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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : What exactly is 'vain imagination'?

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Joined: 2006/8/17
Posts: 283

 What exactly is 'vain imagination'?

2 Corinthians 10:5

I just want to know what are we imagining that were not supposed to. Sin? False Hopes?

- Santana

Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? - John 4:29

 2010/2/3 16:44Profile

 Re: What exactly is 'vein imagination'?

Hmm, "Vein" imagination? Since this word is referring to the circulatory system in our body, I am sure you mean "Vain".

Usually referring to anything that is pointless and profitless.

 2010/2/3 17:05

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: What exactly is 'vein imagination'?

Just off the cuff, I would say that it is any thought that has its promotion in personal or collective self in such a way that God is not promoted, but that self is. This can be infinite in its application. It says toward the end of 1 Cor 15 that we were enemies of God in our minds.

Whenever I read that verse you quoted, I always think of the building of the tower of Babel as a physical representation of the promotion of collective self.

The mind is where promotion of self is a vast prominence. A salient horn of pride that protrudes above others and God. Maybe this is why in the book of Daniel horns are made such a big deal of...because they protrude from prideful wicked minds. They are a physical expression of a black defiance within the gray matter. (My own speculation)

Vain imaginations calculate on a constant basis, how to justify and how to promote self. These must be cast down, torn down, annihilated by the power of the cross. As the cross is the very antithesis of every vain imagination ever promoted.

I honestly could write an entire book on this concept. I had been asking God for a long time for assurance of faith, and only recently I felt assured because of the fact that my mind is being renewed all the time. Before Christ was having a real work in me, my mind was always filled with darkness, but through His word, my mind is ever increasing in the light of Him, and my thoughts become less about me, and far more about Him...what grace, what power is in the blood!!! I love Jesus.

 2010/2/3 17:12Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


Sorry, the verse I was thinking of was not at the end of 1 Cor 15, it was actually Colossians 1:21.

 2010/2/3 18:02Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 6597

 Re: What exactly is 'vain imagination'?

Anything that is pointless; anything rooted in truth but perverted by imagination which renders it a lie; pride - anything that exalts self...actually it could be all sin because scripture tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So if your thinking is skewed it will you impact your behaviours.

What do you think?


“If you wish to know God, you must know His Word. If you wish to perceive His power, you must see how He works by His Word. If you wish to know His purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by His Word.” (Charles Spurgeon)

 2010/2/3 18:30Profile

Joined: 2009/12/12
Posts: 591


I like how the NASB renders this verse:

"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ"

So basically anything that is birthed in our minds by our reason, experience, or emotions that is not found and founded in scripture. For example, someone comes to you for counselling and you say, "Well, it seems to me, you need to do this..." That's speculation, speculating in your own eyes what is right (Judges 17:6). We need to go to the immutable Word of God and find the "It is written" passage that applies to the situation. That is destryong speculation and vain imaginations.

The Amplified expounds:

"5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),"

Again, wisdom born of man not God is our enemy, no matter how sound.


 2010/2/3 18:51Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


Amen Giggles.

 2010/2/3 19:04Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1282
Joplin, Missouri


I agree with Giggles. I would also add the context of this scripture is spiritual warfare, and the bulk of it is not in binding, loosing, and rebuking things in the spiritual realm as a lot of "intercessors" do, but battling the stuff that is right between our ears. The only real power the enemy has over us is the power of deception. Most of our bondages to the enemy can be directly tied to some form of wrong thinking due to lack of or wrong knowledge. When thoughts are not in agreement with the Word of God, they are by definition vain or empty. These we must cast down.


 2010/2/3 21:16Profile

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 799
Alberta, Canada


The verse I thought of when I read the title of this thread is in Romans.

"Because that when they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became 'vain' in their imaginations (reasonings), and their foolish heart was darkened." (Rom. 1.21)

The same word is used in Eph. 4.17,18. "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the 'vanity' of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them..."

Vine says the word means "void of result," that is, a mind that is a total failure with regard to the intent God gave the mind in the first place... which is to KNOW HIM.

And so a vain imagination is a kind of "ignorance," according to the verse in Ephesians, that can't be remedied by any amount of intellectual knowledge... but only by the knowledge of God," the LIFE of God, in the thoughts.

How much of this have we apprehended, I wonder.

The only real power the enemy has over us is the power of deception. Most of our bondages to the enemy can be directly tied to some form of wrong thinking due to lack of or wrong knowledge.

A very perceptive insight. That's where Prince of darkness sets up his stronghold: in the mind... And it's all the "power of darkness." Not real power, but in the area of deception, wrong thinking, doubts, fears, evil surmisings...

How we need Light in the mind!

 2010/2/3 22:07Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


This is an excellent topic. I never have heard a pastor preach on the issues of the battle over the mind with the exception of David Legge. I would have to find the sermon. I think it was one I heard off of his website and not here, so I would have to probably link it in a PM.

This issue of the vanity of the mind is huge, and I wish it was more prominently taught on and understood by preachers. Great question Santanna.

It is exciting to me to read what everyone is contributing.

 2010/2/3 22:30Profile

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