Have you thought about what it means to “have the mind of Christ”? It’s a profound and astounding idea, isn’t it? What is the purpose? How does it happen? What are the implications for you and for me?
In his letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul explains this idea quite simply when he says that “those who are spiritual will actually know God’s thoughts and the wonderful things that God has freely given us”. (I Corinthians 2: 12 and 16) When Jesus talked with His disciples that final night of His life before the crucifixion, He told them that “just as He is in the Father, we would be in Him and He in us”. (John 14: 20) It might sound like a crazy kind of notion to those who haven’t yet come to know the Savior, but it is the reality of all who have come to Him by faith.
How is it possible for a human being to contain the presence of God and have His mind? It’s an obvious and important question, isn’t it? Jesus explained to His followers that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, would come and would not only be WITH them as a comforter, counselor, and teacher, but He would live IN them – John 14: 17. This is the reality that Paul wants the people in the Corinthian church to grasp so that they can become mature in their faith. Divisions and arguments, immorality and confusion had crept into their lives and into their church. Paul knew that there was only one solution to those problems and that it could not come from human wisdom or effort. It would only be possible through the recognition and submission to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in each of their lives.
While our minds are capable of enormous intellectual achievements and we are capable of grasping concepts and visible realities in our environment and in relationships, ultimately everyone is limited by time, space, and energy. Perhaps the greatest of all our limitations is our own selfish perspective and interests. The staggering and yet invigorating promise that Jesus gave to those who believed in Him was that through the indwelling Holy Spirit, they would be able to appraise or evaluate the true value of everything in light of eternity. Then He would enable them to make their decisions accordingly. Clearly, it is the quality of life that Jesus wants us to experience so that He can give us His joy and peace in full measure. It’s the way that His Kingdom is displayed on earth so that His glory can be seen. It’s the way I want to live my life!
As we embark on this study together, I am praying that each of us will grasp in very meaningful and practical ways what it means to “have the mind of Christ” so that He can accomplish His purposes through us.