In the very successful 2014 animated LEGO Movie, we are given a peek into a mind that is prodigiously empty. The lead character, a LEGO person named Emmit, has been chosen as “The Special”, a person who will save the LEGO universe. I know, it is silly, but I have three children under 10, so humor me. “The Special” is thought to be a hero like person with the greatest abilities a LEGO person can have. When Emmit is found by the good guys, who are all really talented, they are overwhelmed at how common and lacking in any special talent he is.
In one particular scene, they look into his mind (yes, I know that is problematic, from a biblical perspective), and one of the most powerful good guy’s comments that Emmit’s mind is prodigiously empty, except for one really bad idea. Of course, this scene is played for laughs; and is laughable.
Why do I bring this up? Because Christians are not to have prodigiously empty or even slightly empty minds. Our minds are to be filled with the most special minds ever to live.
Philippians 2:1-5 (NKJV) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…
Yes, we are to have the mind of Christ, which is contrary to our minds before we experience His grace in regeneration. Our minds before we begin to be drawn to Christ, by the Holy Spirit, are prodigiously empty of what constitutes the mind of Christ: TRUTH in thought and in governance our actions.
In fact, our minds work in opposition to what it means to have the mind of Christ, which if not understood, will be a hindrance to our attaining any consistent function in that which Philippians calls us to.
So, what constitutes the mind of Christ and how do we come by it?
THE MIND OF CHRIST
Like many of the promises of God concerning the character and operation of our Christian life, the call to “have the mind of Christ” is not automatic to the follower of Jesus Christ, but is untapped potential, until we lay hold of it. This means that any Christian can grow in and develop further the mind of Christ.; but what is the mind of Christ?
Quite simply, having the mind of Christ is to think like Christ and to process what we see and interact with as He did. From Philippians 2:1-5 we see the mind of Christ as being SELFLESS, in the example of His death on the cross on our behalf. Therefore, we can declare the mind of Christ to be focused on loving God and neighbor, before it looks to itself.
The reason for the exhortation to look on the needs of others, is that humanity, based on its fallen nature, is first and foremost selfish in nature. Which is why we must choose the mind of Christ and learn how to attain it.
Our entry into the mind of Christ begins before we actually enter into salvation, knowing the Holy Spirit is drawing us through conviction, based on the word of God concerning our sinful nature and what befalls, should we repent of or remain as we are (Read John 3:1-20). In this understanding, as we repent and begin our walk of faith, we experience the miracle of salvation.
(1 Peter 1:22-23) Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever
The written word of God reveals the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Messiah, who is sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing us to the division of soul and spirit. As we engage in discourse with Christ, through the written word, the Holy Spirit reveals what is right and wrong in our practice of faith and gives us the opportunity to grow in sanctification. You’ll note sanctification is a partnership, where we obey the truth, and God, Himself, empowers us in that and transforms us accordingly.
In this revelation we understand the importance of the word of God. A person who will attain the mind of Christ will meditate on it day and night, as it is the seed of the Christ life, and that which satisfies the soul (Psalm 1:1-3). In this, the follower of Christ understands the power of the word of God to bring their thinking into line with God’s, concerning sin and righteousness; bringing a desire to walk in the former and avoid the latter.
(Psalms 119:9-11) How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
Because we see this truth in our lives, we begin to experience the power of the word of God in the mind and life of those who believe it is the word of God.
(1 Thessalonians 2:13) For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
In the one who is seeking the mind of Christ, they find the word of God “effectively works“, meaning, in great power and force to change and impact. Not only is this illumination found in the power of God’s word to transform the way we think and desire to operate, but also in how it opens us to the provision of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the mind of Christ and His character in our lives.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Although this is a wonderful work we choose, it must take place as another difficult process is advancing. This is where many Christians fail, because to have the mind of Christ, we must be renovating our head space, ripping out the old ways of thinking, as revealed by God and the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 12:1-2) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (spiritual service of worship from NASB). And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We discover above that having the mind of Christ is an action of worship (noting that worship is not confined to singing in a congregational sense. In fact, that aspect of worship, corporate and private praise, are only a fraction of a life that is a “living sacrifice“). Worship is our everyday, all-day service to Christ, where by we live for Him, everywhere, with all our heart. This is founded on the renewing of the mind, where we are no longer conformed to the thinking of the world.
Herein lies the difficulty, when dealing with the meaning of the phrase the “renewing of your mind“, which means a complete renovation of the grey matter between our two ears.
I used to love watching the PBS show “This Old House” where they would renovate a really old house, where the superstructure was solid, but everything else need to be gutted and pulled out for the purpose of putting in the new. If you have ever experienced a renovation, the hard work is tearing out the old. The same is true in the reformation of our mind in that of Christ’s.
In renovating an old house where the foundation and most of the hidden structure is solid, and where most of everything else is aged and deteriorated beyond use or functionality, we must commit to gutting everything else.
To do this is hard and disciplined physical work. One must check their emotions, and sense of nostalgia, or they may not do the work sufficiently enough. What also must be considered is the ease at which we functioned in that old environment, even if it was dilapidated and run down, because operating in the new will not be so familiar. Operating in the new will often be uncomfortable, where we must discipline ourselves to not going back to what is familiar.
This must be considered in the reformation of our mind, into the mind of Christ. Although salvation gives us the blueprint of the Christ life, the power of the Christ life and the potential of the mind of Christ to be a living sacrifice; we must do the hard work of discovering the old ways of thinking and ripping them out. Next time we will discover three areas of our mind before Christ, that must be dealt with, or we risk never attaining the mind of Christ.