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The Unregenerate Mind (The Mind Series, Part 1)

As human beings that are made in the image of God we have been exceedingly blessed. We have the ability to think and reason in ways that other living creatures cannot. We can remember the past and dream about the future. We can solve problems and engage in discussions. We are able to plan and implement ideas and events. Our minds allow us to engage in life in amazing ways.

While we are still in the image of God, that image has been seriously marred by sin. As a result, our minds can actually be very destructive, and they have serious limitations. Consider how the apostle Paul describes the unregenerate mind.

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Ephesians 4:17–19

What a tragic picture. The unbeliever is described as one who walks in the futility of their mind. The idea is that the unbeliever does not have the ability to produce the results that would be pleasing to God. In a spiritual sense, their mind is purposeless. They are darkened in their understanding. That is, they are unwilling and unable to perceive and understand. They are deficient in the light that would give them understanding. They are excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them. Because they no longer have spiritual discernment, they can have no relationship with God. All of this reflects a hard heart. They are insensitive and even obstinate to spiritual realities.

If you are an unbeliever, this is your current state. If you have come to know Christ as Savior and Lord, this is the state that you were delivered from. It is absolutely critical that we understand the relationship between how we think and how we live. We consistently see in Scripture the correlation between the mind and our actions and attitudes.

In this series of articles on the mind, we will consider how regeneration affects the mind. Additionally, we will consider the responsibility the believer has to train his mind in a way that brings honor to the Lord. God has provided all the resources that we need to learn to think biblically. If we learn to think biblically, we will most certainly learn to live biblically.

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Rocky Wyatt

Rocky Wyatt came to know the Lord as a young teenager and began working in youth ministry when in college. After serving in churches in Utah, California and Colorado, Rocky moved to Texas to serve as Youth Pastor at Countryside Bible Church. He served there for 26 years where he eventually moved from youth ministry to serve as an Associate Pastor.

Over the course of his ministry, Rocky has always had a desire to train men for pastoral ministry in the context of the local church. In 1992 he started XL Ministries, an organization that is committed to helping churches establish intensive internships for pastoral training. In 2020 he left his position at Countryside Bible Church to become the Executive Director of XL Ministries and now works full time assisting churches in training men for ministry.

He is co-author of The Youth Ministry Training Manual, a textbook for training youth pastors, and has also written multiple other resources for use in various local church ministries. He is currently working on a book to encourage churches to take the primary responsibility to train pastors.

Rocky is married to Pamela, has two sons and daughters-in-law, and ten grandchildren. 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.1 Corinthians 15:58