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The Mind of Christ pt III

I’m sure there have been times in your life when your appreciation for gazing at a beautiful sunset, watching an adorable smile unfold on a little child’s face while he or she is being complemented, or savoring the beauty and fragrance of a midsummer flower garden, walking along a sandy beach on a balmy moon lit evening, or listening to a delightful melody; I’m sure you’re your appreciation for all these was heightened when you were in the presence of a person who couldn’t. I feel sorry for them and I wouldn’t want to trade places; would you?

Have you ever given any thought to the possibility occurring in your own life whereby you found yourself in a situation in which you had to give up a particular God given endowment? Think about it for a moment. I already have and I know what your answer will be if you do. In the interest of time, I’ll give you a clue. It’s something worth infinitely more than any of the things I just described. Would you agree with me when I say that the most precious thing that I possess is my mind? Can you imagine yourself living without it? Everything else in the universe with all of its beauty pales in comparison to the mind of a single human being. Even if it’s living in poverty, a human being is worth infinitely more than the sun, moon, stars, galaxies and everything else in the universe combined. For example, the sun doesn’t have emotions. It isn’t capable of thinking or reasoning or making a decision. It’s impossible! Our sun is clueless as to what it is, or how it came into existence. However, unless it’s greatly impaired, the feeblest human mind can do all of these things.

As I have been saying, the most precious thing in the entire universe is the human mind. However, a fact to remember is that the most precious mind in the universe is the mind of Jesus Christ, and you and I and every other Christian without exception received His mind the moment they were reborn. The Apostle Paul explains:

“…these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (ESV).

 

All Christians have the mind of Christ and He wants us to display it in our daily lives so that folks can’t help noticing the vast difference between followers of Christ and unbelievers. That’s how dissimilar  Christians are commanded to be. The Apostle Paul explains:

 

“… let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] 6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God, God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, 7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! 9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” Philippians 2:5-11 (AMP).

As I mentioned in my last message, possessing the mind of Christ increases a Christian’s responsibility a thousand times. Why? Because Christ’s mind was the image of the invisible God and you and I and every other Christian will be held accountable as to how well we display it in our lives. Jesus explains:

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin,” John 15:22 (ESV).

Can you imagine how saddened Jesus must feel after suffering such an agonizing death on our behalf when we don’t do what He desires us to? We are grieving Him deeply and we will be judged if we don’t exhibit His mind in our daily lives, and we wonder why He sometimes doesn’t give us what we are praying for. Jesus expected His followers to walk in the spiritual light and not as non-Christians who are living and walking in spiritual darkness. He addressed this issue when He said,

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed,” John 3:19-20 (ESV).

Allow me to explain: The Bible tells us that His mind is both life and light. The mind of Christ woke up human beings who were spiritually asleep. It activitated the world and propelled it with such a tremendous force that its influence will continue forever; unlike a rocket that can only travel so far in space and then die out. Christ’s “… unique and exemplary life, and His suffering, death, and physical resurrection from the dead transformed His handpicked disciples as well as the lives of many others. As He once said, “I came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10 NRSV). “The lives that He transformed in turn transformed much of the world.” “Jesus put His disciples in possession of His mind with its great ideas and they faithfully represented His mind to others. They died; but their followers, in their turn, transmitted the mind which they received.” (A)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth, John 1:14 (ESV).

Jesus entered the world at a time when the Greeks and Romans had a deplorable and disgusting opinion of human life. When His early followers took the gospel to Rome they were shocked to discover that those pagans had a low opinion of human life and the Christians did their utmost to outlaw practices such as abandoning children they didn’t have any use for anymore. Sexual immorality was non-existent. Incest was as frequent as the rising and setting of the sun. Marriage wasn’t a sacred union between one man and one woman. New born children were often murdered shortly after they were born, especially those who were deformed or had what those barbaric people considered to be undesirable such as being a tiny baby girl who were often drowned or left by the side of the road. The Romans had such a low view of human life, including their own, that they considered suicide as being a right and a privilege. Abortion was rampant. Those early Christians and the ones after them throughout the years kept hammering away until they finally succeeded in outlawing these practices. In time however, working through human beings, Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness succeed in legitimizing some of these evil practices once again. They became a citizen’s right, such as we are witnessing in our country today and it’s is the responsibility of Christ’s followers to do everything they possibly can to reverse this trend such as a black minister named Walter Hoy of Oakland California is doing.

“Hoy is working on what appears to be an impossible goal: passing a human life amendment in liberal California. Since 1973, he notes, over 14.5 million black babies have been killed by abortion. Every, single day, 1,200 black babies are put to death in abortion facilities, making abortion the leading cause of death among African Americans! Nearly half of all black babies conceived die in abortion chambers today. Hoy says this means that a black child is safer on the streets of the worst neighborhoods in American than in his mother’s womb. Hoy notes that between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan. Today, abortion kills more black Americans in less than three days than the Klan killed in 86 years! Think of it.”

“American blacks make up twelve percent of the U.S. population, yet thirty-seven percent of all abortions are performed on black women. This is because eugenic-minded pro-abortion forces target American blacks by putting abortion clinics in black neighborhoods, according to Hoy. “Within a few decades,” Hoy warns, “African Americans may well be an endangered species.” This is why he calls abortion the “Darfur of the black community.” Hoy reveals the ugly truth: those who promote abortion in the black community are racists of the worst kind–and that each abortion of a black child is one more step towards black genocide.  His people are dying by the millions.” What went wrong? (B) How did we get to be where we are today in America?

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)

Speaking of the Great Commission and how it applies to the followers of Christ today. James E. White writes, “The mission of the church is paramount, and what propels the mission forward is an awakened mind; a mind ablaze with God and the things of God. This is the heart of the cultural commission within the Great Commission. The Great Commission calls us to reach out to every person with the gospel of Jesus Christ; the cultural commission calls us to lay hold of every nook and cranny of our world for the kingdom of God. They are not separate endeavors – they are the two edges of the single sword we are called to wield. Though frighteningly few Christians embrace the true dynamic and practice of the Great Commission, even fewer take hold of the cultural commission.” (C)

Elaborating on the same theme, Chuck Colson explains, “The Church’s mission is to make visible God’s invisible Kingdom in the world. Since God lives in the midst of His people, we in turn are called to share in and reveal His loving character to our neighbors. We are to bring God’s holiness to bear in every area of life. This understanding of holiness has moved Christians throughout history to some of the greatest advances in human dignity and freedom.” (D)

We should also ask ourselves these questions: how seriously do I take the command to evangelize the lost, and teach those living in our society in order to bring about a cultural change? You and I should also ask ourselves these questions. How seriously do I take the Great Commission to lead poor lost souls to the Cross of Jesus? Am I doing everything I possibly can to evangelize to lost and change our society the way Christians have in the past, and if not, why not? Some may say they don’t know how to evangelize. Let’s get one of those evangelism experts to come to our church and do a revival service and then we’ll learn. That’s a waste of time and money, nor is it biblical, as Iain Murray explains, “In the New Testament evangelism is not a subject which the Church has to learn; rather it the result of the Church being what she is. The Church is the company of those whom God has renewed and in whom Christ lives by His Spirit. The Church’s most powerful testimony to the world is therefore the effect of the life which she enjoys, and the more deeply she experiences that life the more profound will be the impression made upon the world. Accordingly the New Testament emphasis does not fall on the need for more evangelism, it falls upon the need for the Church to be true to her high privileges and her heavenly calling. Those who apprehend the love of God in their own hearts will necessarily possess evangelistic concern for others:

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:16-17 (ESV).

“Effective evangelism is the consequence of real spiritual experience. Where there is vital Christianity there will be vital evangelism.” “In Matthew 5 Jesus describes the people who are the true evangelizers; He calls them the salt of the earth and the light of the world. But notice the features which mark these people: they are, He says, those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who are merciful and pure in heart. These people will irresistibly influence the world.” Can you envision Jesus telling His disciples:

 

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden,” Matthew 5:14 (ESV).

Paul told the Christians at Thessalonica:

8 “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything,” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (ESV).

“Their testimony, he declares, was like the ringing peal of a trumpet, but note that the passage makes clear that the spread of the message was due, not to some skill those Christians had acquired in evangelism or in soul winning, it was due to the character of their lives-what pagans observed and spoke about was their faith in God and how they had turned to God from idols.” “There cannot be any dispute about the fact this principle has also been proved conclusively in the long history of the Church. The witness of history is that the gospel spreads according to the quality of the spiritual life of the Church.” “A godly life often wins sinners when other arguments fail to impress them. Christianity when embodied in the lives of its professors cannot fail to awaken sentiments and feelings in favor of a system that appears so lovely and so divine. We read in the Acts of the Apostles that the early Christians walked in the ‘fear of the Lord and were multiplied.” (D)

The Church in America today is infested with unbelievers none of whom have the mind of Christ. A case in point is our elected “Christian” leaders in government who are proponents of abominations such as abortion, same sex marriage and physician assisted suicide and the “Christians” in the pews who continue to vote for them.

It’s only a matter of time. Sooner or later, each of us will draw our last breath and leave this world and enter into the next. It’s my prayerful hope that Jesus will say to each of us who are here this morning, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come, you are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundation of the world. Incidentally, we loved the way you mirrored my mind.”

Lord willing, ….

(A) Under The Influence, How Christianity Transformed Civilization, © 2001 by Alvin J. Schmidt, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pgs. 16; 14.

(B)  Break Point Black Genocide

(C)  http://worldviewchurch.org/columns/featured-column/487-engaging-the-world

(D) Break Point

(E)  Three Proven Principles In Evangelism, by Iain Murray, Banner of Truth Magazine, February 1977, pgs. 19, 20.

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February 27, 2011 Posted by Categories: Uncategorized 3 comments

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