Recently we discussed in this column the wonderful truth about the Law of Christ - the glorious reality that He sums up everything regarding God’s Law. And not only so, but the time will come when all things will brought up into Him again. It was once so before there was a world, before anything was or is. (Colossians 1:16-20)
There is another attribute of Christ, one that we may also participate in. Indeed we must do so. We may also receive the mind of Christ. One may ask, are they not the same - the Law of Christ and the Mind of Christ? Strictly speaking, no. One is the outworking of the other. The mind of Christ through the Spirit, directs through the Law, the will of God.
The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, responds to many problems of this church. By reading the context of 1Corinthians chapter two, we can almost feel the atmosphere that must have encompassed Paul and this church. Apparently they were expecting a very different presence and manner from the Apostle. They were expecting oratorical eloquence, persuasive and dynamic delivery, and a bodily presence that would impress them as worthy of their respect. Instead, he physically manifested quiet the apposite (1 Corinthians 2:1-3).
He then commences to explain why. He wanted to provoke them into thinking according to the spirit, according to the new mind that they supposedly had received, and not according to manifestations of human abilities: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: “ And why did he do this? - “that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)
Some were even despising his “bodily presence”: “But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:…for his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (2 Corinthians 10:1-3,10). They were, in many ways, living by the law of their fleshly mind, and not by the Law of Christ because they were not using the mind of Christ. Some of the most deeply spiritual, mysterious, and important truths in the Bible are contained in 1 Corinthians 2. Contained in these few verses are the keys to many of the riddles and contradictions that have plagued Christians of every era. When we hear of this and that problem or undesirable condition in the church or congregation, the answer - and solution - can often be found in this chapter. We today are not that much unlike the Corinthians. Human nature without the mind of Christ is the same, and has been down through the ages. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
If we are not living by the Laws of God, it is because we are not yielding to the Law of Christ, which is another way of saying, we are not yielding to the Mind of Jesus living in us. To the extent that we are yielding to Christ determines how much we are responding to the mind of Christ. There is also an important reality we must understand. If Christ is living in us, He will not force Himself on us. He will not force His thinking upon us anymore than we can force another person to think a certain way. The Corinthians were not yielding to the mind of Christ, but were using their carnal mind set. They were evaluating according to the “mind” of the world and society in which they lived. Thus they were looking for the “wisdom of this world” as credentials for their acceptance of Paul (verses 6-8).
Many of those at Corinth were still “babes in Christ”. Their minds, rather the mind of Christ, were leading them in their thinking patterns. To the degree that this was so, they were that much like the world of their day. They were unable to receive and understand the things of the Spirit of God (verse 9-10).
In verses 10-16, Paul gets to the very heart of the heart and mind of Christ. The Spirit of God in the spirit of the believer, enables him or her to comprehend and accomplish the things of Spirit. We no longer are tuned in to the world (verse 12). Without the Holy Spirit, we will not have the mind of Christ, and therefore susceptible to the thought patterns of the world around us. Paul, having the Holy Spirit, and therefore filled with the mind of Christ, spoke to them in words that manifested the truths of God. Those who had the mind of Christ in their minds could understand the spiritual things he was presenting to them. A mind of Christ could therefore understand the mind of Christ in Paul, and could understand the deep, even mysterious truths he spoke. (v. 13-14). The words he used could communicate spiritual meanings that the those without the Mind of Christ could not understand spiritually. The things of the mind of Christ make little sense to those who do not have His mind. They seem foolish to them. Being so, it is impossible for them to understand the spiritual, and to live by God’s Law.
Those who have the mind of Christ have the ability to discern spiritual things, and to make the proper evaluation of what someone says or does, although the one that is being understood, does not understand that he is being understood. This is the reason there are so many opinions about Christianity, and Christians. The natural mind cannot understand the spiritual. But those who have the Holy Spirit, have the Mind of Christ. And those who have the Mind of Christ, will also understand the Law of Christ, which is the Law of God.
To develop the Mind of Christ, there must continual spiritual growth. There are plateaus of spiritual growth. This is expounded upon succinctly by the Apostle Peter in the book of 2Peter. They can be understood as a spiritual pyramid.
At a time when the requirement for spiritual growth is neglected or ignored, the Mind of Christ is needed just as much now as it was in Corinth.
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart” - 1 Corinthians 2:16 (AmpBible)
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