Have This Mind
Philippians 2:5-8 ESV
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
To be likeminded with Christ, we have to first of all be in relationship with him. And, the way in which we enter into relationship with him is through the forsaking of our former self, and in the renewal of our minds, and in the putting on of the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.
All this is the working of God’s Spirit, who transforms us from death to life, and from the power of Satan to God, who renews us in Christ Jesus, and who gives us new lives in Christ to be lived for his glory and praise. Even the faith to believe in Jesus Christ is God’s gift to us. And, if from God, then it submits to the Lordship of Christ, repents of sin, and obeys the Lord.
[Eph. 2:8-10; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9]
His Mind Within Us
Now, if Christ is in us, his mind is also within us, so we should have his mind and heart within us. But, we have to tune into his mind, and we have to adopt his thinking and his heart into our own way of thinking, and into our own hearts. And, we do this by centering our thoughts on Jesus and on his Word, and by not only listening to his word, but by being doers of his word.
The only way any of us are going to be likeminded with Jesus Christ, though, is if we surrender our lives over to him, if we submit to his will for our lives, and if we leave our lifestyles of sin behind us to follow him in obedience.
Then, as we walk with him, and we do what he says, his way of thinking and his heart become our way of thinking and our heart.
For, as we get to know him, we get to know his thinking, and we get to know his heart, and then we begin to feel passionately about the things he is passionate about, and we begin to think about life and relationships and obedience through his eyes, and from his perspective, and not from our own. And, we begin to love what he loves, and hate what he hates.
Bought with a Price
And, we no longer see our lives and our ministries as our own, to function the way we think they ought to function, but we begin to realize that we were bought back for God with the blood of Jesus. And, so we realize that we belong to God.
And, so we understand that we must live, and we must conduct ourselves, and we must minister in the ways that His Word instructs, and according to God’s specific calling on our individual lives.
So, for example, if God has called us to blog, then we need to see our blog not as our own, but as God’s. Therefore, we also need to see that what we write on that blog is not to come from our own minds and thinking, but from his. For, if we belong to him, and our blog belongs to him, then we are merely servants to do his bidding, and thus he is the one who decides what we write and how we write it, and even regarding the appearance of it.
Now, there are a lot of people who call themselves Christians who are not true Christians, for they never died with Christ to sin, and they aren’t living to Christ and to his righteousness, but they are living for themselves.
But, then there are Christians who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, who are not living in sin, but who are walking in the Light as Christ is in the Light.
But, so many of them don’t grasp this whole mindset that our lives are not our own. We now belong to Jesus. So, he chooses how we live our lives, not just in the areas of not sinning, and in obeying Christ’s commands, but in what jobs we have, and where we work, and where we live, and what ministries we have, and how they are to be conducted, etc.
We have to empty ourselves of ourselves, we have to become the Lord’s servants, his bond-slaves, and we have to humble ourselves and be willing to do whatever it is that God has specifically called us to do that may not be exactly like what someone else is called to do, but which will be consistent with the word of God and with God’s divine character and will for our lives.
And, we have to be willing, in the execution of doing his work, according to his will and in his ways, to be hated, to be rejected, to be mocked, to be thought crazy, to be unpopular, to be isolated and alone, to be abused, and even to be falsely accused, falsely arrested, and even put to death. Then, we will know what it means to have this mind in us that Christ had in him.
Work Out Your Salvation
Philippians 2:12-13 ESV
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about this Scripture and its message because there is a lot of misunderstanding about our Lord’s plan of salvation for our lives, too. For, a lot of people think of salvation as a one-time deal. You “get saved,” and then you live your life, and one day you get to go to heaven when you die. But, that’s the wrong idea.
The Scriptures teach that we are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and that we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns, and our salvation is then complete and our marriage to Christ is consummated.
A lot of the problem comes in to play, I believe, because of incorrect verb tense translation when translating from Greek to English (for English speaking people, that is).
For example, in John 3:16 it says that “whoever believing in him has eternal life.” It isn’t past tense. It is present tense, which indicates that it is ongoing and continuous. So, we aren’t saved based on past belief, but on present and active belief. So, we have to actively be believing in Jesus when we die if we want to have eternal life with God.
And, then there is the issue of defining “belief,” for it means to be persuaded by God, and if persuaded by God, it will submit to Christ as Lord, it will forsake sin, and it will walk in obedience to his commands, because it comes from God, and not from ourselves. We just have to daily put it into practice by God’s power and in his strength at work within our lives.
And, this is where this working out our own salvation with fear and trembling comes into play.
This is not works-based salvation. This is not us trying to earn or to deserve our own salvation. It is us daily living out the faith that we have in Jesus Christ in the fear of the Lord, and in submission to his will. But, it is God who is working his will in our lives as daily we surrender our lives to his will.
Are We Surrendered?
And, this goes back to this whole thing of our lives not being our own, but that they belong to God – everything about us, our whole lives.
Are we surrendered to Jesus Christ? Is he truly our owner-master? Are we steadfast in living for him and in allowing him to live his life in us and out through us for his glory and praise? Is he truly King over our lives? And, over our ministries, too? Is he the one deciding what we do and what we write? Or, are we still holding on to the wheel?
To have this mind in us that is also in Christ Jesus means that we have to be emptied of us, and we have to lay it all down, and we have to surrender it all to the Lord, and then just let him lead us one day and one step at a time.
And, particularly now, when the world is all upside down, and everything is changing daily, we need to be surrendered to Jesus, and we need to just let him lead, for he knows what lies ahead, and we don’t. For, he may lead us to places we have never gone before, in ways we have never experienced before, because things are drastically changing in our world.
So, we need to be ready to go with him wherever he takes us, and to do whatever it is he leads us to do, all within his perfect will for our lives.
John W. Thompson / Randy Scruggs
Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for you
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