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The Battle for the Mind: Week 2

The Battle for the Mind: Week 2

Replacement Principle

Introduction:
Do you know what Stockholm Syndrome is?

Colossians 2:8 HCSB
Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

2 Timothy 2:25&26 HCSB
Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.

The Renewing of your mind had been described in the New Testament for over 2,000 years. Modern Neuro-Science has discovered that Neuroplasticity exists even into old age.
From Psychology Today:
Historically, scientists believed that the brain stopped growing after childhood. But current research shows that the brain is able to continue growing and changing throughout the lifespan, refining its architecture or shifting functions to different regions of the brain.
The importance of neuroplasticity can’t be overstated: It means that it is possible to change dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behaving and to develop new mindsets, new memories, new skills, and new abilities. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/neuroplasticity

Replacing Mental Ruts with Trenches of Truth

Acts 9:1-21 HCSB
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” “Who are You, Lord?” he said. “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,” He replied. “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”… Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some days. Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.” But all who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man who, in Jerusalem, was destroying those who called on this name and then came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?”

As followers of Jesus, we should strive to replace flawed and marred thoughts with God’s truth because of these two arguments from scripture:

It is a battlefield of ideas:
Argument #1 – Because our enemy’s lies pervade our culture seeking to capture us and thwart God’s perfect plan for who He created you to be.

Ephesians 6:12 HCSB
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

2Cor. 10:4&5 HCSB
We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

Argument #2 – As a follower of Jesus, you have the promise of being a new creation. Many of the thoughts that you inherited from your past do not lead you to live out your true identity in Christ.

2 Cor. 5:17 HCSB
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Colossians 3:9 & 10 HCSB
Seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Paul was originally an enemy of Jesus. Here is a process that he must have learned as Paul himself was becoming a disciple of Jesus and living out his new and restored life.
Ephesians 4:20-24 HCSB

Next Steps:
1. Simple but not easy steps.
2. It takes practice, but the results make it more natural.
3. It requires individual effort, and the support of other followers of Jesus to succeed.
1 Timothy 4:7-10 HCSB

For Group Discussion:
Scriptures to consider Colossians 3:9 – 10 Romans 8:5-6 Titus 2:11-12
Questions
Last week we talked about how easy it is to get stuck in flawed thinking. To stop the lies and replace them with truth, we need to look to God’s word.

  1. In assessing if our thoughts are true or not, have you been surprised by anything you discovered in your thought life?
  2. How do you know if something is true? How do you filter false information?
  3. Read Psalm 119:1-16. How does hiding God’s word in your heart help strengthen your ability to resist flawed or incorrect thinking?
  4. What truth from God’s word would you like to preach to yourself more?
  5. Truth and grace go hand in hand. Read John 1:14-18. Where does grace and truth come from?
  6. Is it easier for you to receive grace or extend grace? Or neither? Why do you think this is true of you?
  7. Do you believe there are limits to God’s grace? If so, where does he draw the line?
  8. How does your confidence in God’s grace change how you think about yourself?
    Homework
    Read chapter 3 of Philippians

For more resources go to: https://bit.ly/Mindbattle

To download transcript of this sermon click HERE