July 15, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We will continue to examine The Body of Christ today by looking at The Mind of Christ from Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus….” A number of translations have something similar to the NIV: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…,” but “attitude” does not carry the weight of what the original Greek is saying. In Kenneth Wuest’s Bypaths in the Greek New Testament, this noted Biblical Greek scholar, on page 86, says, “The translation reads: ‘This mind be ye constantly having in you which also was in Christ Jesus….’ ”
I think the difference between “attitude” and “mind” is important. You see, if it is just our attitude that is to be like Jesus’, then the idea is that it is something we generate ourselves so we will be more like our Lord. But if, indeed, it is the mind of Christ, then it is something outside of ourselves that is given to us – that is, implanted in us!
In last Friday’s blog, I brought forth again the central idea behind the April 29th blog, The Most Important Prayer A Christian Can Pray. And that prayer, modeled by Jesus and found in Luke 22:42 is this: “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Just what are the mechanics behind this prayer, that is, the working out of this prayer in our lives?
What we are saying is, “Never mind what I think, Lord. Never mind what I want Lord. I set my will, my mind aside, so Your will, Your mind might be manifest in me!” So it is not just setting aside the control of my mind over my life, because if it just that, we would then be mindless! No, it is allowing God to replace my mind with Jesus Christ’s mind, my thinking with Jesus Christ’s thinking, my will with Jesus Christ’s will!
And Jesus was always in tune with the Father. He said in John 8:28: “I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak [I do] these things.” So The Mind of Christ is obviously the revealed mind of God! And, by the way, this is why Jesus is called “The Word of God ” (Revelation 19:13). He is the perfect expression of the mind of the Father!
So in order for The Body of Christ – the Church, you and me! – to fulfill God’s will, we must be filled with His mind and guided by His thoughts. This is done by the Third Person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit – which God has given to us to reside in us, and to not only give us His mind, but to empower us to live out His life!
It is an ongoing choice to put down our own mind, our own thoughts and our own will, so The Mind of Christ can be manifest in and through us. And this ongoing choice is not easy. It is a battle! Paul writes this in Galatians 5:17 (NIV):
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is
contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do
not do what you want.
It might seem like a big job to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5), but it is entirely possible. If we are commanded by God to do it, then it can be done! And this is not the only place where the idea is presented. From Paul again in I Corinthians 2:16: “But we have the mind of Christ.” Here the idea is put forth, not as a command to be accomplished, but as a fact that is already accomplished! And Paul presents it to the Corinthians as something that is commonly to take place among Christians – something to be manifested in every follower of the Lord.
So, to every Christian who reads this blog – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5). This is the only way we can truly be The Body of Christ!