The Mind Of Christ
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” - Philippians 2:5.
We all realize that, without our minds concentrated on what we are doing, we can be headed for disaster.Recent reports of the dangers of cell phone use while driving a vehicle demonstrate this to be true.
Our minds matter spiritually, too.Think of the New Testament passages which give emphasis to the mind: Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:2; and the text which heads this article.God knew the importance of having our minds with full concentration and full attention if we are to worship and serve Him properly.
However, what does it mean to have the mind or spirit of Christ?Without doubt, it refers to the attitude or mindset of our Lord.In all of our working in this world, we must have the same disposition that Jesus had.If one does not have this spirit or attitude then he or she does not belong to Jesus.Romans 8:9.
Some people believe that the mind of Christ or the spirit of Christ is just an attitude of sentimental goodwill toward someone.These people believe this can be manifested in a life which never stands for much of anything and tolerates the practice of anything and everything in religion, whether authorized by God or not.I believe there is more to the mind of Christ than what is popularly believed.
First, the mind of Christ is submission and loyalty to the will of the Father.Jesus demonstrated this when He was baptized.The account found in Matthew 3:13-16 says that Jesus journeyed from Galilee to John’s baptizing place on the Jordan River.This was a journey of 60-70 miles on foot!When He arrived, He overcame John’s objections as He said, “Let it be so, it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”Matthew 3:15.In His temptations, in His moments in the Garden before His crucifixion, the attitude of Jesus was to submit and be loyal to the Father.Matthew 4:1-11; 26:36-44.This desire to please God in all things was the distinguishing mark throughout His ministry.John 4:32-34; 5:30; 6:38.How submissive and loyal are you to the Father’s will?
Second, the mind of Christ is demonstrated in a spirit of service.When the disciples were arguing over places of honor in the kingdom, Jesus said, “…but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.And whoever desires to be first, shall be slave of all.For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”Mark 10:43-45.Paul’s point in Philippians 2 was to emphasize that the same attitude of Jesus, in which He emptied Himself and went to the cross, is the attitude needed by God’s people.How much do we really give of ourselves?Could it be that we give service to Jesus and His Church as long as it does not interfere with our schedules?What time are we sacrificing for Christ and His kingdom?What possessions are we doing without for the work of the Lord?What can you give up for the glory of God?
Third, the mind of Christ is the spirit of forgiveness.Jesus taught His disciples to forgive.It was part of the Sermon on the Mount.Matthew 6:14-15.It was also taught in an unforgettable parable that Jesus gave in response to Peter’s question of how often we should forgive.Matthew 18:23-25.Jesus lived as He taught.As He hung on the cross, these were His words for His killers: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they do.”Luke 23:34.This is no easy sentimentalism or toleration.It is the gritty reality of what it costs to forgive.What is your attitude toward those who have hurt you?
The mind is necessary for what we are pursuing, spiritually.Your mind matters if you want to follow Christ.This is more than a mushy sentimentalism.It is the tough, disciplined strength of character that is submissive, loyal, serving, and forgiving.
Do you have the mind of Christ?-1002 Clairmont Ave., Cambridge, OH 43725.(740) 432-7486.
Return to West Virginia Christian