We Have Been Given the Mind of Christ!

jesus-washing-feet

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1Cor 2:16, ESV2011)

What a curious thing to say, Paul! Do we as members of Christ’s body (those who have the His Holy Spirit within us) truly function as if we are “out of our minds” in the eyes of he world or do we function as if we have a mind that is compatible with the world’s way of thinking? Paul had the mind of Christ and he did not fit in with the world or its religious establishments, much less their accepted mores and beliefs.

And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus [an officiate of Cesar’s over Judea] said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. (Acts 26:24-25, ESV2011)

What Paul had to say in His defense was the truth of Christ and words from the mind of Christ, yet to the carnal mind of this official in high standing in the Roman Empire, he was insane! Just what does it mean to have the mind of Christ? I have often wondered about this verse in First Corinthians. This morning as I was reading my devotional from T. Austin-Sparks and following up on it, I found the following paragraphs where he uses the natural body as a type. It was a clear explanation of what the Spirit wanted me to understand.

Everything has its location in the head, all the sensibilities of the members are registered in the head. It is possible to take a needle and, if the whole brain system is understood, to apply the needle-point to any given part of the brain and put out of action any member of the body, and leave the others untouched. By an understanding of that system a needle can be applied to a certain point in the brain and put the hand, or the foot, out of operation and leave the other members operating, this whole thing is so wonderfully gathered up in the head. Christ is the Head of the Body, all the members are joined to the Head, all the members are consciously registered in the Head, have their consciousness by reason of their relationship to the Head, their consciousness spiritually, which Paul means when he says, “We have the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16b).

But what is that nerve system? It is the Holy Spirit. He is the spiritual nerve system of the whole Body, linking all with the Head, He is the consciousness of the Body, He is the One Who brings from the Head those reactions of the judgments and decisions of the Head. He is the One Who brings to the Head everything concerning every member, and so makes the Body and the Head one complete whole. (1)

If we have been given the Holy Spirit, we have a direct connection with the very mind of Christ. And as functioning members of His body, unity in our thoughts and deeds becomes automatic. Disunity and sectarianism shows itself for what it is. Unity in the mind of Christ has always been the plan of God for us, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” (Isa 55:7-9, ESV2011) Since Christ died for us and sent His Holy Spirit we are no longer worldly creatures, but strangers and aliens upon this earth. We have the mind of Christ governing our thoughts and actions instead of Lucifer who came into Adam and Eve when they decided to eat the forbidden fruit and “be like God knowing both good and evil.”

To have a mind operating in conjunction with the world or even a religious mind, the mind of the flesh, is to be of our father the devil who was a liar and a murder from the beginning and his works we will do (see John 8:44). Today, I read an email that was filled with scriptures, but it was all about his thoughts and his will and his doings. It was easy for me to see the conflict going on in this poor soul. He is a man of worldly intellect and who holds high college degrees and has bowed down at the feet of “Higher Education,” but to the mind of the Spirit it was all confusion. Without the cross dealing with the natural mind within us, even our highest thoughts and reasoning are anathema to God. Just as Jesus only did the works He saw His Father doing and only spoke the words His Father was saying, God only acknowledges the mind of Christ and that is why the Spirit of Christ has been given us. The natural mind will not do. It only seeks ways to quench the Spirit within us and to have its own preeminence. As followers of Christ we only have one choice. Failing to do so we will become followers of Satan at best, wearing sheep’s clothing.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:5-8, KJ2000)

(1) http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/000755.html

17 comments on “We Have Been Given the Mind of Christ!

  1. Kenneth Dawson says:

    OH boy I am with you all the way—Just this morning at this new church I am attending, as an observer mind you, they have had a split and some of the members have left them following the associate pastor. So they called this group–Crossroads Resolution.com–As I listened Dad was giving me notes—its a self improvement styled psyco of obey the sermon on the mount deal and if you want peace you have to obey–otherwise you break fellowship–Dad said to me–No you are dead and I will cause you to follow my ways and then you will be under Me = Peace. As I told Sue even when I do not obey, Papa steps in and straightens the situation out and then says to me–“Boy you better get the wax out of your brain and consult with Me before you run off doing your own thing–ya hear Me?” “Yes Dad I got ya.” I love this New Covenant Way of living–its so much better! Good post Mike loved ever word of it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Ken, I also have suffered through many church splits and interesting enough, at least two of them were split off by the “assistant pastor” (find that title in your Bible). I found it best to never take sides in anything that disrupts the unity of the body of Christ. The problem is that, as I pointed out in my blog, many of these people are yet carnal and not functioning under the direction of the Spirit. As Paul pointed out to the Corinthian church,

      For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal? (1Cor 3:3-4, KJ2000)

      I am glad you were blessed by the post, my brother!

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • STST, Same Time, Same Thought, Michael.

        Thank you for, unknowingly, writing what I would have written, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        I love it when that happens! 🙂 ❤ His Spirit is bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God. ⭐ ⭐

        Liked by 1 person

      • I ❤ it, too, since it is very encouraging to see when we are on the same spiritual track IN Him. 🙂

        I believe spiritual fellowship is meant to strengthen each member, but never to rule over them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Yes, my dear friend in Christ, for sure. We are members one of another and in His body ALL members are equally necessary and gifted to edify one another in the Spirit. If we are ONE IN Christ the ground at the foot of the cross is perfectly level.

        And before the throne [of God] there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. (Rev 4:6, KJ2000)

        And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. (Rev 15:2, KJ2000)

        Some of the most beautiful photos I have taken is of a body of water that is totally calm like a mirror, reflecting the far shoreline, the mountains behind it and the sky. A sea of glass is like a mirror because it is totally flat. It is upon this sea before the throne of God that we all stand reflecting HIS glory, not our own. There is no place for posturing or hierarchy as we abide in Christ before our Daddy. Thanks for your excellent comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The exposition of a profound truth. “Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2: 14).

    Thank you once again for your insights, Michael. You have a gift for explaining complex truths in simple terms. It is eminently clear that you have walked with God a long time.

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    Love, your sister in Christ,

    Anna

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Anna. If I have any gift at all it has been given me by the Spirit as HE wills. Apart from Christ I can do nothing.

      I hope you have a blessed time with family and friends this Christmas and love to you in Him as well.

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent insights, Michael! ⭐

    What sprang immediately out on me as I had begun reading your article was the Scripture beneath the picture that says,

    “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor 2:16, ESV2011)

    Between the lines this seems to be a confirmation of another verse recorded by the apostle John in one of his letters where he warned us to not listen to men and other teachers unless we could hear our Lord’s voice through them. John wrote,

    “I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 Jn 2:26-27 ESV)

    So many today want to have a ‘ministry’ of sorts, even on the internet. They share their ‘teachings’ via email, podcasts, or articles. This approach would not be wrong in itself if they had really received the Holy Spirit that prompted them to do so. But alas, almost every Christian whose blogs you might accidentally read or whose emails you receive is, indeed, of another spirit. That makes me very sad! ☹ What is worse, they have their share of innocent followers and audience. Often times it is not a lack of Biblical knowledge that makes people listen to the wrong spirits in man, instead, they submit unknowingly to another spirit in a person who somehow has a gift to speak to their heart (on a soulish level, not a spiritual one!).

    For instance, you might find someone on the net who shows compassion toward women who were treated badly by men before. It is not surprising that they hunger for every good word they might hear. However, if these women saw the real motives behind some of these nice guys’ sometimes servile behavior, they would shrink back in horror. Take, for example, an emotional guy who eloquently writes about himself and his fabricated experiences with God, wounded women will run after him, not knowing which spirit they follow. If we do not submit to God, we submit to the wrong spirits in other people. And therefore, we follow Satan, as you so rightly pointed out in your article above, Michael.

    I would have more to say, but I will stop here. It’s late in Germany. Even after 1 am…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Good comment, Susanne! Boy, you have shared a lot to think about. I love how you have brought these two scriptures together. Let me combine them as I see them. We have the mind of Christ because we have been given the Spirit of Truth who is our Teacher. As He speaks through us, what natural man can understand the depth of what we have been able to see? Who has understood the mind of the Lord and what carnal man or woman can teach us or add to what the Spirit has already shown us? Only the Spirit can instruct we who are born of the Spirit and only a truly spiritual teacher will be able to be used by Him in our lives. I find often that if what I say rings a bell in another saint it is only because HE has spoken these things in the depth of their hearts already. I can only “put skin and bones” on it for Him and let Him draw their hearts.

      And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. (John 4:41-42, KJ2000)

      As for the last part of your comment, there are so many seducing spirits masquerading as the Spirit of Christ out there. Satan reads our mail and knows just what to say through them to lead us away in our unbroken carnal natures. When he wounds us he leaves a barb in us that can only be removed by Christ. If allowed to remain this barb takes root and grows and soon we become the ones who wounds. Until it is removed and the wound is healed by Jesus’ love, we will easily fall prey to the deceptions of men and women, both deceiving and being deceived. There is no substitute for the cross of Christ working within us.

      Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2Tim 3:11-13, KJ2000)

      Thank you, my precious sister!

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Alan Haungs says:

    Hi Michael,

    the mind is something that some disregard as unspiritual, simply because it might be true in someone or at sometime. I make it a point to study words like soul, soulish, spirit, heart etc because at one point a group I was meeting-with really hung their hats on being knowledgeable and correct in these matters. I don’t believe they are as right as they think they are, and neither do I believe I have all of these matters figured out too. But it is interesting of all of the ‘things’ of Christ we might possess, the mind of Christ is included. I suspect in scripture that mind and breath are not at odds, automatically as I was taught by that group. This might seem like splitting hairs, but imagine someone believing that they can function with spirit and without mind and teaching others to do so. It can make you GO OUT OF YOUR MIND, as people pretend to be like spirits without minds!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Alan. Paul wrote,

      “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
      (Romans 8:6 KJV)

      Whether we are in the flesh or in the Spirit the mind is involved.

      And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul [emotions, will and mind] and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV)

      Liked by 2 people

    • yellowyarrow says:

      Yes, and we are told to love God with our whole body, mind and spirit. In order to do that, we must surely be connected to God via the Holy Spirit, who will transform us so that all these ‘parts’ of us will through God’s grace begin to function healthily as it were. And of course, ultimately we will be raised imperishable.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael says:

    Y.Y., you are so right. Jesus said that apart from Him we can do nothing in the economy of God. He also told the disciples that He would come to them again in the form of the Holy Spirit. Apart from His Spirit we can do NOTHING, but abiding in His Spirit the first thing that changes is His love is shed abroad in our hearts. There are many gifts and manifestations that God gives us through His Spirit and Paul writes that most of them will be done away with, but these three will remain, faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. It is His love in us that welcomes us into the fellowship of the Father and the Son. It is HERE that we become one with them and with one another and love is the “glue” that holds us together with one another as members of His body.

    “And I have declared unto them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26, KJ2000)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia wrote,

    “Without the cross that deals with the natural mind within us, even our higher thoughts and reasoning are anathema to God,” what you said is so true.

    Even religious works labeled as spiritual, if not born of His heart, are anathema to Him. How tremendous!

    “Sin la cruz que trata con la mente natural dentro de nosotros, incluso nuestros pensamientos y razonamientos más elevados son anatema para Dios”, esto que dijiste es tan cierto.

    Incluso las obras religiosas etiquetadas como espirituales, si no nacen de Su corazón, son anatemas para Él. ¡Qué tremendo!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Patricia, this is why Jesus did not come to establish a new religious system, but rather to make the way so we could have fellowship with the Father and the Son and doing so, with one another. In the kingdom of heaven where God is Father and Jesus is the First Born of many brethren, it is always about relationships bound together by their love.

      Liked by 1 person

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