Apart from Him we can do nothing

The Mind of Christ

Since Christians have the mind of Christ, we can know him intimately.

Table of Contents

As Christians, we have the mind of Christ. That means we can know and understand God deeply and intimately.

But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For,

“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?

    Who knows enough to teach him?”

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)

One of my favorite words to say – even to write – is simpatico. It looks cool, it sounds cool, it is cool.

Essentially, it means compatible, but it even goes beyond that. It means to share attributes and/or interests.

In today’s passage, we discover that believers are able to be simpatico with the Holy Spirit. We are privileged to experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that allows us to know “God’s deep secrets”.

Paul describes this relationship by saying that we have the mind of Christ. Let’s explore a little more about that together.

We Have the Mind of Christ

In the first part of today’s passage, we come to understand that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to “show us God’s deep secrets”. He does this by indwelling us and communing with our spirits, so that we can know God’s thoughts.

Because our spirits can only know ourselves, through this mystery Paul describes we receive the Holy Spirit and therefore can come into knowledge of God – the mind of Christ.

Then, as Paul describes, when explaining spiritual truths, it is actually through the work of the Holy Spirit that we are able to not only receive these truths, but communicate them as well.

Without this relationship with God through the Holy Spirit, we would not be able to understand the things of God. It would not be possible. This is the dilemma the world faces.

Hope for the World

On the other side stands the world. By virtue of not having the mind of Christ, they cannot understand the spiritual things of God. In fact, Paul tells us it sounds like “foolishness” to the world.

This can be a good litmus test for how powerful our witness is in the world. Do we ever get a confused or even negative reaction when describing our faith to others? If the answer is no, then perhaps we need to examine just what it is we are espousing about our faith? Or are we speaking something in our own wisdom, rather than in the mind of Christ? Not that we want our witness to be confusing. But a natural worldly reaction to spiritual truth can be confusion.

Link to Pinterest pin image of young woman smiling, holding an open Bible, wrapped in strands of light with text that reads "Christ shines through the world's darkness so we may see the light in Him". The foolishness the world sees in the words of the Spirit also highlights something fundamental about how people come to faith in Christ. If the world does not have the mind of Christ, how can one ever hope to understand spiritual things and then walk in repentance and faith with Christ?

It is because of God’s proactive role in our coming to know Him. Christ shines through the world’s darkness so we may see the light in Him.

Jesus’ ministry during His time on earth was to declare to the world the Kingdom of Heaven was near (Matthew 4:17). Ultimately, Jesus came because He was sent by God to be a sacrifice for our sins, showing God loved us first. We didn’t ask for this; God determined this path of His own accord.

It is God’s fervent desire that all would be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Although a lost person does not have the mind of Christ, if they are willing, they can begin to respond to God’s pursuit. As the Bible tells us, when we draw near to God in repentance, God will draw near to us (James 4:8).

Sustaining the Mind of Christ

Now that we have begun to trust in and follow Christ, we can avail ourselves of practices that will help sustain and strengthen the mind of Christ in us.

That’s because God has given us the avenues through which we can enrich our knowledge of Him. I call these things the secret to discipleship, because they are the most basic, fundamental ways that we can grow in the mind of Christ and into holiness. This is experienced through God’s word, prayer, and the body of Christ.

No relationship ends at the beginning. We say “I do”, not “I did’ in a marriage ceremony. We don’t introduce ourselves to others just to never learn anything more than their name.

It’s the same with God. Saying “yes” to Christ is not an item on our spiritual to do list. When we say “yes” to Christ, it is the beginning of an eternal relationship. We must pursue growth in that relationship to maintain sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and the mind of Christ.

We also need to actively pursue holiness, ensuring we do not grieve the Holy Spirit and thereby make it more difficult to hear His voice.

Growing in our relationship with Christ should be our heart’s desire. The blessings and benefits that come from growing in intimacy with Christ cannot be measured. Please, let’s do all that we can to pursue and sustain the mind of Christ in our lives.

More verses about having the mind of Christ:

Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 5:1-2; Philippians 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 1 John 2:5-6

All Biblical reference links courtesy of Bible Gateway, a searchable online Bible tool hosting more than 200 versions of the Bible in over 70 languages.

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