Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)
Have The Mind Of Christ
It is beyond the nature of man to live a perfect, sinless life. All have sinned and fallen short of the standard of the Divine. The Son of God took on flesh and became the Savior of all men through His sinless life and the bloodshed for the hope of eternal salvation. No man can come near the perfection of Jesus yet the Holy Spirit exhorts the disciples of Jesus to press toward the desire of the nature of Christ. It is easy to look at Jesus as so far removed from the sinful character of man no attempt or effort is put forth to imitate the character of the Lord. As King of Kings has the Sovereign so removed Himself from His subjects they could never be like Him? Has the wisdom of men dictated that being like Christ is impossible resulting in little or no effort to express the character of Jesus being manifest in the life of His followers? Paul is excited about the saints in Philippi and while he is languishing under Roman guard, the apostle encourages the disciples to have a mind that was like the Son of God. He wants them to have a spirit of servitude showing humility in the relations with others and to possess the consolation of Christ. In truth, Paul suggests it is possible and even expected that the mind of Christ should be a part of the character of the child of God. When writing to the church at Corinth, Paul wanted the brethren to imitate his life as he tried to imitate the life of Christ. He is suggesting they mimic or reproduce the life of Jesus in their own lives. Having the mind of Christ is where the seat of emotions is built upon the character of Jesus. Learning how to think like Jesus requires reading the gospels to see how Jesus dealt with others, exhorted others and on some occasions, challenged the religious norms of the day. God preserved the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to tell the story of Jesus so that His followers would know the kind of man His Son was in the flesh. Ultimately, the example of Jesus should be the kind of example His disciples should possess in every part of their lives. It has been said the life of Jesus is best described by knowing the Sermon on the Mount. He lived every part of it. His life is an open book as He evidenced the character of His heavenly Father. Jesus imitated His Father and His disciples can do no less.
There is a limitation to what man can achieve in having a mind like Christ but these limitations should never hinder the attempt. It can become too easy to fall back on the excuse of human frailty. Christians are human but they are followers of Jesus. If a man imitates the life of Paul (and that is a challenge) then he will be imitating the life of Christ. The goal is to seek the things above and to implement the mind of Christ into every part of life. This can only be done through the agency of reading, examining and study of the word of God. The reason many cannot be like Jesus is that they have never taken the time to understand who He is, what He did and how He glorified the Father. Faith comes from hearing the word of God and knowing about the life of Jesus will only come through a diligent examination of His life. The more a person spends in unfolding the life of Jesus the more his own life will become entwined in the nature of Jesus. Having the mind of Christ is to possess the thinking, attitudes, love, and kindness of the Son of God as He walked among all men and before His accusers. Through this knowledge, the heart will slowly bend to the will of the Father and the character of the disciple will change to be a deeper and godlier influence in the world.
Jesus left an example that can be followed by those who seek His will. His footsteps may seem to be too large but they are there for His followers to place their feet where He has walked. Having a mind of Christ is to love the sinner, forgive the unforgiven, show kindness to others and to live each day in quiet servitude to the will of the Father. He was man full of prayer as His disciples should be. Jesus confronted hypocrisy with wisdom, candor, and truth. His Father’s will was primary in what He said, what He did and why He did what He did. People saw Him for a good man who taught with authority, challenged the norms of the day, spent time with children, talked with those whom others had rejected, forgave all that were offended by Him and died with love on His lips. Possessing a mind of Christ is the heart of a servant. The Father is the purpose of the servant’s life with no other goals in mind. Through the mind of Christ, speech is seasoned with salt and a ready hand is willing to help, hearts are changed and lost souls come to know the glory of the Father in eternal hope. What is wrong with the world is that the minds of folk are on the wrong things. People of God are not living up to their potential because they have not attempted to have the mind of Christ and as a result, wallow in spiritual infancy. Growing up in the spirit of Christ will give strength to the soul and infuse in the heart of the disciple of Jesus Christ the motivation to live more fully before the Lord with greater longing for the last day to come. Jesus looked with joy to the cross because that was the kind of mind He possessed. Having the mind of Christ will help one see death for what it really is: the bridge to eternal glory. Lord Jesus come quickly.