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Thinking Like Jesus

Posted on November 13, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Dear Saints;

 

In his encouragement to the church at Philippi Paul urges them to, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). The ultimate goal of the renewing of the mind and the changes it produces in the believer is to give us the mind of Christ. When we can see ourselves and others like Christ, hear and understand the love and direction of the Father like Christ, and feel the passions of Christ we are exercising his mind. It is a choice on our part to use the mind of Christ that was given to us by the Spirit of Christ when he created us brand new persons. All believers are given the privilege of thinking like Jesus in their everyday experience.

 

But how are we to know the difference between the natural or carnal mind of the flesh we are so used to and the mind of Christ? Paul doesn’t leave us wondering but goes on in the following verses to describe the characteristics of the mind of Christ we are to exercise. The first and most important characteristic is that Jesus knew who he was. Paul says, “Who {Christ} being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” By the time Jesus was twelve years old he knew who his real Father was and that he needed to be about his business. Three times throughout his public ministry the Father spoke directly to him from heaven assuring him that he was his beloved son in whom he was well pleased. Jesus had no doubt that he was not only the son of man, but the very son of God as well.

 

For us to exercise the mind of Christ we too are going to have to be sure of who we really are. We are going to have to accept by faith the Word of God telling us that we are no longer the same persons we were born into this world as, but brand-new creations of God as we have been born again of the Spirit. This gives us the same identity Jesus had as a child of God. Having been joined to Christ in his death, burial and resurrection we have been made alive in Christ and are blessed with all spiritual blessings. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, a special people with the privilege of being the representatives of Christ in this world. It is this understanding of our new identity in Christ that first characterizes the mind of Christ and empowers us to act like Christ in our daily lives.

 

Being one with Christ, though an awesome position, is not something we use for our natural selfish ends, but the reason we are willing to give up our rights to be loved and respected. All believers by virtue of their new identity in Christ have a right to be loved and respected, but the mind of Christ is worked out in us when we give up our own rights to be ministered to so that we can serve others. Jesus did not come into the world to be ministered to, but to minister God’s love to others. As the divine son of God, he could have demanded the worship of the entire world, but instead he gave up his own rights so that he could minister to others. Because we are in him, we have all the personal love and respect we need from the Father so that we too can give up our rights to be served by others.

 

With the mind of Christ, we have the ability to hear the Father’s voice through the indwelling Spirit of Christ so we know how to identify with rather than condemn people and how to be obedient unto the Father’s will even if it costs our life. With the mind of Christ, we humbly submit to the will of the Father thinking more about others than we are ourselves. This radical change in our thinking is not something we do to ourselves, but rather accomplished as the “renewing of the mind” by the Spirit. The more we identify with Christ by faith, the more we become like him in our everyday lives and can actually “be Christ” to others as us. It is the mind of Christ in us that produces the character of Christ in us and causes him to live in us. Like everything else in our new life in Christ, allowing this mind to be in us is simply a call to faith in the personal work of the indwelling Spirit of God conforming us to his image.

 

John

 

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