Renewing Your Mind: What is the Real Transformation?

by Joshua Tilghman on April 14, 2012

What does it truly mean to be a follower of Christ? If you have read some of my other blog posts, then you already know that the quelling of our own egos is part of the package. But did you know that when we crucify the ego, something incredible happens?!? I want to focus on a scripture this week which will help us to realize the importance of this great spiritual transformation. I also want to compare it to traditional Christian teaching and show you how powerful it can be to disregard religion and involve yourself with true spiritual transformation.

Have you ever wondered what Paul truly meant when he made that famous statement in Romans 12:2:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

This scripture is so important to understand correctly, which requires an esoteric rendition, by the way. So what does the “renewing of our minds” truly mean? How does renewing our mind cause a transformation that lets us prove the “perfect will of God?” For any Christian, this can be a daunting and frustrating task. This first time I read this scripture, I thought no problem; I’ll think like Christ, be a good obedient Christian, and do the “perfect will of God.”

There are two major problems with this traditional Christian mindset (thinking like Christ): first, everybody has a different opinion or belief about what’s acceptable to God. If you don’t believe me, interview a hundred different people in any given congregation on any scripture. Most likely, you will get a slew of different answers. Even returning to the original Greek and Hebrew doesn’t help. Everyone has a different interpretation of what the original interpretation means, too! Secondly, no man or woman defeats sin in their life by trying to fight against it. As we will see, this is impossible because that would be like fighting against your own self. Usually, something you fight against gets stronger. Remember what Paul said? “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I” (Romans 7:15).

One of the real ways to follow Jesus is to first realize that renewing your mind and being transformed is not THINKING like Christ—it is about BECOMING a Christ! Does that sound sacrilegious to you? If so, you may have missed the entire point of the Bible.

Many people think “renewing your mind” means to stop bad, sinful habits because Christ wouldn’t want you to. Maybe it’s cussing. Maybe it’s drinking or smoking. Maybe it’s lying. While these are all great habits to break, they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to “renewing your mind” and being transformed into something new. First starters, it doesn’t take Jesus to quit a bad habit. Many people have accomplished this task on their own. Second of all, and contrary to popular belief, these acts don’t constitute salvation, unless you’re talking about being saved from lung cancer or for the sake of sounding unintelligent.  In fact, we can take this line of reasoning even further and state that thinking your mind is renewed by having a certain opinion or belief system is a shallow perspective indeed; how could your mind be truly renewed by believing something is bad or good, right or wrong? That’s not RENEWING your mind. That’s just your opinion. I don’t care if it’s a conviction, either. That’s just YOUR conviction. What the Apostle Paul said about renewing our minds is about something much, much greater than a set of beliefs, opinions, or even convictions. Beliefs and opinions are part of your ego, and people who are run by their egos—about 99% of the human population— can never completely defeat sin or ignorance. The ego, you see, has the sin nature built into it. The ego’s very essence is sin and ignorance, and most importantly, separation from the “perfect will of God.” The ego is as much a part of sin as the devil himself. And guess what? The devil, esoterically speaking, IS the ego!

Why do you think Jesus addressed Peter by saying, “Satan, get thee behind me!” Was there a literal devil with a pitch fork inside Peter? No. Jesus was speaking to his ego. The ego always believes it has the right answer when in fact it’s always the opposite. Peter thought by keeping Jesus from the cross (esoterically killing his own ego), he was doing the right thing. In modern times, Jesus might have slapped Peter on the side of the head and said, “Peter, it’s not about you or me. It’s about the spiritual nature within us. That’s what I have been trying to tell you.”

So renewing our mind involves not only thinking differently, but it also involves BECOMING something different. It involves being transformed into a spiritual being, excluding your personal beliefs and opinions.

When the ego is quelled by living in the now and accepting what is, the ego loses its power. Instead of focusing on the world with beliefs and opinions, which is just another way of saying judgment, your intuitive, spiritual self (Christ nature) lives through you. All that which makes up the ego, like fear and control and judgment begin to fall away, kind of like a snake (which is the ego) shedding its skin. And this is the part of you which dwells beneath the ego until it is awakened and brought to the forefront to take over and superimpose on the ego. As Paul said, “It is not I (the ego) who lives, but Christ (my true spiritual nature) who lives through me!” Who do you think this Christ was that Paul was speaking of? It was the CHRIST NATURE that everyone already has inside of them! And this is the true message of Christ that was high-jacked by religion, and replaced by the shallow doctrine of salvation taught today. The Christ that is your salvation already lives inside of you.  The historical person we refer to as Jesus came to show us that. So your job is to pick up the cross like Jesus did and crucify your own ego. That’s what truly makes you a follower of Jesus. It is the renewal of your mind. And THAT is the “perfect will of God.”

Remember also that crucifying your ego is not something you strive to do. If we had to strive to crucify our ego, wouldn’t that just be the ego trying to crucify itself? Of course it would. So stop worrying and struggling. Stop fretting. Let go. Whatever situation you find yourself in, accept it. I don’t mean condone it.  Just accept it for what it is. By accepting it, you have already overcome it with love. Then, when you get the chance, go somewhere quiet and meditate. The renewal of your mind has begun. Anger, fear, greed, control, and even depression (all ego-driven) will fade away over time!

If you want to learn more about how the mind actually works, check out Adam and Eve: The Story of Human Consciousness here.

So what do you think it means to be a follower of Christ?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

pat May 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

My thougths are very closeto what you are saying the only problems is the Christ in me that makes me think that we might value ouerself too much fall into arrogance, what do u say?


David September 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

It can’t be stated any clearer. Thank you and may the Father continue to inspire and enlighten you. You are a blessing to those of us who thought we were all alone in the wilderness. Strength and Love.


Joshua Tilghman September 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm

My pleasure, David!


Betty Alark October 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

“Who do you think this Christ was that Paul was speaking of? It was the CHRIST NATURE that everyone already has inside of them! And this is the true message of Christ that was high-jacked by religion, and replaced by the shallow doctrine of salvation taught today.”

As I evaluate your work, something is still missing for me. First of all – who was the author of the Bible? The Old Testiment? Since you are conveying that the entire Bible is not literal history- but esoterically about the history of the human condition.

And if it is not literal history- in my mind that indicates that whoever wrote the Bible used/named everyone in the stories as “characters” in order to get his esoteric points across — in cluding Jesus.

Yet you say that Jesus came for a specific purpose — that being to teach these esoteric meanings, that the Western Chuch has undermined using a literal meaning. So I quess my question is- are you in essence saying that Jesus is the “portrayed character” of the actual author of the Bible, who in essence is the one telling the esoteric meaning of the stories?

Also this author – who is the teacher, is teaching us what to do to overcome the ego; and teaching it in accordance with these esoteric meanings, and it seems to me that what hes telling us to do is to work at it. And my point in a pryer comment was that- by Jesus dying for us and overcoming all that He did- we don’t need to work at it- its been done – it is finished- because Jesus finished it on the cross for us. And we are being changed by the Holy Spirit from glory to glory.


Alvin Davis January 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I think the author is the Holy Spirit. The Chrit Nature is also the Holy Spirit that Jesus received
from the Father[god] when John baptized him. That was sent by Jesus on the day of pentecost
for all believers to receive. This is what renews our mind and transforms the ego.


tony March 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus….
from phillipians 2,can you say that the death on the cross is renewing the mind which gives birth to new life?


Maryann July 6, 2014 at 12:28 am

Excellent article! Although becoming a Christ does sound sacrilegious- i prefer ‘becoming more Christ like’, because I can never become equal to the creator + wouldn’t be so arrogant to even desire it. But learning the scriptures is so important but can be difficult, because to really understand one has to be familiar with the history of the times, political connections of the times, speech and customs. And then it is fascinating material! Also we can’t forget what has been deleted from the Bible (references to reincarnation for one), or changed from man over the years. And that takes searching for/researching too. But although it takes alot of work-esp living in the flesh with all the reponsibilities and work we have, yet that is the only way for me that increases my connection to God which is the key to renewing my spirit and energy and feeling the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you again for your excellent work.


Joshua Tilghman July 9, 2014 at 11:30 am

Thanks for your comment, Maryann.


David Gantt October 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The definition of Salvation is to become the Christ ie One with Yahweh. I had to re-read the article again because I have to remind myself that I must be Christ formed. Its like the priest of the Old Testament, a burnt offering is given w/o blemish. We give our ego up for Christ Mind. Its either we operate under Adamaic Consciousness(Sin and death) or Christ Consciousness(Eternal Life). I would become the Christ, so I can take His yoke and learn of Him. Plus it is my dwelling place. I live in Christ, and Christ in me. If the Death Angel was a Fed Ex deliverer, he would ride pass me because the DNA of the Lamb is on my door post. No packages of death for me! I’m saved by becoming the Christ. I would pawn my ego for His any day. Don’t get me wrong, hard times still come regardless. However, with right view(understanding & wisdom) life will be at ease. Joshua, as a request, may you create a post about being tested while becoming Christ formed. Though I know scripture, I’m still in training. People of Christ or Higher Nature get picked on a lot. I would love to see a post about staying encouraged about becoming Christ. Thank you :-)!


Soultwister July 27, 2015 at 12:04 pm

This absoulutly true.
We all have life and life is God in us.
This what you refer to as Christ conscience.
We are him and he us.
One of many and many of One..
The ego is truly the devil/satan.
The ego is selfish and fearful and doubtful and worried,it is ignorant of spiritual truth..
In Christ consciences which is really love there is no fear doubts or worry.
We must let the all consuming fire of the spirit cleanse the temple of the bad seed/ego
Mind body and spirit must all work as one in love..
With the ego we are only half of what we should be.
Crucify the ego leave it on the cross remember what the ego said on the cross why have you forsaken me..


Scott October 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

Renewing your mind must only be through the continual practice of forgiveness of the world and all if its contents, even (and especially) those you hate and cherish. Forgiveness is what Jesus was trying to teach an ego centric population (the 99% you reference, although it is likely 99.99999%).
Being a follower of Christ is to teach forgiveness at every possible moment of our lives. This can be through a smile to a stranger or simply through practicing fogiveness in your own mind.
People ask: What would Jesus do? The answer is Jesus would forgive, in every situation. Jesus was practicing/teaching forgiveness when he was being murdered.
To be a Christ is not sacreligious. It is our inheritance. If you believe it is, your faith might be aligned with the ego’s involvement which will enevitably lead to misunderstanding and confusion.
Christ and other similar beings are sent to help all of us, who are seperated from God, to return home. The parodox is, we never left God as doing so is impossible (How can perfect Oneness be twoness?) We ARE Christ but our ego blocks our awareness of this fact.
Renewal is forgiveness in every moment. Treat every moment as a forgiveness opportunity to practice/teach.
Thanks for the article Joshua!


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