Having the Mind of ChristQUESTION: What are some basic principles on having the mind of Christ?ANSWER:
Having the mind of Christ begins with surrendering the heart and loving Jesus with every ounce of being. Having the mind of Christ requires faith, developing a mind-set on the things of God through a working knowledge of Scripture, and through an obedient and intimate connection with the Spirit of God.
Surrendering the heart to Jesus requires relinquishing control over every area of life. In Luke 14:26 Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus was not advocating a lifestyle of hatred, but simply teaching where one’s priorities must lie. He was putting into perspective the life a believer must live. The believer must live for Him in everything he does, in every relationship he has, with every word he speaks, and with every breath he takes.
Surrender is possible because of Jesus’ great love for His people. Jesus said in John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Though plainly spoken, this is only the tip of the iceberg as it relates to Jesus’ love.
Considering His love fully requires deliberate reflection on the richness of His ministry. Jesus left heaven to live a sinless human life, was rejected by His own creation, was put to a brutal death, and was denied by His own disciples while feeling forsaken by the Father (Mark 15:34).
Hebrews 12:3 says, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Capturing what Jesus did brings about a surrender and a love in the believer’s heart that fulfills the command found in Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”Having the mind of Christ – The Importance of Faith
Knowing this great love and surrendering the heart develops within a believer a spiritual confidence that Scripture calls faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Faith is what propels a person of God to go beyond himself and to lean not on his own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Faith opens the eyes and ears of a believer to the Father’s heart and to every promise He has given. Faith gives the believer the ability to do and not just believe for as James 2:17 says, “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Scripture teaches that Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith in a believer’s life (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus develops faith in a believer as he grows by operating in obedience. To operate in obedience, the believer must have a working knowledge of God’s Word. A working knowledge of God’s Word allows believers to know the will of God because it unites the Spirit of God with his own. Doing this helps weed out of the believers heart and mind the things of the world that have poisoned his spiritual life. Without these poisons, the believer can dive into his relationship with God in a highly intimate manner. He develops the ability to listen to the voice of God and to have regular conversation with Him, which only strengthens the hunger to know Him more and to be more like Him.
The basic principles of having the mind of Christ begin with surrender and end with intimacy. In between these two things is faith in and obedience to God’s will. The believer develops a working knowledge of God’s will through the reading of Scripture and exhibiting faith in the actions of daily life. In the end, the believer simply falls in love with a God who is already in love with him and thus practices a lifestyle that strengthens his relationship with his Savior and he begins to think and act more like Jesus.