BEING RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF OUR MIND
The third step for the created new man to come into existence is that he needs to be renewed (Col. 3:10). As long as we have the baptism in the Spirit and the constant drinking, we will also have a thorough renewal. Whatever we drink saturates, refreshes, and renews our physical body. In like manner, when we drink the Spirit, He saturates every part of our inner being. Just to have the baptism in the Spirit is not adequate. We need the inward saturation, so we need to drink of the Spirit. If we drink of the Spirit, we will be renewed in the spirit of our mind (Eph. 4:23). We do not just need an outward baptism, but an inward, constant, and instant drinking of the Spirit into our very inward being. When we drink of the one Spirit, this Spirit saturates our inward being. The leading and central part of our inward being is the mind. Thus, when the Spirit has been drunk into us, it first saturates our mind.
When the Spirit spreads into our mind, it becomes the spirit of our mind. It is in such a Spirit that we are renewed for our transformation. The Spirit renews, reconstructs, rearranges our mind. Man is absolutely under the control and direction of his mind. What his mind thinks, he does. What his mind thinks, he follows. What his mind thinks, he carries out. The director of our being is our mind. Even after you have been regenerated and are loving the Lord, you are still under the direction of your mind.
Since we were born, we were always taught, raised up, and educated to be in our mind. Our being raised up, our education, and our makeup are altogether a matter in our mind. All the schools are intent on building up our mind. The classes in schools have nothing to do with building up our spirit. This kind of natural education builds up the mind mostly according to the different races. Different domestic teachings build up different racial characters. If you were born and raised up in Germany, you will have a German mentality. If you were born and raised up in China, you will have a Chinese mentality. It is so hard to pass on the gospel to those of the Arab culture because of the way they were raised up and educated. When the missionaries first went to China, it was hard for them to change the mentality of the Chinese. It was not so hard to tell the Chinese that they were sinners and that they needed the Lord Jesus. But if you touch the mentality of the Chinese, you are in danger of becoming their enemy. Even in the United States there are many different cultures with many different mentalities. With all these different mentalities, how could we practically have the new man? The Americans are noted for their quick disposition, while the Chinese are very considerate and cautious in what they do. The British are noted for their politics, their “politeness.” This is why all the members need to be renewed.
We need to drink of the one Spirit so that the Spirit can saturate our mind. The renewal of the mind is for the real practice of the new man. The British, the Chinese, and the Americans all have different ordinances related to their culture. This is why we need to have our national mentality renewed. Our national and even natural mentality was educated and built up according to our racial and cultural background. This is the top hindrance to the existence of the new man. Brother Hudson Taylor went to China with a burden to bring the gospel to the Chinese. He was so burdened that he even dressed the way the Chinese did. This was very commendable, but we must go further to see that it is necessary to be renewed in our mentality. Merely to change in an outward way could be a kind of performance and not the renewal in our mind.
We have seen that in this modern age the entire earth has become small. We believe that this is the age for the new man to be perfected and to come into existence in a full way. The Lord has arranged the outward environment and situation for the new man to come into being, but the outward situation has to match the inward reality. There is the need of the inward reality in the members of the Body of Christ. Due to the scientific inventions and the political situations on this earth, the many nationalities and cultures have been brought together. Now there is the need of the inward reality, which is the renewal of our mind. Our national, racial mentality which has been built up through our entire life must be renewed.
(The One New Man, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)