Scripture: verse 23
…you must let your minds and spirits keep being renewed…
Observation: This is generally translated “you must be renewed” and the verb tense caught my eye. So I used blueletterbible.org to look up the Greek, to the best of my ability.
The previous verse, which commands us to strip off the old nature, is in the “aorist reflexive” tense. Reflexive is easy enough – it’s something you do to yourself. I don’t quite get “aorist” but it looks like it means an action that started at a specific point in time and continues to the present. (Or it can mean an action that continued and then stopped at a specific point in time, or just an action that happened at a specific point in time. Like I said, I don’t quite get it.) So the stripping off is something that happened at a point in time – when we were saved, presumably – and continues in the background today.
“Be renewed,” on the other hand, is in the present passive. It’s something that still happens today, and it’s something that happens to us, not something we can do. God renews us, and without His Spirit, nothing happens.
Application: So. The old nature was put to death. Our job is to keep it dead. God’s job is to renew us, and our job is to let Him. There’s nothing we can do on our own – He has to do all the work on our shiny new natures.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for renewing my mind and spirit. Help me to listen to the patterns and thoughts you are teaching me instead of my old habits. Amen.