We’ve undergone an extensive study on the mind of Christ, focusing primarily on the text on the subject in Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Phlp. 2:1-8). Paul lists many characteristics that exemplify the mind of Christ that we should implement into our lives as Christians- unity, fellowship, love, humility, obedience, sacrifice, service. Paul’s admonition, in the middle of the text, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” is an instruction, not a suggestion. We’re supposed to implement the mind of Christ in our lives. How can we do that?
Our forgiveness and salvation began with God’s love for us. Our dedication to God should be rooted in our love for Him. He deserves our love because He first loved us (1 Jn. 4:9-10, 19), demonstrating the depth of that love by sending Christ to die for us (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8). Our entire relationships with God is centered in Christ (Jn. 14:6). If we embody the kind of love for God that we should, then we will also love our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Jn. 4:11, 20-21). Having the proper love for each other will naturally promote the fellowship and unity that Paul said exemplifies the mind of Christ.
Proper love will also produce the humility that Jesus demonstrated in leaving Heaven and submitting to God’s will to go to the cross. First, we need to be humble enough to obey God’s teachings. Jesus “humbled Himself and became obedient…” (Ph. 2:8). One of the most fundamental ways we can show our humbleness of mind before God is by consistently obeying His commandments (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23).
But our humility also needs to be expressed toward our fellow Christians. Humility will leave no room for conceit or arrogance. It will exhibit patience and compassion and forgiveness in the face of others weaknesses and shortcomings (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12-13).
True love will also create a willingness, even a desire, to sacrifice and serve God in a diligent manner. Giving up something from the surplus in our lives, or giving from our leftovers, is not necessarily sacrifice. Real sacrifice is giving up something that effects us personally. In what ways can we serve God sacrificially?
We can purposefully give up some of our time specifically to serve God. We can visit the sick and shut-ins and strive to help them in whatever ways they need and we can. We can contact visitors to services, welcome them and encourage them to come back. We can invite new people to services. We can set up Bible studies with, and pass on teaching literature to, those who need the gospel. We can volunteer to teach a Bible class, or help someone else who is teaching. We can volunteer to help with any number of chores that must be done to keep up the church grounds and facilities. We can be there to listen to and encourage a brother or sister who is struggling with something in their personal life. There are ways that all of us can serve. We need to think, focus and follow through. Implementing the mind of Christ in our lives is not an incidental matter, and it will not happen by accident. Have you implemented the mind of Christ in your life?
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Gary L. Hutchens