The Mind of Christ
Have you ever thought about the nature of God or the attributes of Jesus Christ and tried to compare them with us? As ridiculous as this may sound, there is much Scripture compelling us to be like Christ. Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers to be like-minded, having their mind or attitude the same as that of Christ Jesus. Also, says Paul, “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
In our early 20th century American culture, so much of what we experience, and are exposed to, on a daily basis can be reduced to being nothing more than an attempt to influence our minds in a given direction. Mass media advertising, 30 second sound bites, television programming and special interest groups are just a few examples of the battle for our minds.
The Bible shows that God has a desire to influence our minds as well. Just as a candidate for office wants you to perceive political issues just as he/she does, God wants us to view His creation from His point of view. There is a vast difference between our “natural” mind and God’s mind. God wants us to change our minds to view everything from a godly point.
Webster defines mind as the part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, decides, and also, what one intends, desires, or purposes. Our minds process so many ideas that it is imperative we cherish the mind of Christ and learn how to achieve it.
Scripture presents a clear contrast between our natural minds and the mind of God. God’s thoughts are infinitely higher than ours, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
What caused this rift between God’s mind and ours? Although we were created in the image of God, that image was warped by the sin of our first parents when sin entered the world. Because of this, human thinking is warped in comparison to God’s thinking. Every thought process uses a standard. Fallen humans use themselves or a group as the standard while Christians use God’s word as the standard. To the fallen man, his thinking seems right, but leads to death. Before we were confronted with God, we perceived no problems with our thinking. After we are confronted, we cannot miss seeing the problem with our thinking.
The Bible recommends ways to bring our thinking in line with God’s ways. We are asked to repent. In New Testament Greek, to repent means to “change your mind.” Secondly, we should read God’s Word. Usually, a piece of literature is a reflection and product of the author’s thought processes. The Bible reflects the thoughts and attitudes of God. Consistent and complete reading of Scripture allows us to better know the mind of God or Christ. In our culture, we are constantly bombarded with ideas, images and thoughts which stand opposed to God’s Word. The reading of God’s Word allows us to think as God would have us think.
We need to remember God’s Word as a constant reminder of what God wants us to do and think to please him. If we have heard his Word and continually think on it, the Holy Spirit will help us remember what we have heard and read. Scripture memorization gives greater assurance of God’s love, as well as a weapon to use against the temptations of Satan.
Finally, responding to God’s Word by obeying it reflects our love for God. Meditation on the Word allows us to ponder what God is saying, and how it may apply to our lives. Prayer is not only for presenting our petitions to God, but allows us to “reset” our thinking about God and our circumstances. As Christians, we are called to imitate Christ, as well as Christ’s thought processes. It doesn’t happen overnight. A Christian needs to gradually grow into thinking like Christ as his/her walk with Christ progresses. God wants us to be renewed into the image of his Son. This renewal is a complete transformation working from the heart and mind outward to every thought we hold and every action we perform.
Pastor Jake StirnemannOctober 1, 2021