If you are feeling dead in your faith or simply have a longing to draw closer to God then this study on the mind of Christ is for you. As we begin a new year, let’s put on the mind of Christ, surrender to His will, and change the way we view life.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Why do We Need to Renew Our Minds?
So, why do we need to renew our minds? Let me ask it this way. Do you experience any of the following?
These are all things that Christ came to set us free from. They are all part of a sinful world, inflicted upon us when Adam and Eve sinned all those years ago in the Garden.
I am going to say this bluntly because why dance around it. If you are struggling with these things then you have not put on the mind of Christ. He has already set you free from them. His work took place two thousand years ago and it is offered to you today.
Come with me as we explore the mind of Christ and free ourselves from the remnants of sin that we continue to cling to even after we have been redeemed.
Before we jump into specifics, let’s define what renewing our minds means.
Renewing your mind means aligning your thoughts with the word of God. This is not only a spiritual transition but an emotional and psychological. We need to identify our toxic thoughts, surrender them to God, and change them to healthy thinking that matches scripture.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Are you struggling with unforgiveness? Jesus teaches us about that. Are you overwhelmed with fear? The Bible is full of promises for you.
As you know, thoughts are the beginning. You change your thoughts, you change your attitudes and behaviors.
Renew Our Minds by Washing off the World
We renew our minds by washing off the world or better said, washing off sin. Sure it is impossible to be sinless and praise God, that is what grace is for. BUT grace is not an excuse to willfully sin. If God is impressing upon your heart to forgive someone or to love your neighbor as yourself and you refuse, that is a willful sin. That is the kind of thing that needs to be removed in order for you to live a transformed life.
Paul addresses this concept in Romans 6:1-4.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
“Walk in the newness of life” happens by the renewing of our mind or by putting on the mind of Christ. We have been set free, delivered from sin and yet we purposely remain in that sin. How can we serve God, how can we free ourselves from oppression when we do not surrender to God? We can be dead to sin if we allow God to transform our minds and thoughts.
Paul continues this train of thought a couple of chapters later.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
Our carnal thoughts are death to us. We need to renew our minds! We are the cause of our own mental struggles!
This is NOT easy. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I struggle with fear and anxiety. I also have unforgiveness in my heart that plagues me and prevents relationships from healing and growing.
So, what exactly do we need to do?
How do We have the Mind of Christ?
We put on the mind of Christ.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 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. (Philippians 2:5-8)
Jesus was humble and obedient. He subjected himself to death for us. How much less can we do, but sacrifice our own sins in obedience to him?
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance.
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
Again, we are to refrain from our former sin. These sins must be repented of and surrendered to God. We cannot draw close to God when we are willingly sinning. We cannot change and overcome unless we surrender to Him.
5 Ways to Put on the Mind of Christ
Let’s break this down into very specific steps.
- Change of Thought
- Dying Daily
Putting on the Mind of Christ Requires Repentance
From the point of John the Baptist calling for repentance and baptizing with water through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, repentance is preached over and over in the New Testament. However, this was not a new concept to God’s people. The Old Testament is full of examples of those who did and those who did not repent and show us what the result of each is.
The one theme that runs through the concept of repentance is that when we humble ourselves and come to God, he forgives us.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.
Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live? (Ezekiel 18:21-23)
One of the greatest examples of God’s forgiving grace is the story of Jonah. While most people focus on Jonah when studying this story, I’d like to focus on the people of Ninevah. They were very wicked people. When Jonah preached to them, he preached the judgment of God. These people did not know the one true God, they worshipped a variety of false gods BUT they responded to the proclamation of judgment by putting on sackcloth and fasting. They were repenting for their sins. What did God do to this wicked city? He forgave them and withheld destruction.
This same grace (unmerited favor) continues into the New Testament with Jesus. It is Jesus’s work on the cross, his death and resurrection, that we find grace. Through the shedding of blood, we are redeemed.
On the Day of Pentecost, when God sends the promised comforter, Peter preaches a wonderful sermon. His audience is convicted and ask him what they should do. Peter replies “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [forgiveness] of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Repentance and faith in Jesus puts us in right standing with God. It is the first step to putting on the mind of Christ.
Putting on the Mind of Christ Requires Obedience
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1 John 3:24)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. (1 John 5:2-4)
You cannot put on the mind of Christ and wilfully sin. If God has shown you a sin and you have not repented of it, you are in rebellion and cannot have the peace and reconciliation that comes with surrender to Christ.
When you seek God’s will for your life or in various life situations, He will guide you. He will lead you into truth and show you the way He wishes for you to live.
When we surrender our will to God and follow Him in obedience, we find a connection with Him that blesses us beyond measure.
Putting on the Mind of Christ Requires Faith
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)
There is not a whole lot of explanation needed here. You either believe or you don’t. You can believe that God is working in your life and will answer your prayers or you can sit and worry. You can believe that God will deliver you and help you or you can continue to struggle.
Faith is a choice. I also believe that faith isn’t faith until it is tried. If you are going through a tough time right now, rest assured that you will come out of it with a stronger faith than you could even imagine.
Putting on the Mind of Christ Requires a Change of Thought
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
First Paul tells us how to bring every fear and anxiety before the Lord and by doing so, we will receive the peace that guards our hearts and minds. He continues with how to train our thoughts.
We are to meditate on things that are:
- Of good report
By giving our cares to God and focusing on those things that are good, we can overcome fear and anxiety. We can also overcome many sins such as gossip, unforgiveness, anger etc.
By putting on the mind of Christ, we look at things in a spiritual context rather than a carnal and I confess that is not an easy thing to do. This is why we must surround ourselves with the promises of God.
I am your strength. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
I will never leave you. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:1-2)
I hear your prayers. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7-11)
I love you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)
This promise is so important that I’m going to list two verses for it.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Putting on the Mind of Christ Requires Dying Daily
Ok, this might be a tough one to swallow, but stay with me. Putting on the mind of Christ is not a one time deal. It is something we must do EVERY day. And it is not something that will come naturally all the time. After all, we are in intense spiritual warfare and this is a place satan does NOT want you to be.
Jesus knew this and he understood that we need to constantly be surrendering to God and dying to ourselves. Being in constant connection with God requires denying the flesh and our own will.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26)
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (Luke 12:24-25)
Many people are afraid that when we forsake all to follow Christ, this means we can no longer do what we want. But I ask you, what do you want to do? If you are seeking God in love and obedience, if you are serving Him in faith, then your desire is going to be to Him and not to yourself.
Of course, satan, is going to fight you tooth and nail, but stay focused!
Ok, friends, this has gotten long. I sincerely pray that this touches your heart and encourages you to put on the mind of Christ.
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!