Having the Mind of Christ
Having the Mind of Christ
In Philippians 2:5 we are commanded to have the mind of Christ to dwelling in us. What is the mind of Christ? How can we come to have the mind of Christ?
I would like to refer to an article that appeared in the South Bend Tribune on September 11, 1999. Now that is not September 11th last year, but 1999. The article stated that Doris McFarlin (spelling?) lives in Plymouth, Indiana. And on a Wednesday, September 1999, her daughter Nancy Rogers heard a noise like something whipping around it the family cellar. When Rogers pulled open a trap door leading into the cellar near the back door of her home, she could barely stifle her fears. She saw a large snake with the head and paws of a stray cat hanging from its jaws. She immediately called the Plymouth Police Department. They came with their guns, but they couldn't find anything to shoot. Then they called in the reptile snake experts, and following his lengthy inspections of the crevices beneath the McFarlins home, Wilson told Rogers some snakes can hide vertically between wall studs in a home if there is no insulation. He said some snakes can flatten themselves and hide in the walls, or possible make their way to the attic.
Now the reason I mention this is for your comfort and encouragement so that you can know what snakes are up to. McFarlin said she had every intention of sleeping in her home Thursday night, until she heard the snake thrashing in the basement once again. Rogers said when she got home from work she found her mother in her car. She wasn't going to stay in that house. I just want this over, Rogers said. I just want to get back home. McFarlin and Rogers said they have heard noises in the cellar in the past, but never thought much of it until they decided to investigate.
Okay, there is a moral to this story. That is, if you hear noises in your cellar, don't investigate. Of course that is not the moral. None of us would want to have snakes, rats, mice, other type of reptiles running around in our basements, walls, or attics. I remember growing up in east Tennessee, once I walked into our living room and there was a big snake. I didn't stop to determine what type it was. I started out. I went through the kitchen, told my mother, I said, "There is a snake in the living room." Well she didn't pay any attention to me because I was going outside. I came back with the ax. I came in and I decapitated the snake. Put a little dent in the floor. But mom didn't seem to be too concerned about that. Those type of things happen, especially if you live in the country.
I think we are all very careful about what we allow into our homes. You would not allow a pack of wild dogs to come into your house. Now, I gave this sermon in east Texas, and one of the elders there, in getting ready for the Passover, opened the door to his house. And he has a lot of outside dogs. You know, you have inside, outside dogs. His outside dogs all came in. And they were all pretty big. It took them twenty minutes to get those dogs out. And they sequestered him in the back room because he was all dressed up for the Passover, he didn't want to get his suit dirty so his wife and children had to run the dogs out. You can imagine it if it were a pack of wild dogs, coyotes, that type of thing.
Would you invite a rapists, a drug dealer, sex pervert, murderers, into your home? I don't think so. I think most of us would do anything we could to keep them out. We want to protect our families. We want to protect our wives, our children. We are also concerned about our health. And those type of creatures don't add to our health, our sanity, peace of mind, emotional stability. Our homes should be a safe haven. Your home should be a clean environment in which you live. Your home is also an environment in which your family can have privacy. You can close the door and you and your wife can talk in private.
Now should we not exercise, at least, the same amount of concern about what comes into our minds as to what some people might be concerned to what would come into our homes? It is amazing that many people are very concerned about what might enter into their house, as I have described, but have very little concern about what enters into their minds. What they see. What they see on TV or movies, or what they hear or what they read. And it brings us down to a point that we want to concentrate on today and that is, the battle that you and I as a Christian have is in our minds. This is where we do battle.
That great snake, called Satan the devil, tries to influence our minds. He is like the snake that got into the McFarlin's home. He tries to get into our mind with his attitude, his approaches, his philosophies, his ways. And he wants to in any way that he possibly can, have his way rub off on us. Our minds, that God has given to us, are a great gift from God. They are one of the greatest gifts that God has given to us. We have a mind because of the spirit in man. The spirit of man is placed in our brain and gives us abilities akin to God. The ability to think, to reason, to abstract, to philosophize, to learn, to create, to design. Things that the other creatures are not able to do. They operate according to instinct. And yet, we have those abilities. It is through our minds that we can have contact with God.
Romans 8:16 Romans 8:16The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
American King James Version×The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
So what goes into our minds determines if we will live forever. Or if we will cease to exist forever. So what comes into our minds is extremely important.
I want to you to notice the standard that God has set for us to shoot for. This is the standard none of us have perfectly reached yet.
In Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
American King James Version×we are commanded this: Philip. 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
So you and I are to have the mind of Christ dwelling in us. What would Jesus Christ allow to have come into His mind? How do you have the mind of Christ? What is the mind of Christ? How do you recognize the mind of Christ? That is what we want to emphasize today. How do you and I come to have the mind of Jesus Christ? The mind of God dwelling within us?
But before we jump into that, let's get a contrast. Sometimes it is helpful if you contrast one way with another. It helps you to understand more clearly what you are trying to do. Let's contrast the mind of Satan the devil with what the mind of Jesus Christ is.
In 1 Timothy 3: 6 it talks about ordination. It is talking about ordaining a man as a bishop or an overseer, an elder in the church. Verse 6 clearly says not to ordain anyone who is a novice. In other words, somebody who has been newly converted.
1 Timothy 3:6 1 Timothy 3:6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
American King James Version×not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
What was Satan's problem? His problem was a matter of pride, of ego, he was lifted up with pride and with vanity.
Let's go back to Isaiah 14: 12 where we will see how this occurred. This is a section that we are all very familiar with.
Isaiah 14:12-14 Isaiah 14:12-14  How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!  For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
American King James Version×
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
 For you have said in your heart: Now I want you to notice, he said in his heart. In other words, he reasoned in his mind, his reasoning abilities. He reasoned this way. I, and I want you to notice the word I, how often it appears here.
'I will ascend into heaven, So this indicates that he wasn't in heaven at this time. The Bible indicates that he was on this earth.
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; Stars being symbolic of angels. He is saying here, I want to be above all the angels. I am more important than all of them.
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, So that indicates that he was below the clouds, to go above the clouds.
I will be like the Most High.'
So you find that he was not willing to do the job that God had assigned him to be here on the earth. Originally God would have used him to help bring human beings to salvation. He wasn't satisfied with that. He wanted to be over all the angels. He wanted to be like God Himself. So what you see here is vanity and pride in him. He coveted something that was never offered to him. He lusted. He had wrong desires. And so therefore he rebelled against God.
Ezekiel 28:12 Ezekiel 28:12Son of man, take up a lamentation on the king of Tyrus, and say to him, Thus said the Lord GOD; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
American King James Version×adds more information to this.
Ezekiel 28:12 Ezekiel 28:12Son of man, take up a lamentation on the king of Tyrus, and say to him, Thus said the Lord GOD; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
American King James Version×"Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, The kind of Tyre here blends up into a type of Lucifer. And he goes on to say here, Thus says the Lord God:
"You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
It would be hard to describe a human being this way. I look out, I see a lot of beautiful ladies here, but I don't know if any of us are perfect in beauty. If any of us are just full of wisdom. Just brim full. But this is the way he was. This is how God created him. Every angel was a separate creation. Lucifer was created and God gave him an extreme amount of wisdom. And he was perfect in beauty. He was in the Garden of Eden, as verse 13 says. The last sentence talks about the fact that he was a created being.
Ezekiel 28:14-17 Ezekiel 28:14-17  You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the middle of the stones of fire.  You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.  By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the middle of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the middle of the stones of fire.  Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.
American King James Version×
"You were the anointed cherub who covers;...
 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till you see, until something happened, Till iniquity was found in you.
So something happened. Iniquity was found in him. In other words, in his mind, in his reasoning, in his thought processes he began to go astray. He began to miss the mark. He began to go off. And, as it goes on to say in verse 16.
Ezekiel 28:16 Ezekiel 28:16By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the middle of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the middle of the stones of fire.
American King James Version×
"By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned; So he became a violent being and he also sinned. And you noticed that it talks about him as a covering cherub again.
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.
Ezekiel 28:17 Ezekiel 28:17Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.
American King James Version×"Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; So you find that Lucifer had the same problem that human being have. And you can have where humans get this proclivity. He was a beautiful being. He was so beautiful that he was lifted up with his beauty. Became enthralled with himself. And his vanity, and his pride, his ego got to him. And he corrupted his wisdom. He had wisdom but became corrupted. Ezekiel 28:17 Ezekiel 28:17Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.
American King James Version×...You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;
So you find that he had a problem with his heart. It says your heart was lifted up. In other words, his mind, his heart, his reasoning.
A summary of what we found about this being is simply this. His basic problem was pride. He coveted. He tried to take something that was not his. He used violence to get it. And you find that he has followed that approach. He is lawless in his mind. He sinned. He is filled with iniquity. And he had no respect for God. Because if he had, he would have obeyed God. But he rebelled.
Now the question is, has his attitude, has his approach and philosophy rubbed off on the nations that we see about us today? Over the last 6,000 years, can you look at the world from the time of the garden down to this time, and ask yourself whose mind, whose attitude, whose approach, has the world basically followed? Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American King James Version×gives the answer.
Ephes. 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, because it shows that all of us at one time had walked or lived according to this world, the ways of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
So you find that Satan's way has certainly rubbed off on the world around us, that he is the power, the spirit, the influence of the world around us, and you find that his ways influence everyone, as this says. Notice verse 3, talking about those who are now in the church.
Ephes. 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
So the unconverted live according to the standards of this world. According to its approach, its philosophy, its governments, its attitude. You will find the unconverted live according to the devil's way. He works in people. He has worked in all of us. And I want you to notice again the characteristics as they are outlined in verse 3. The lusts of the flesh, the desires of the flesh and the mind, by nature are children of wrath. These are the same attributes, the same approach that Satan had where he lusted, he coveted, he had wrath and violence, and he sinned.
What we tend to call human nature is no more than the way that we were created naturally. God created us physical. But desires that are influenced by the devil, by society around us, by others, and so therefore you find that these desires and approaches begin to go off in a wrong direction.
1 John 2:15-16 1 John 2:15-16  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
American King James Version×Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world- This isn't just talking about the globe, but all that is in this world, this society around us, you find is-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
So you will find this world, the society around us, the cosmos, is influenced by Satan by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It is interesting if you look up in West Word Studies of the Bible, the word here, pride, means vain glory or an insolent assurance which trusts in its own power and resources. When we talk about the pride of life we are talking about someone who trust in himself, in his abilities, in his skills, in his talents, and does not rely upon God. And this is why the pride of life is wrong. Can you see Satan in that? What Satan did was he trusted in himself. He began to think more highly of himself than he did of God. His perspective went astray. It also, part of the definition of the pride of life is the assurance and stability of earthly things. Relying on earthly things. And that is the humanistic approach that you see that people have around us where they rely upon humans, human government, human philosophy, and not upon God. The problem with Satan is that he trusted himself and he has convinced human beings to trust in themselves and to follow whatever the eyes want in the flesh, desires, without any control whatsoever.
As we read here, this is not of the Father. These attitudes are not of the Father, they are of Satan the devil. So where do we then as Christians have our major battles? Where does it take place? Matthew 15:11 Matthew 15:11Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.
American King James Version×makes that clear. If you remember the story, Christ and His disciples did not ceremonially wash the way the Jews did before they ate. The Jews normally had a custom they would wash up above the elbows. It was more of a ritual, a ceremony. Christ and His disciples didn't do that. So they were being accused of disobeying the traditions. And Christ said in verse 9 in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. But verse 11 Christ goes on to explain to His disciples an important principle.
Matthew 15:11 Matthew 15:11Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.
American King James Version×Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
What comes out of your mouth. The mouth is tied to the brain. You speak and it comes out.
Matthew 15:17 Matthew 15:17Do not you yet understand, that whatever enters in at the mouth goes into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
American King James Version×Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?
Had there been times that you have ever eaten without washing your hands? I have been out hunting, been many times, maybe a picnic, occasions where you are out and you haven't had a chance to wash and maybe get a little bit of dirt on the food. The Bible says it goes into the digestive process and it is eliminated. You don't have to worry about it.
Matthew 15:18-20 Matthew 15:18-20  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:  These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man.
American King James Version×But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, See, there is where the problem is. They come from the heart, they come out of the mind, and they defile a man.  For out of the heart proceed, what? evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.  These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
So the problems that we have begin in our minds, don't they. This is where our struggle is. And as Christ said, the things that defile us are these wrong thoughts, the wrong motives that come from our mind.
James 1:13 James 1:13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
American King James Version×makes it very clear that it is in our minds that we have to begin to work to have the mind of Christ if we want to have that mind in us.
James 1:13-15 James 1:13-15  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
American King James Version×Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, God's very nature, He has decided what is right and wrong and He will not go the wrong way. So He cannot be tempted by evil. nor does He Himself tempt anyone. The word here for tempt in the Greek is the same word that is used sometimes for trial. It can be either tempt or trial. God will try us to see if we are going to remain faithful. God wants to know what our character is so He puts us to the test. Satan temps us to get us to sin. That is what he tries to do.  But each one is tempted, this explains how we are tempted, when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. So temptation comes because in our mind we begin to have certain desires. And maybe those desires are not right. Maybe they are wrong. They could be coveting. They could be lusting after something. And then we are enticed by it. Just because the thought comes, you are not sinning. But when you think about that thought and you are enticed by it, it appeals to you,  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; So we can think on a topic and a subject and we began to conjugate on it and it begins to conceive. And it becomes like a baby being born. We have a fault. We have an attitude. We have an approach that is not right. So it is in our minds where we must begin our effort to come out of sin. Temptation begins in the mind. Temptation begins when we think with the things that we think about. The things that we contemplate in our minds. It is here where the lusts of the flesh are conceived. It is here where sin is born. And it is here where we can begin to win the battle.
Brethren, if we can have more of the mind of Jesus Christ, then so many problems that we deal with can be handled, can be eliminated. It is just like child rearing. As a parent, when you have children, too often parents correct just for little mistakes that children make and they overlook attitude. If you get to the attitude, correct the attitude, make sure the attitude is right, that covers a whole host of problems the child might have.
The same is true here, if we can have more of the mind of Jesus Christ, the mind of God dwelling in us, then we can overcome many of the problems that we are plagued with. It is the Spirit of God that imparts the mind of God to us. It is through God's Spirit. When you were baptized, had hands laid on you, God gave you His Holy Spirit.
Let's notice 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
American King James Version×. God's Spirit imparts that mind to us.
1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
American King James Version×, 10 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
It is the Spirit of God that imparts to us spiritual understanding, awareness.
1 Corinthians 2:11 1 Corinthians 2:11For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
American King James Version×For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?
Now we all understand that. We understand the things of a man. You can read an encyclopedia and you can understand. You can read about another country. You can begin to understand a little bit about their culture, or their religion, their philosophy, their education, maybe their dress, styles, or whatever it might be. Because we have the spirit of man, that helps us to have a mind, we can understand the things of a man. We can understand emotions, and feelings, and love. All of these things. But you know, a chicken doesn't understand the things of a man. A chicken understands the things of a chicken. If I brought a chicken in here and put him on this podium. He would look. He might peck at this mic. He might fly over and land on Mr. Antion's head. He wouldn't, but she might lay an egg. This type of thing. But they would have no idea what this is all about. A dog understands the things of a dog. A cat the things of a cat. But a man understands the things of a man because of the spirit that has been given.
Even so, notice, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
You and I cannot understand spiritual things unless they are given to us.
1 Corinthians 2:12 1 Corinthians 2:12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
American King James Version×Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
So there is a spirit of this world. There is an influence of this world. A definite influence. A little baby is born neutral, as far as its mind. It can be influenced for good or evil. And as it begins to grow up Satan is there broadcasting his attitudes and approaches and philosophies. He begins to be influenced by society around him, by parents, educational system, religion, the philosophies of this world, peers. And pretty soon he begins to take on those approaches and those attitudes.
But God gives us His Spirit. And God's Spirit helps us to understand spiritual things.
1 Corinthians 2:14 1 Corinthians 2:14But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
American King James Version×But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him...
Now let's drop down to verse 16. For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
Brethren, you and I have the mind of Christ. When God gives us His Spirit He begins to impart that mind to us. And it is through God's Spirit that we have that mind. You and I are to have the mind of Christ dwelling in us. As 2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
American King James Version×clearly states: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, The Spirit of God is not a spirit of timidity, of fear, but of power, He gives us power to overcome and to grow and to change, and of love and of a sound mind.
You and I are to have a sound mind. The word sound there means a disciplined mind. Self control. Brethren, you find that people who do not have discipline, who do not have self control, who just sort of run-a-muck so to speak, give in to every whim, do not control their thoughts, their actions, really do not have a sound mind. The sound mindedness is knowing what is right and having the control and the discipline to go that way. And when a person just does what he wants to do, that is not soundness of mind. You have to do what God tells us to do.
Now let's back up to Philippians 2 again. This is where we started. And this is where we want to focus because we want to have the mind of Jesus Christ. How do we do that?
Philip. 2:2-5 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, Now how are we like minded with one another? Well, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. We are to be like minded in all of those ways in our mind in how we love. Our attitude towards one another.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition, the word there is the same word for faction such as party spirit. Nothing is to be done in that manner, or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Lowliness of mind has to do with humility of mind. One definition of lowliness, and again this is from West Word Study of the Bible, "That state of mind which submits to the divine order of the universe and does not impiously exalt itself." Lowliness goes directly against the way Satan was. He exalted himself. You and I humble ourselves. The word is used in a secular document of the Nile River at its low stage in this sentence. It runs low. Okay. What God wants us to do, He wants us to run low. He doesn't want us to run high so to speak. He wants us not to have this great exalted opinion about ourselves and the vanity. But that we are to, as it says, to esteem others better than ourselves.
Now how can you esteem others better than yourself when you have more ability, talent, and skills than they do? I am jesting here because this is the way some people would look at it. The Bible says those who compare themselves among themselves are not wise. Now why would God say that? Because, how does God look on a human being? God looks on the heart, does He not? He looks on the inward man. He looks on the attitude. He looks on the approach. Not on the outward appearance. Not on how many abilities, talents that we have. Not on how the skin is stretched on our bones. God looks on the heart of a man. And so as it says here, we are to esteem others better than ourselves. You do not know the attitude and the approach and the heart of another human being. God does. So how can we exalt ourselves and say that we are better than they are?
I tell you, we just came from east Texas. We have a lot of widows there who have been in the church 30, 40, and maybe some 50 years. And I will guarantee you, they put us to shame in many cases. They sit there and they study all day long. I use to have widows on regular basis asking me questions. And I would say, well I will get back to you on this, because I would have to go and start digging and study. And they were studying their Bibles. And they were on top of things. Well, brethren, this is what God looks at. God looks at the attitude, and He is saying that we should not exalt ourselves. We are to esteem others better. This is a basic approach to a lowliness of mind.
 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. So we are told here that we are to have concern for others. This doesn't mean you meddle in other people's business, but instead of just always having our mind turned in and focusing on yourself, we are outward focusing on other people.
 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Christ had the mind of the Father in Him. We are to have the same mind. What was the mind of Christ?
Well let me read to you Today's English Version of the Bible says, The attitude you should have is the one Jesus Christ had.
The International Standard Version says; Have the same attitude among yourselves that was also in Christ Jesus.
New Living Translation says, your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.
The word here for mind can be translated attitude, or approach, or mind. You and I are to emulate the virtues that Jesus Christ had. What is the one thing that is pointed out here in verses 1-11 about Jesus Christ? The mind of Christ was the mind of humility. The one characteristic associated here and clearly brought out is humility. It was His attitude. It was His approach. He was like minded with the Father. How was the humility of Jesus Christ expressed? How did He express His humility? It was exhibited in Him taking on our nature, taking on the flesh. You know, He was God in the flesh.
Think of the level of living in existence that He gave up to come to this earth. He had glory. He had power. He was a spirit being. He was in the very third heaven surrounded by who knows what kind of beauty, magnificent, millions of angels, being at the very throne room of God. And so Jesus Christ gave that up to come down and to live in the flesh. He was born of a woman. So he spent nine months in a woman, in her womb, growing, maturing, to be born as a baby. He was subject to His parents as he grew up. For most of His physical life He was a carpenter. He did not try to exalt Himself. He could have been anything He wanted to be. But He said He came to do the will of the Father. To be a sacrifice for man.
Luke 9:58 Luke 9:58And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not where to lay his head.
American King James Version×, you might remember, Christ said foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. He did not come trying to accumulate wealth and riches. With His ability, with His skills, with His knowledge, He could have done anything on this earth. But He was a carpenter. He was willing to wash His disciples feet. He set the example of humility and of service. He exposed Himself to suffering, to reproach, to contempt, and then finally death.
Philip. 2:6-8 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, He was on the same level. He was equal with God. He had always co-existed with God. Forever.  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
So brethren, what we find if we are going to have the mind of Jesus Christ, the basis of that attitude is one of humility. Jesus Christ had the attitude of humility.
Matthew 11:29 Matthew 11:29Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.
American King James Version×Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Christ said He was gentle and He was lowly in heart. Now contrast Christ's attitude and approach with the attitude that Satan had. He exalted himself. He wasn't willing to do what the Father said. He thought he should be in charge. Remember John 5:19 John 5:19Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.
American King James Version×, when Christ was on the earth, Christ said He could do nothing of Himself, but what the Father told Him, that is what He did. He didn't come here with His own agenda. He didn't come here saying well, forget about the Father and what He wants. No, He said I came to do the will of the Father. So He is showed His humility.
Let's notice another attribute of a Christ like mind. Romans 7:24 Romans 7:24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
American King James Version×describes, Paul describes, the struggle that every one of us has as a Christian. Wanting to do what is right, but having the pulls of the flesh that pull us in a different direction.
Romans 7:24-25 Romans 7:24-25  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
American King James Version×O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Brethren, in our mind, our attitude should be one of law abiding. You and I should strive to be law abiding. The mind of God is a law abiding mind.
Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
American King James Version×talks about the new covenant being formed on better promises. You and I just observed the Passover not too long ago. We reaffirmed our commitment at that time to the new covenant that God is making with us. And you find that one of the better promises of the new covenant was that God would put His law in our hearts and our minds. He would write them in our hearts and in our minds. Not just on a doorpost. Not just in a book or on a plaque. But that they would actually be written in our hearts and our minds, so that if you lost your Bible, never had it, were on a deserted island, you know how to live. You would know which day is the Sabbath. You would know how you are supposed to treat your neighbor. God's law would be written in your very heart and your very nature.
You see, the law of God reflects God's mind and attitude. It shows us how God would think. It shows how God would live if He were here on this earth and if He lived in the flesh. And you know what? God did come and live in the flesh. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He lived by the laws of God. He never sinned, even though He was tempted as we are. God lives in flesh today, does He not? He lives in our flesh. We are the temple of God. God lives in us. So God wants us to live without sinning. But we are human. We still sin.
So brethren, one of the better promises that God gives us is that His law can be written in our hearts and our minds. Now you contrast that with Satan the devil, he not only sinned, but he is lawless. And there is a difference. You can sin. You can make mistakes. But if your whole nature is one of lawlessness, where you do not agree with keeping law and you want to go the opposite way, that is the way he is. He does not agree with God's law because the law of God reflects the nature of God. It reflects how God would live. And so he doesn't agree with that at all.
Now in 1 John 3:10 1 John 3:10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.
American King James Version×we find the difference between the children of God and the children of the devil.
1 John 3:10 1 John 3:10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.
American King James Version×In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
The word practice means to live it as a way of life. So what we are talking about here, God's law is written in our hearts and our minds and we are to live it as a way of life.
1 John 3:11 1 John 3:11For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
American King James Version×For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
Again, the tense in the Greek is that we are to be practicing love. That this is a way of life with us. We must practice righteousness. We must do what is right. The first nine verses of this chapter talk about lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness, as it shows here. And again, as you go through here, it is talking about those who practice sin. Those who live in sin as a way of life. But I want you to notice, it says here, we are to also love our brother.
1 John 4:7-8 1 John 4:7-8  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.  He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
American King James Version×Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
It is not a matter that God just loves. God is love. This is the way He is. This is what His nature is. If we have the mind of God, the mind of Jesus Christ, we will have love one for another. We will have the godly love. We will be striving to love each other and have the proper relationship with one another.
Now contrast that with Satan the devil. Can we say that Satan has a nature of love? That he has a nature of giving, of sharing? That his nature is one of trying to help others? No, his nature is one of violence, is one of taking, is one of getting, is one of exalting the self, it is one of a lack of concern for others. He does not have this outgoing concern and love that we should have for each other.
So another characteristic, attribute of the mind of Christ is that it is a mind that shows love. It is based upon that.
In Matthew 20:25 Matthew 20:25But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them.
American King James Version×we find that the mind that Jesus Christ had was a mind that focused on service.
Matthew 20:25-28 Matthew 20:25-28  But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them.  But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave--  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
The mind of God is a mind of service. God gave His Son to us. Jesus Christ gave His life in payment for our sins. When Jesus Christ walked this earth, He was willing to serve. Everyone He came into contact with He served. And on the final night, He washed His disciples feet.
So brethren, what hinders us from having the mind of Jesus Christ? What hinders us from having this mind of service? Of having the mind of love? The mind of law abidingness? A mind of humility? Well the problem is that too often we begin to focus on ourselves. We begin to focus on this world, on the around.
Let's notice Ephesians 5:26 Ephesians 5:26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
American King James Version×. We find here what you and I have to do to make sure that we have the mind of Christ. Because brethren, society is geared in such a way today as to fill our mind with everything but what the mind of Christ is. You look at media, at movies, at television, at what you can read. You can go on the internet, you know there are literally thousands of internet pornographic sites that people can go to. What do a lot of latch key children do when they come home? They get on their computers before their parents arrive home. They surf the computer. In many cases they can see and observe almost anything that you can think of. You find that Satan has geared the society around us to try to influence man totally away from having the mind of God. How do we have the mind of God? Notice verse 6 here.
Ephes. 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her, talking about Christ dealing with the church, with the washing of water by the word,
Brethren, you and I have our minds cleaned up by the word of God. And as we heard in the sermonette, God gives us His Spirit. God gives us His word. This is the word of God, or you might say the water of God that God gives to us to help clean us up. And if you find that you begin to think in a way that is not appropriate, you are having thoughts that are not right, this is where we need to go. If you have got dirt on your face, you take a cloth and soap and you wipe it off and you clean yourself up. Brethren, if you begin to have dirt in your mind, you begin to have wrong thoughts, wrong approaches, you take the word of God and you begin to wash your mind. And if it is particularly bad, you wash your mind as much as you need. People ask the question how much should I study? You study as much as you need to study to have the mind of God, to have the right attitude, to have the right approach. Whatever it takes. Along with that comes prayer.
2 Corinthians 4:16 2 Corinthians 4:16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
American King James Version×says ...yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Day by day. And so, spiritually you find that it is not a matter of just receiving the Spirit of God and you have it made. That spiritual man has to be renewed on a daily basis. You and I have to establish contact with God on a daily basis. And that is done through prayer, through Bible study. The Bible, the word of God, shows us what the mind of God is. How God thinks, His approach. His viewpoint. So the more we study it the more the thoughts, the ways, the approach of God is revealed to us. And it takes prayer to go along with that because through prayer God renews His Spirit in us. And as we study the Bible, God's Spirit helps us to have a spiritual understanding and a depth of understanding that we may not have.
You have got to realize, as Romans 1:28 Romans 1:28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
American King James Version×says, that if you reject the knowledge of God, then people are given over to a debased mind, a perverted mind, a twisted mind, a mind that does not reason in the right way.
You and I, brethren, are not to reject the knowledge of God. We are to constantly use that. And so you find that God's Spirit imparts to us the very divine nature of God. We can have God's mind dwelling within us.
So Brethren, what I have illustrated to you here today, I have contrasted the mind of Satan with the mind of God. Satan's mind is one on itself. Totally selfish. Filled with violence, vanity, pride, greed, taking. Whereas the mind of Jesus Christ, when He lived on this earth which He illustrated how we are to live His mind of humility, mind of service, a mind of love. It is law abiding. Jesus Christ walked with His Father.
Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
American King James Version×says let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. That is a sound mind. It is a pure mind. It is the mind of Jesus Christ that will go into the kingdom of God, not the mind of the devil. So brethren, let's make sure that we work and we focus on having the mind of Jesus Christ.