Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Morphed Series/ Lesson 2
If we only had a brain Isaiah 55:8-9
I would not be just a nothin’
My head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain…
Gosh, it would be awful pleasin’
To reason out the reason
For things I can’t explain Then perhaps I’ll deserve you
And be even worthy of you
If I only had a brain
Original lyrics (last 6 lines cut from film) If I Only Had A Brain by Harold Arlen (music) & E.Y. Harburg (Lyrics)
Ray Bolger did such an amazing job of acting out the Scarecrow in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s production of The Wizard of Oz. He was idiotic and loveable at the same time. Perhaps he evoked in us a similar kind of love for his character that God extends to us. God loves us dearly, however stupid we may be in regards to His ways. “His ways are not our ways.” The way we think produces “nothin” (John 15:5) and brings a “heart full of pain”. The only way for humanity to “reason out the reason” for the “things we can’t explain” is to put on a new mind. It is only with that new mind that God gives us that we can “be worthy” of our creator.
The new mind 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 12:1-2
In our last lesson we learned about being “Born Again” by the Spirit of God. No one can give us this new birth but Jesus Christ. When we come to Jesus in repentance for the forgiveness of sin and believe in Him we are born of His Spirit. We become spiritually new!
We also get a new brain so we become mentally new; however, its growth is a progressive process that comes over time. The brain that you were born with must be retrained to think spiritually. Let’s just be honest…you must be brainwashed! Christians can spiritualize this all they want but God wants to wash your dirty brain out so that you begin to think clean and pure.
The Apostle Paul described our new mind in his first letter to the Corinthian Church; a mind of wisdom that is not of this world, a mind that will be in tune with the mind of God, a mind that can learn from the Spirit of God. Paul is clear, only a person who has been “Born Again” of God’s Spirit can develop this new brain. In fact people who are not born of God’s Spirit will find this kind of thinking foolishness. This mind that we are given is the “Mind of Christ.” In other words we are learning to think as Jesus does!
Paul continued this teaching to the Church in Ephesus. He reminded them that they were to put away their old thoughts because their brain had been corrupted by the influences of the world. He instructed them to rethink everything by holding it up to God’s Word. As a new person in Christ we are to mistrust our first intentions because these knee-jerk reactions come from our polluted brain. We are to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” and even to “punish every act of disobedience”.(2 Corinthians 10:5-6).”We must be made new in the attitudes of our mind. We must put on the new self guided and instructed by God’s Spirit. As we do this our mind begins to transform…yes, it begins to wash clean. As the scriptures say: “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11). The definition of brainwashing certainly comes to bear:
brain·wash to make (someone) adopt radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible pressure. “the organization could brainwash young people”/ synonyms: indoctrinate, condition, reeducate, persuade, influence, propagandize, inculcate “the evidence is compelling that these cult members were indeed brainwashed
According to Webster’s Dictionary Christianity could appear cultish to people with polluted brains, but think about it…who else is trying to brainwash you? The media, politicians, pundits, musicians, entertainers, the advertising industry, teachers, college professors, religionists, authors, Isis… Honestly, who isn’t trying to change your thinking through systematic and often forcible pressure? Let us just narrow it all down to two: the Devil or Christ. As Bob Dylan once sang, You’re Gonna’ Have To Serve Somebody.
We are to willfully become “transformed by the renewing of our mind”. We are no longer to conform to the pattern of the world. We are to offer ourselves as instruments of righteousness to God. As we do this our brain becomes new!
Growing up to be a child Mark 10:13-16
Sometimes our thinking is just plain wrong. The disciples proved this time and time again and we modern day disciples prove it too. In the passage above children were brought to Jesus and the disciples tried to send them away. Their thoughts were likely “hey, these little rattle brains don’t even know who Jesus is. This great teacher can’t be bothered by the likes of them., but Jesus surprised them all by saying that “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
A child’s mind is influenceable. Especially by one they trust. A small child will leap off of a ledge into the arms of their mother or father. If you tell a small child that he can fly he’ll try. This is faith at its core! Jesus said that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed that Nothing will be impossible (Matthew 17:20). ” Oh, to be a child in our faith. No wonder Jesus said that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child.
Oh, if we only had a brain! Stay on that straight and narrow road to Jesus scarecrow. Your new brain is being birthed daily as you grow up to be His child.