World of Faith

Changing Our Thinking – Part Three: Having the Mind of Christ | April 8, 2007

Last week I continued our series here at “World of Faith” on “Changing Our Thinking,” and I discussed at length the concept of renewing our mind. The first step to changing our thinking is renewing the mind. Before I get into a review, I am already planning the next series, which will begin probably later this month, and it will be on leadership, so we can all look forward to that. But before I get into this week’s entry on having the mind of Christ, let’s review last week’s entry for a bit. Last week I developed the theme of renewing our minds, and I looked at the familiar text concerning this passage, Romans 12:1-2 (NAS), “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The first concept I discussed concerning this passage was that we cannot be “conformed to this world,” or basically we cannot be carnal Christians. Instead of being a carnal Christian, we are to live holy, godly lives as children of God. We are, in fact, according to 2 Cor. 5:17, a “new creature,” or in some translations, a “new creation” in Christ. We are a “new man.” So, we cannot live carnal lives, we must live holy, godly lives.

Then, the second major point I covered last week is the purpose of renewing our minds, which is o “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” As Christians, we can KNOW the will and plan for God in our lives. . Eph. 5:17 states, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” We can discern the Lord’s will. Paul also exhorts in Col. 1:9-10, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” As an example, I cited 1 Thess. 4:3 as God’s will for every believer, sanctification and abstention from sexual immorality. Further, we can also pray and discern God’s specific will for our lives in other areas not covered directly by the Scriptures (e.g. career, who we marry, other family decisions specific to our needs, etc.) However, such must be in accord with the Scriptures, because that is how the will of God becomes good and acceptable and perfect. This is all the purpose of renewing our mind.

Now, if we renew our mind, the result will be that we will attain, or have, the mind of Christ. This phrase, the “mind of Christ,” is used by Paul in 1 Cor. 2:16. However, for context, let’s look at what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:14-16 (NAS), “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct him? But WE have the mind of Christ.” Thus, again we have this distinction between being carnally, or worldly-minded, and being spiritually minded (having the mind of Christ). Paul really develops this concept in Rom. 8:5-8 (NAS), “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” So, to be spiritually minded, or to have the mind of Christ, is to set your mind on the Spirit of God, and the things of the Spirit, which results in life and peace.

One practical example of how we can set our minds on the things of the Spirit of God is to heed Paul’s exhortation in Phil. 4:8 (NKJV), “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” These are the things that we should set our minds on, and meditate on. Moreover, we also need to meditate on the Word of God, every day. Joshua 1:8 tells us, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” We need to meditate on the Word of God, and set our minds on the things of the Spirit of God. If we do this, we will have the mind of Christ.

Next week, I’ll continue this series on “Changing Our Thinking” with a special topic that all need to read about, “Destroying Destructive Mindsets.” We cannot change our thinking and renew our minds if we do not destroy the destructive mindsets that beset us, and ensnare us, and so next week, I encourage you to read the entry, and be set free, in Jesus name.

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