TOPIC: THE MIND
QUESTION: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST?
STUDY REFERENCE: Philippians 2:5-11, 1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 12:2.
Our mind is very vital in determining the outcome of our lives. That is why the bible says in Romans 12:2; "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."(NLT)
We can renew our minds when we meditate on God’s Word. The psalmist says: “My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalms 119:20,24, NIV). Like the Psalmist, we can find joy and knowledge in the Word when we choose to dwell on it.
We can renew our minds when we think about the things that are listed in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.” Included in the list are things that are “true.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary explains that we are to “make those (true) things the subjects of our thoughtful consideration” or “carefully reflect on them.”
One of the instructions given to us in the Bible is to have the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Have you ever wondered how this is possible?
Certainly, we know how important it is. God created the human mind as a combination of conscious and unconscious processes (thoughts) of the brain that direct our mental and physical behavior. Our thoughts influence our actions. It follows, then, that if we want to act like Christ, we must also think like Him.
With the mind we exercise the power of reason, conceive ideas and use judgment. It stores our intellect, as distinguished from emotion or will.
There are many benefits to having the mind of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). One is that we will come to “the full knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ” (v. 2). Here are some others:
• Peace. Romans 8:6 tells us that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
• Increased intimacy with God. Isaiah 1:18 says that God wants us to come and reason with Him. He wants us to know His will for our lives (see Heb. 13:21).
• The desire to live a life of obedience to Him. The psalmist asked God to give him understanding in keeping His laws and walking in His commandments so that he might “turn away...from looking at worthless things” (Psalms 119:33-37). Having any mind other than Christ’s causes us to live a life of disobedience and rebellion.
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 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 12:2).