Casting Down ImaginationsBy Eric Broyles on Sunday, October 20, 2019.
(2CO 10:3-5) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 1. The devil is waging war on our minds. 2CO 10:3-5; EPH 6:11-12 a. The devil wants you to believe lies, because he’s the father of them and he uses them to draw your worship. JOH 8:44; JOH 4:24 c/w 1CO 10:20 b. The devil is subtle and uses man’s weakness as an attack vector to draw us away from Jesus Christ. 2CO 11:3 c. The devil makes lies appealing to the lusts of our flesh, thereby using our flesh as an ally in his battles. GEN 3:4-6; JAS 1:14-16 d. Man by nature has a corrupt mind that is filled with wicked imaginations. i. (GEN 6:5) And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ii. (GEN 8:21) And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. iii. (ROM 1:21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. iv. (1CO 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. e. God regenerates his children, giving them a new heart and mind that has his law written within. HEB 10:16 i. The children of God are made new creatures with a renewed mind. ROM 12:2; COL 3:10; EPH 4:23-24 ii. We have the mind of Christ. 1CO 2:16 iii. Regenerate man therefore has the capacity to have good imaginations, to understand and desire heavenly things. f. Yet as long as we’re still in this flesh, we have a war waging within us between the flesh and the spirit. i. (ROM 7:22-23,25) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members…  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. ii. Our flesh brings us into captivity to the law of sin: we have to fight against it with our mind by bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. “with the mind I myself serve the law of God” (ROM 7:25) c/w “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2CO 10:5) 2. The knowledge of God is the highest thing our mind can attain. a. (2CO 10:5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. i. Everything that tries to be higher than the knowledge of God should be cast down. Whatever it is, however high it is, its proper place is lower. ii. There is nothing worthier of our thoughts than the knowledge of God. iii. If you think otherwise, you are wrong and you are deceiving yourself. 1CO 3:18-20 iv. Every thought that is contrary to the word of God must be cast down. b. Paul exalts the knowledge of God, knowing that it is better than all things. (PHP 3:8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, c. (EPH 4:13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: d. (JER 9:23-24) Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. e. (LUK 16:15) And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. f. (PSA 119:128) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way. g. Jesus Christ is exalted far above all things. EPH 1:20-23; COL 1:15-18 3. Every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of God is to be cast down. Here are some examples. a. It would be so great if I didn't have to work. I wish I didn't have to work. i. God has ordained that men should work. GEN 2:15; 1TI 5:8 ii. If you refuse to work, God says you shouldn't eat. 2TH 3:10-13 b. If only I had more money, I'd be happier. i. Ironically men don't want to work, yet they want riches. ii. The eyes of man are never satisfied. PRO 27:20 iii. (LUK 12:15) And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. iv. Worldly riches are not as valuable as the knowledge of God. 1. (PRO 3:13-15) Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 2. (PRO 8:10) Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. 3. (PRO 8:11) For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. 4. (PRO 16:16) How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! v. God's people are not destroyed for lack of riches, but they are destroyed for lack of knowledge. HOS 4:6 vi. (PRO 11:28) He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. vii. (PRO 23:4-5) Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. viii. (PRO 13:7) There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. ix. (1TI 6:9-10) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. x. (1TI 6:17) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; xi. Worldly riches perish. True riches do not. MAT 6:19-21; COL 3:1-2 c. Follow your heart. i. (PRO 28:26) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely shall be delivered. ii. (JER 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? d. Jesus did his part to make eternal salvation available, now you have to do your part to receive it. i. This is a corruption of the simplicity that is in Christ. 2CO 11:3 ii. Jesus did not offer himself to us for us to receive him. He offered himself to God for us. EPH 5:2 iii. The gospel plainly declares that Jesus Christ saved his people from their sins. It is done, he did it himself. MAT 1:21; HEB 1:3; HEB 9:12; HEB 10:14 iv. Nobody can undo the completed work of eternal salvation. JOH 10:28-29 e. These are just a few examples to illustrate the point. 4. We are not to be conformed to this world. a. (ROM 12:1-2) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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. b. (1PE 1:13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (PHP 4:8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 5. Definitions a. Imagination i. The action of imagining, or forming a mental concept of what is not actually present to the senses (cf. sense 3); the result of this process, a mental image or idea (often with implication that the conception does not correspond to the reality of things, hence freq. vain (false, etc.) imagination). ii. The mental consideration of actions or events not yet in existence. iii. That faculty of the mind by which are formed images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses, and of their relations (to each other or to the subject); hence frequently including memory. b. Thought i. 1. a.1.a The action or process of thinking; mental action or activity in general, esp. that of the intellect; exercise of the mental faculty; formation and arrangement of ideas in the mind. ii. b.1.b As a function or attribute of a living being: Thinking as a permanent characteristic or condition; the capacity of thinking; the thinking faculty; in early use often nearly = mind. iii. c.1.c The product of mental action or effort; what one thinks; that which is in the mind. c. Mind i. The seat of a person's consciousness, thoughts, volitions, and feelings; the system of cognitive and emotional phenomena and powers that constitutes the subjective being of a person; also, the incorporeal subject of the psychical faculties, the spiritual part of a human being; the soul as distinguished from the body. ii. In more restricted application: The cognitive or intellectual powers, as distinguished from the will and emotions. Often contrasted with heart. d. Heart i. Mind, in the widest sense, including the functions of feeling, volition, and intellect. ii. The seat of one's inmost thoughts and secret feelings; one's inmost being; the depths of the soul; the soul, the spirit
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