By Doug Mamvura But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:8-10).
What we believe is a result of our thinking. If we think wrong, we will believe wrong. If our believing is wrong, our confession will be wrong. In other words, what we say will be wrong. It all hinges on our thinking! But the Word of God has been given to us to straighten out our thinking! Jesus said in Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith”
Ordinarily, we talk quite a bit about the believing part, but we do not talk too much about the saying part. Of course, we will not be able to make the right confession until our thinking is right. Our thinking must be in line with the Word of God, because we cannot believe beyond the actual knowledge we have of the Word of God.
People who have been involved in the past with metaphysical, mind-science religions often get this teaching about right and wrong thinking confused with those religious teachings, because they still think that man is just a mental and a physical being. But man is far more than that: He is also a spiritual being! Advocates of metaphysics have taught so much about the mind that some believers are almost afraid to say a word about it, yet the Bible has a great deal to say about the mind. For example, the Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding [mind]” (Prov. 3:5).
The Bible says, “Casting down imaginations [reasonings], and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought [thinking] to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). The Bible also says, “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” (Rom. 12:2). We renew our minds by studying the Word of God. The Bible teaches us to have “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).
The only way we can have the mind of Christ is to study His Word, believe it in our heart, and act upon it. The Word of God also teaches us to think on whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, or whatever has virtue or praise (Phil. 4:8).
The Word of God does have much to say about the mind! However, we need to realise that thoughts can come into our minds from two different sources. In other words, the thoughts that come into our minds do not always originate in our minds. The devil puts many thoughts into our minds from outside ourselves.
That’s one source. Then, of course, thoughts from God come from within us. They come through our spirits into our minds. As you stay in close fellowship with the Lord through prayer, meditation, and study of His Word, you will learn to distinguish the source of your thoughts. Naturally, evil thoughts are from the devil. God is love, on the other hand, and love Right and Wrong Thinking thinks no evil, hears no evil, and sees no evil. Those kinds of thoughts come from God. I have found that Scriptures referring to the mind confuse many people. However, in Scriptures referring to believing, many think they do believe. (And they do believe in their minds, but not in their hearts.) In Scriptures referring to thinking, about all many Christians can understand is the negative side of the subject (for there are both negative and positive sides, and the positive side is the more important). For example, if one talks about “confession,” most people think of confessing sin, weakness, or failure. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). But the Word of God has much more to say about the positive side of confession than the negative side. If people could understand that, it would make a great difference in their lives and thinking. But they have only heard one side of confession preached—the negative side. Therefore, they have only exercised the negative side: The “thou-shalt-not” side. Yet Paul says in Romans 10:9, “… if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus….” This does not refer to confession of sin, nor is it a confession of weakness. Instead, it is a confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This passage continues, “… and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” This is not a negative confession; it is a positive confession! In fact, Christianity is called “the Great Confession.” Hebrews 3:1 says that we should consider the Apostle and High Priest of our “profession” (a marginal note in some Bibles says “confession”). At this point, it would be helpful for us to define the Right and Wrong Thinking word “confession.” First, it is affirming something we believe. Second, it is testifying to something we know. Third, it is witnessing to a truth that we have embraced. It is necessary that we do as Hebrews 4:14 admonishes, and “… hold fast our profession [confession].” It is also necessary that there be a continual confession of redemption from Satan’s dominion and a confession of the fact that he no longer rules us with condemnation, fear, or disease. We are to “hold fast” to our confession because our confession is Satan’s defeat. Jesus defeated the devil nearly two thousand years ago. But what Jesus did for us legally must become a vital, living reality in our lives. The experiential side of redemption is the vital side. We never shall thoroughly understand the Word of God until we can clearly see the two different sides of our redemption—the legal side and the experiential side. An example of the legal side of redemption is this: We often pray, “God save this man,” or “God, heal that woman.” However, in the mind of God, He has already healed these people and saved them. In other words, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Jesus doesn’t have to die again to save anybody. He already died once, didn’t He? He doesn’t need to shed His blood anymore. Legally, God has already done everything He needs to do to provide our redemption! If one just deals with the legal side of redemption and preaches it exclusively, people will not actually experience anything in their lives. And that is the great problem with many churches. What is being preached is legally true, but the believers have become cold, dead, and formal because they have heard just one side of redemption preached—the 8 Right and Wrong Thinking legal side—and so redemption hasn’t become a living reality in their lives.
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- Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: [email protected] or Twitter @dougmamvura