercise this further in your own life, consider Paul’s commands in Romans 12:9-21. Is there a spiritual discipline for loving without hypocrisy, abhorring what is evil, etc.? How does the process of faith help us live in community? Let me know what you think. In the meantime…

God bless you with a very specific word for His faith, grace, and glory.

Humbly yours and forever His,