The Progressive Renewal
Ephesians 4:23
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

It is only living things that grow; and all living things do grow. Be it the lichen that clings to the rook, or the eagle that has her nest on its craggy shelf, or man that rends its heart with powder and draws the gold from its bowels — from the germ out of which they spring, they grow onwards to maturity; in the words of my text, they "increase more and more." These words are as true of spiritual as of natural life. According to heathen fables, Minerva the goddess of wisdom and daughter of Jupiter, sprung full-grown and full-armed from her father's head. No man thus comes from the hand of the Holy Spirit, in sudden, mature, perfect saintship. There is nothing in the spiritual world which resembles this: no, nor even what the natural world presents in the development of the insect tribes. During their last and perfect stage, in the condition, as it is called, of the imago, be their life long or short, they undergo no increase. So soon as the green worm that once crawled on the ground and fed on garbage, bursting its coffin shell, comes forth, a creature with silken wings, to roam in the sunny air, to sleep by night on a bed of flowers, and by day banquet on their nectar, it grows no mere — neither larger nor wiser; its flight and faculties being as perfect on the day of what may be called its new birth, as when, touched by early frosts or drowned in rain, it dies. Here, indeed, we have a symbol of the resurrection body as it shall step from the tomb; in beauty perfect, in growth mature; to undergo henceforth, and through eternal ages, neither change nor decay. It is otherwise with the renewed soul. Before it, in righteousness, and knowledge, and true holiness, stretches a field of illimitable progress — upwards and onwards to what it shall be forever approaching, yet never reach, the throne of God.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

WEB: and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

The New and the Old Nature
Top of Page
Top of Page