Words of Life







We begin our discussion of the renewal process by looking at work of the

Holy Spirit in the subconscious mind, that part of the mind which is below the

level of consciousness. We can do very little about the unconscious part of our

minds, the subconscious. If we commit a sin and are conscious of it, we can ask

God to forgive us; but for that which occurs below the level of consciousness, for

all those sins that have been committed against us that we are not conscious of,

only the Spirit of God can deal with them. Also, for those hurts that we have

within our being that we are not conscious of, even though the effects of them

may affect our emotional well-being, there is not much we can do about them.

But God is faithful; God has given us a complete perfect salvation that takes care

of every part of our total being.


In the new birth, as we repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, Christ

is formed in us. The Holy Spirit imparts the life of Christ to us. So the first thing

that happens in our Christian experience is that Christ is formed in us. Jesus

Christ becomes incarnate within us. The Holy Spirit superimposes the nature of

Jesus Christ, the divine nature, upon our nature, the human nature, and now our

desires, our wishes, our instincts begin to be "Christ-ianized," because they are no

longer only the expression of the nature of man, but they are permeated by the

nature of God and begin to find expression through the personality, the person, of

the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why we sometimes see cataclysmic conversions.

Sinners living completely apart from God receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and their

lives are completely transformed. They may have been alcoholics or drug addicts.

They may have been bound by all manner of sin; however, when they receive the

Lord Jesus Christ, when Christ comes in, every desire, every impulse seemingly is

sanctified and their lives are completely transformed. The desires that previously

dominated their lives no longer have influence or control over them. On the other

hand, there are those who are converted but seem to have more of a struggle to

overcome certain desires or certain temptations. However, the important thing is

that Jesus Christ is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit. This is the mystery of the

Gospel. The Apostle Paul said that this mystery was hidden from the foundation

of the world until God revealed it unto him:

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and

from generations, but now is made manifest to his

saints: To whom God would make known what is the

riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gen-

tiles; which is Christ in You, the hope of glory (Col.


The mystery of the Gospel is Christ in you, the hope of glory. This was the

mystery. This was the revelation that God gave to the Apostle: the transforming

power of Christian experience is derived from the impartation of Jesus Christ to

the believer. The nature of Jesus Christ, even Christ Himself, is in us.

Jesus prayed to the Father for Him to effect this experience:

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me,

and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: ...that

they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and

thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one

(John 17:21-23).

And again, Jesus promised that when He sent them another comforter, they would

know that He was abiding in them:

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and

ye in me, and I in you (John 14:20).

Probably the most powerful statement in the scriptures concerning this

impartation of Christ is that of Paul himself, when he relates his experience in

Christ to the Galatians:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not

I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now

live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20).


It was to these same Galatians that Paul presented the dilemma of so many

Christians' experience:

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again

until Christ be formed in you (Gal. 4:19).

Why was Paul suffering the travail of birth again for these Galatian Chris-

tians? What had happened to them? After they were converted and received the

Lord Jesus Christ, certain Judaizing teachers visited the church and preached to

them that unless they were circumcised and kept the law of Moses, they could not

be saved. Therefore, Paul exhorts them:

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye

should not obey the truth...having begun in the Spir-

it, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

....Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith

Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again

with the yoke of bondage (Gal. 3:1-3,5:1).

This is one of the most graphic illustrations of the need for the renewing of

the mind. These Galatians had received Christ and had been set free by the Spirit

of God; however, the false teachers had taught them that they must be circum-

cised and keep the law. As a result of their believing these teachers, they had lost

the joy and freedom that they had received in Christ. Therefore, Paul was agoniz-

ing in prayer that Christ would be formed in them again.

The experience of the Galatians emphasizes the need to bring our minds into

harmony with the Word of God. Many Christians receive Christ--His joy, His

peace, His love--in their hearts, and then certain teachers begin to change their

ego ideal (their concept of what a Christian is) by giving them a false impression of

Christ. The Galatians had received a Christ of love, joy, and peace, and then, the

false teachers said that was not the real Christ; the real Jesus is a circumcised,

law-keeping Christ. The Galatians started conforming their lives to a "law-keeping

Christ," and the Christ of love and joy died in their hearts. They were thrown into

mental conflict. This illustrates one of the basic problems in Christian living: the

Christ of the Christians' experience is not in harmony with the Christ preached by

their church; therefore, they are thrown into mental conflict--confused, guilty, and


God said that He would make a new covenant with His children:

For this is the covenant that I will make with the

house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will

put my laws into their mind, and write them in their

hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be

to me a people (Heb. 8:10).

The Ten Commandments were written on tables of stone; but the new

commandment of love, given to the Christian, is written in the mind and on the

tables of the heart. This new commandment is imprinted upon our minds and

engraved upon our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit as He imparts the life of

Christ to us.


Not only is Jesus Christ now in us, but we begin to bear the fruit of the

Spirit as a result of His presence. This fruit is the nature or character of Jesus

Christ reproduced in us, and love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,

meekness, temperance, faith--the character traits of Christ--begin to find expres-

sion through our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the new birth. The

fruit of the Spirit arise from the ID, the unconscious part of us. We do not put

them on. They are produced by the Spirit. They rise up from within, seeking

expression through us to the world. Joy bubbles up. Love is shed abroad in our

hearts. Peace flows like a river. These are the fruit of the Spirit, expressions of

the personality or the character of the Lord Jesus Christ; and, I believe that the

fruit of the Spirit will find expression through us to the world unless somebody has

messed with our minds. Just as the false teachers messed with the minds of the

Galatians, people may give us wrong instruction concerning the expression of

Christ through our lives. We will express the love of God and other fruit of the

Spirit unless somebody has messed with our thinking.

When I received the Lord Jesus Christ, I loved everybody. People that I had

thought were homely, were beautiful. People that I had not particularly liked, I

loved. I hugged everybody in the church. It was a great night. Then the people

of the church started telling me that I could not love everybody. They told me that

there were certain Christians I could not love because of their life-styles or their

doctrinal teachings. I found that I was not allowed to love anybody except those

who attended our church and believed our doctrine. Soon, I could barely tolerate

some of them.

The new Christian overflows with the fruit of the Spirit; then, the church

starts informing him that he cannot love everyone, he cannot have joy, he cannot

have peace. He cannot express the wonders of the Lord except in a certain way.

That is what happened to me, and, ever since my conversion, I have been trying

to "get my head on straight" so I could love all of God's children. I still struggle to

get my thoughts straight, allowing the love of God to flow through my life. Thus,

the fruit of the Spirit will be expressed to the world through us unless somebody

has given us wrong teaching.


Not only does the Spirit produce His fruit in our innermost beings, but He

also manifests His gifts in our spirits. The gifts are resident in the subconscious.

The gifts come up from within. Therefore, the gifts of the Spirit will manifest

themselves through us, if we yield ourselves to Him. In other words, if you

become ill, the Spirit may give me a gift of healing for you, if I will allow Him the

freedom. But if I believe that the day of miracles is over and God does not heal, or

if I am afraid, or if I do not feel I should pray for the sick--then there is little that

the Spirit of God can do about manifesting His gift of healing through me.

How many times do we feel that we should pray for someone, but a doubt

or a fear comes in, and we refuse to do it? How many times do we feel we should

witness to an individual, but a doubt or a fear arises, and we refuse to do it? The

Spirit of God desires to manifest the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, the

life of Jesus Christ to the world. Therefore, our responsibility is to allow the Spirit

of God to renew our minds so that He may have freedom of expression. Jesus


He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,

out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of

living water. But thus spake he of the Spirit, which

they that believe on him should receive (John 7:38-3-


If the rivers (fruit and gifts) are not flowing (finding a free expression), there

is a dam (a mental block) somewhere. A doubt, a fear, a tradition, a teaching, a

doctrine--something is stopping the flow. We need to understand what is stopping

the flow of the living waters through us, so the fruit and gifts can find expression

and bring blessing to people. Everyone of us has a tremendous potential to bless

individuals if we can allow the Spirit free expression through our lives. God has

given us the fruit of the Spirit to renew our personalities with the character of the

Lord Jesus Christ, and He has provided the gifts of the Spirit to enable us to do

the works that Jesus did and the greater works as He promised.


One of the most important works of the Spirit in the subconscious mind is

how He ministers to us concerning those things that we are not conscious of--all

of the sins that have been committed against us, all of the things that have hap-

pened to us since birth which are affecting our lives today. We do not know

exactly what is going on in our innermost beings. One of the values of praying in

the Spirit is to help us in dealing with these subconscious conflicts.

As Paul said,

We know not what we should pray for as we ought:

but the Spirit itself make intercession for us with g-

roanings which cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26).

I do not know what to pray for, and even when I know what to pray for, I

do not know how to pray for it. I may feel that there is something inside of me

that is bothering me, but I do not know what it is. I do not know how to pray

about it, so what am I going to do? Is God going to leave me with my fears, with

my doubts, with my conflicts, with my anxieties? No, God has provided a way of

helping me. For even though I do not know how to pray as I ought, the Spirit of

God helps my weaknesses and makes intercession for me with groanings which

cannot be uttered. God, who knows what is the mind of the Spirit, answers the

prayer of the Spirit, because the Spirit always makes intercession according to the

will of God. Whenever I have had fears and doubts, I have prayed them through in

the Spirit to God, and I have found a release in prayer. By faith, I have claimed

the promise that God has taken care of the situation.


Most of us have been hurt. Most of us have been sinned against, resulting

in our having anger, fear, resentment, hostility, or doubt bottled up inside of us.

The Holy Spirit wants to cleanse us from these feelings. In fact, a special ministry

of healing has come into existence in the last few years that addresses inner

healing, or healing of the memories. This healing of the memories is one of the

ways the Spirit of God edifies us when we pray in the Spirit. When we have

doubts or fears or we have problems that we do not fully understand, the Holy

Spirit is able to take those to God in prayer, and the God Who knows all things is

able to cleanse us, deliver us, and transform our lives. We do not have to have

scars. We do not have to bear the hurts. We do not have to suffer the anxieties.

We do not have to be tormented by the fears. We do not have to have feelings of

guilt grinding us down. We can find a joy and a peace and a freedom and a

victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Christian psychiatrist, a Christian counselor, or a good Christian friend can

help us to verbalize those things in the Spirit and enable us to receive forgiveness

and healing--not for things that we have done, but for the things that others have

done to us. We will be able to forgive them and find a cleansing and a healing.

This is part of what we mean when we talk about the Holy Spirit edifying the

believer when he prays with the Spirit and prays with the understanding, or when

he psalms with the Spirit and psalms with the understanding.


In times of stress and conflict, many of us find great comfort and consola-

tion in reading the psalms of David and of others. As I discussed earlier in the

section concerning singing in the Spirit, I believe the Spirit gives us a new psalm of

praise when we sing in the Spirit. He also may give us hymns or spiritual songs so

that we may express our praise to Him. There is comfort and edification in singing

as the Spirit gives the words, or the words and melody, of a song as the joy of the

Lord bubbles up within our beings. This helps us to understand more fully the

meaning of "he that speaks (prays or sings) in tongues edifies himself"

(I Cor. 14:4).

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