Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)
Learning To Be Christ Like
The Christian life is molded by many factors. When we obeyed the gospel of Christ, we became a new person; someone who has changed everything in life because of the death of God’s Son. There was a moment when we realized we were lost and without hope. Through the message of the gospel, the heart was touched to obey the will of God rising up from baptism a new creature. There is a greater joy, fuller life and the beginning of a lifetime of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. One of vital parts of that growth process is to learn to be like Christ Jesus. Salvation comes in the waters of baptism but the continual manifestation of the Spirit within the child of God is molding the mind to think and act like the Savior.
Paul’s admonition to the saints in Philippi outlines the pattern of humility and care for others. He offers the sacrifice of Jesus as an example of how we should have love and concern for others. The key element of this growth is to have a mind like Christ Jesus. Nothing can be accomplished in life without changing the view to that of God. The image of what God desires is foremost in our minds. His will guides our thoughts in the actions we take in life. Our steps are measured by how Jesus walks. To have a mind like Christ is to think, act, speak and behave as if we were Christ Himself. Jesus left us an example that we should follow in His footsteps. Those are big shoes to fill but it can be done. Thinking like Jesus is to have a humble mind.
The wise man said that as a man thinks – so is he. We are the product of what we think. The manner of our actions are dictated by our attitude, mental discourse, feelings and desire to follow a certain path. Those who think like Christ mold every part of their life for the glory of God. Thinking like Christ will determine the manner of dress. Our clothing reflects our mental attitude. Dressing like the world in a state of undress suggests our mind is not wholly on spiritual matters. Having a Christ-like mind will protect the tongue from gossip, slander, anger, cursing, and a host of many sins that are speech based. What goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. Do not deceived. Whatsoever a man has in his heart will come out from the lips. Cleansing the heart with the mind of Christ will remove the poison of the tongue. Learning to be patient, kind, longsuffering and loving will only come from a mind that is Christ based.
Having a mind like Christ comes from spending many hours examining the life of Jesus. Following His character is how we attain a mind that is holy. He walks before us as an example and we willingly step where He has stepped. A Christian may remark, “I do this because that is who I am.” Have they considered this would not be an action of Jesus? Is it possible to see Jesus with a beer in His hand and a cigarette in the other? If we have the mind of Jesus, would we welcome Him to watch what we view on television and the movies; or what we surf on the internet? It is remarkable what Christians will post on Facebook and think this reflects the mind of Christ. Would you invite Jesus to be your ‘friend’ on Facebook knowing the kind of things seen on many posts? Developing a mind like Christ is learning to mold all parts of life to reflect the glory of God and nothing seen or said would bring shame to Jesus.
Prayer was one of the pivotal parts of the life of Christ. To have a mind like Christ demands worn knees. He talked to His Father a lot because there was a lot to talk about. Jesus developed His mind to be like His Father with constant communication. How can we do any less? The mind of Jesus was fully obedient to the will of the Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord desired to have a mind like His Father when He said, “Thy will be done.” Developing a mind like Christ requires that we say to the Father, “Thy will be done.” The mind of Christ is a beautiful mind. Free of worry, stress, anxiety and doubt. His life was fully devoted to the will of His Father. We will find peace and hope when we change our minds to be like Christ. Have this mind which was also in Christ Jesus.