The Mind of Christ in us?! Devotional Commentary for March 18-24
11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
16For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
Paul has been faithfully and carefully instructing us through his letters to Titus and to Philemon over the last nine weeks.
- Titus 1:1-9
- Titus 1:10-16
- Titus 2:1-6
- Titus 2:7-15
- Titus 3:1-8
- Titus 3:9-15
- Philemon 1-7
- Philemon 8-16
- Philemon 17-25
He spoke to us about real faith and realistic actions bearing the living fruit of the transformative work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God's redeemed children. But the question remains: One might easily learn what must be done, but how can one do anything that is contrary or different from one's natural inclinations? Paul says, by the Power of the One Who redeemed us through the indelible renewing impact of God's revealed Truth upon the mind and the heart of the redeemed; by the compliant attitude of a surrendered heart and a renewed mind. We are given the Mind of Christ.
Since the mind is the exclusive domain of the individual, no one but the individual knows what goes on in his or her mind. The individual has the exclusive privileged access to his or her own mind. In the same sense, only the Holy Spirit knows the Mind of God, Himself being God. So the Mind of God is not readily evident or apparent to the finite mind of fallen man. But when the Holy Spirit captures the lost and subjects his or her unregenerate mind and heart to God's redeeming Will and Purpose, the transformed mind and the regenerated heart of the believer will have access to what the Holy Spirit unfolds in the mind and in the heart of the New Man.
That means, God's revealed Truth is now accessible to the believer as the Holy Spirit leads the New Man in Christ to the Truth of God. It also means that the believer now has the responsibility to respond to what is revealed in his or her mind and heart. The Holy Spirit subjects the mind and the heart of the redeemed to God's Will and Purpose without disabling the believer's ability to obey or to resist, albeit consequential.
Once the Holy Spirit sheds His Light on God's revealed Truth, the believer has access to knowledge, understanding, and wisdom through a Spirit-driven sacred perception and godly comprehension. The Spirit enters the heart of the believer not only as an earnest for salvation, but also to give the redeemed access to God's revealed Truth. That means, the believer is set free from the sinful influences of the old nature. God's revealed Truth now provides the precepts that would give guidance to the Christian's journey of life.
God's Truth cannot be discerned through the natural inclinations of man's impious wisdom. To the natural man, the things of God do not make sense because spiritual things are discerned only by the enlightening ministry of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, being spiritually dead, the unregenerate mind finds the message of the Cross foolish and indefensible. But the believer is able to discern the revelations of the Holy Spirit because he or she is spiritually alive and is endowed with sacred acumen to know what God has revealed.
Once again, Paul reiterates the superb spiritual quality the saints have in Christ Jesus. A spiritual person has the ability to discern all things but cannot himself be judged by anyone. In other words, a regenerated individual would have the discerning capacities and capabilities instilled by the Holy Spirit in the mind and in the heart. Being quickened by the Holy Spirit, the renewed mind of the believer can distinguish truth and righteousness from error and from sin. The renewed mind is also equipped with the ability to apply God's revealed Truth to the new life in Christ through obedience.
The discerning attributes of the redeemed are not rooted in the inherent natural qualities of the individual believer. All of the created faculties of the redeemed are imbued with the work of the Holy Spirit as He steadily implements His governing precepts over the New Man He created and redeemed. Since the mind of the believer is now the domain of the Lord, because the redeemed is the blood-bought property of God, the mind and the heart of the believer are set free from the influences of the corrupt desires of the flesh. They cannot be either judged or governed by the fallen mind of the old nature.
God is Holy, Righteous, and Just. He is Sovereign, Transcendent, personal, and Eternal. He is All-Wise, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Omni-Present. God is the Almighty, the consuming Fire, and the gracious and merciful Father. God is God. Such is the divine Mind that takes over the mind of the redeemed when the Lordship of Christ prevails in the life of the believer.
Fallen man cannot discern God’s wisdom with resources that are finite and flawed, unless and until the Lord Himself reveals the Truth and gives the capacity to comprehend. Upon salvation, God puts an earnest of Himself—the Holy Spirit—in the heart of the newly redeemed believer so that the revealed Mind of Christ would be accessible to the Christian through God's living Word. That means, God calls His people not only to salvation, but also enables each one to commune with Him through the ministry of His living Word by the Power of the Holy Spirit. As Christians therefore, we discern all things from the perspective of the Holy Spirit because we are spiritually alive in Christ. The totality of who we are is now fully available to the Holy Spirit. He sanctifies all of the faculties He created in us and puts them to use for the glory of God.
Thus, any inclination to recall the wisdom of the flesh would be a spiritual impropriety. That is the problem with us as Christians when we do not heed the Word of God. Paul's admonitions are simple. We belong to God. We are indwelt by God. We are empowered by God. Therefore, we remain faithful to God.
The Mind of Christ is alive in us. No need to enliven the dead spirit of the flesh. The life that we now live is not us but Jesus Christ Who lives in us by the Power and the presence of the Holy Spirit; the Power of God in us. Behold, we are new in Christ. The old is past and dead. Our godless past is crucified with Christ.
- The Power of the Holy Spirit over us: By Whom we are drawn to faith, knowledge, and understanding of the Truth;
- The Mind of Christ in us: In Whom we find the Way, the Truth, and the Life meditating upon the Word day and night unto obedience;;
- The Wisdom of God through us: By Whom we discern, have our being, and persevere to the end in Truth, Faith, and Life to the glory of God.