4.22.2020 Have the Mind of Christ
Here’s a song for us this morning:
The Word from the Listening Post this morning is “Have the mind of Christ.” Well, this is baffling to me—how about you? It is so high, and so mighty, that my finite mind can hardly perceive it! I needed help with this!
"How can I have the mind of Christ?" Answer: In 1 Corinthians 2:16, Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13 and then makes a statement concerning all believers: “We have the mind of Christ.” Having the mind of Christ means sharing the plan, purpose, and perspective of Christ, and it is something that all believers possess. Having the mind of Christ means we understand God’s plan in the world—to bring glory to Himself, restore creation to its original splendor, and provide salvation for sinners. It means we identify with Christ’s purpose “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). It means we share Jesus’ perspective of humility and obedience (Philippians 2:5-8), compassion (Matthew 9:36), and prayerful dependence on God (Luke 5:16). In the verses leading up to 1 Corinthians 2:16, we note some truths concerning the mind of Christ: 1) The mind of Christ stands in sharp contrast to the wisdom of man. 2) The mind of Christ involves wisdom from God, once hidden but now revealed. 3) The mind of Christ is given to believers through the Spirit of God. 4) The mind of Christ cannot be understood by those without the Spirit. 5) The mind of Christ gives believers discernment in spiritual matters. In order to have the mind of Christ, one must first have saving faith in Christ (John 1:12; 1 John 5:12). After salvation, the believer lives a life under God’s influence. The Holy Spirit indwells and enlightens the believer, infusing him with wisdom—the mind of Christ. The believer bears a responsibility to yield to the Spirit’s leading (Ephesians 4:30) and to allow the Spirit to transform and renew his mind (Romans 12:1-2).
Resource: The Mind of Christ by T.W. Hunt
The following scripture spoke the most to me:
Romans 12:1-2 A Living Sacrifice
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So my MIND NEEDS RENEWING! It isn’t an automatic thing! Oh, it is held in trust (as the above scripture indicates: You have the mind of Christ)---but now I realize there is something I need to do to achieve it fully. This involves testing—for how would I know my reaction in a given situation unless there was a trial & error, trial again, trial & progress, trial & ultimate victory!
I think back to the “old mindset” I used to have—to get for myself all I could get---to the “new mindset” of thinking of others before I think of myself. (Believe me, I‘m not 100% in this yet!) Now this took some testing and continued perseverance!
As Martin Luther wrote in the Small Catechism: It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
The old Adam is drowned in baptism, though as Luther observed, "the old Adam is a mighty good swimmer," and keeps popping up. Baptism takes an instant, and requires a lifetime.
Where do we start? By making our requests known to God in prayer! Then relying on the indwelling Holy Spirit to convict us when we err, to try again with His help, and go for the test again to see how it goes the next time. How long will it take? It may take a long time but if there is progress—rejoice!