Monday, May 16, 2011
The Mind Of Christ
But 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.
But he who is spiritual appraises all things,
yet he himself is appraised by no one.
For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD,
THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM?
But we have the mind of Christ.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men,
but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
I gave you milk to drink, not solid food;
for you were not yet able to receive it.
Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.
For since there is jealousy and strife among you,
are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
1 Corinthians 2:14-16; 3:1-3
In providing Biblical counsel to singles and married couples who have come to me with their problems; regardless of the problems, this passage of scripture is one of the first that we focus upon.
This verse makes it clear that there are three types of men and women: natural men, spiritual men, and (carnal) men of flesh. After discussing the difference between the three, I simply ask the questions: “which person best describes you? And, which person would you like to be?” The answers to these questions quickly make it clear who you are dealing with and what needs to be discussed first.
For example, if you are dealing with a couple and both people answer we are natural man or carnal man and we just want counseling but not religion, then I must make it clear that Biblical counseling always works but only for those who are will to follow God’s Word. They must seek secular counsel elsewhere. I have had every answer you can come up with, but most have reached a point of hopelessness, and are there to solve their problems and answer: I want to be the Spiritual Man.
This is obviously where I wanted to end up, which is most likely at the root of the problems. My experience has been that when people place God first in their marriage … the problems often quickly disappear. Some feel the results almost miraculous. A danger for the counselor is to not take these successes personally. The power is in God’s Word, rather than the person who helps a brother or sister find and apply God’s Truth to the problem. The problems and the solutions are pretty much always the same. The fact of the matter is that Biblical counselors who guide in this way and who have not had their counsel diluted by the secular views are not easy to find. In fact many pastors do not see counseling Biblically as their role and foolishly refer those with problems to a secular “Christian” counselor where in many cases the counsel is secular with verses taken out of context to fit the secular idea. In other words God’s word is humbled to men’s conclusions. Possibly better than nothing, but a temporary solution at best is the result.
So the question we need to focus on here is the one that the vast majority seeking help ask. This would be a good post for you to bookmark for future reference and to forward to others. I have been amazed as I watched this teaching lead many to trust Christ; transform marriages; and lead to the desired end result: mature Spiritual Men and Women.
The question is: “How do I become The Spiritual Man and receive the Mind of Christ.”
The Biblical answer and solution is quite clear and easy to understand. The problem is that the teachings of men have confused and misrepresented God’s Word on the answers. These false leads often come from pastors, bible teachers, as well as well meaning but false religions. The result is leading people away from God’s plan and Truth rather than standing upon God’s Truth.
Now, let’s look into God’s Word for His Truth; rather than someone’s opinion.
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” …. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3:1-21
As anyone can see this is not difficult to understand. Nicodemus was confused because of the teachings of supposed spiritual men (Pharisees), but when he heard the truth he became a follower of Jesus, the Messiah … most likely from this point forward. The key point we need to understand in answering our question is: being “born of the Spirit.” This is the difference between Spiritual Man and Natural Man. So how do we become born of the Spirit? “whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Now the natural man is quick to say that those who are followers of Christ and His Word are judging them when we speak out against Islam and other false teachings, and sometimes that could be true; but the Truth of God says that they are already judged by God … as a result of their decision to reject Christ. Beyond their decision to NOT believe in Christ, NOTHING they do is acceptable to God. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Once again, this is not up for interpretation or in many cases misinterpretation. So what does this say to all religions and philosophies that teach to the contrary? God says: they are false and leading seekers away from the Truth and the Eternal Salvation of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Contrary to that which many would like to believe; there is only one path to God. They are the ones who have judged Christ and rejected true Christianity and created a false religion.
How do we become a born of the Spirit and have the Mind of Christ? Paul has made this so clear that by simply reading this verse, there is no question what it means to be born of the Spirit.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
This is the true gospel which all true born again believers have made a conscious decision to stand upon. It is upon this truth “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” is established in our lives. From this moment on “we have the mind of Christ”
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16: 13
A woman once asked me? “What religion are you? Your not one of those born again Christians, are you?” I helped her to understand Jesus teachings and she then asked: “Why haven’t I learned this in the Catholic Church?“ I have no idea, was my response. But I can assure you, that if you ask the church about these Truths, they will confirm the Words of Christ, and the Apostles, Paul and Peter. These Truths are not disputable from a Christian or Biblical perspective.
Any Religion, philosophy, or teaching that calls itself Christianity that does not teach this Truth is a false Christian religion and should be considered heresy. Any religion that teaches any other way to heaven or salvation is deceiving it’s followers. Either Jesus and the Bible are a lie or anything that teaches otherwise is a lie. The following statement we can know for certain. Both teachings can be wrong; or one true, and one false; but both can never be true.
What about the third man who is referred to by Paul as men of flesh or carnal? He also notes that they are acting as mere men, or natural men, and as infants in Christ. Clearly, these are those who have received the Holy Spirit but have allowed their human logic, feelings, and the teachings of the world to lead them into a hypocritical position, one who professes Christ but who at this point in their walk with Him have chosen to follow false teachings. These are the ones the unbelieving world continually point to as false evidence that Christianity is not the truth. They have received the Spirit but choose to follow lust and pride. Surveys of Christians show that as many as 80% of born again Christians identify with this group.
First we are to become Born Again by the Spirit of Truth but then we must follow this instruction:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
The final questions we must continually ask ourselves is which person am I? The Spiritual man already knows what he needs to do. The natural man can either accept or reject Christ. Obviously this is the most important decision a person can ever make. Those who fall into the third group; ... if they are confident they have received Christ ... they need to repent and be transformed by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word so that we can be used for His glory as He performs His good works through each of us as He has prepared for us ... at the beginning of time.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
God Bless you my friends, Bob