We have been doing a series of articles on how we can be transformed into Christ's Image by the "renewing of our minds." In our first couple of articles we explored just exactly how God brings about this transformation in our lives. Then, we took a look at "mind renewal" itself and all that it entails. Only by learning how to put off the garbage in our own thinking and put on the Mind of Christ can we ever experience the freedom to drop our masks and facades and genuinely show forth Christ.
Next, we delved into what our mind really is. We can't be expected to renew our minds if we don't really know what they are. And then last month, we investigated the different ways that Satan tries to keep us from being transformed - from truly "exchanging lives" with Christ.
Over the next several months, our purpose will be to explore the Mind of Christ itself - what it is, what it does and how it works.
God, by His Mind operating fully in us, can penetrate deep within the hidden chambers of our souls and not only expose, cleanse and heal these areas, but also root out the "strongholds" of the enemy.
God wants "truth" in our inward parts (Psalm 51:6). He wants us "freed" from ourselves, from our circumstances and from the enemy's involvement to be able to serve Him unencumbered and in Love.
The Mind of Christ
As we have previously pointed out, our "mind" (nous) is not just our conscious thoughts, our intellect, or our brain but a whole conceptual process. In our June 1996 Personal UPDATE, we showed that our "mind" begins with the spirit that resides at the core of our being. That spirit then creates the thoughts of our hearts, which in turn produces the actions of our lives. This whole process, we said, is called our "mind." We also mentioned that there are seven stages or functions that form this conceptual process called "mind." Each function (each stage) depends upon and builds from the previous one.
In parallel, the Mind of Christ is the very same seven-fold process. Only the Mind of Christ is a "divine" process of thinking. It's God's Holy Spirit that creates God's supernatural thoughts in our hearts and through a process (again by His Spirit) produces those thoughts as Godly actions out in our lives.
My understanding for this seven-fold process of thinking comes from Isaiah 11:1-2: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots [this is Jesus, of course]: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, [that is] the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord;"
This passage offers us a clear study path to understanding the Mind of Christ:
- The Spirit of the Lord
- The Spirit of Wisdom
- The Spirit of Understanding
- The Spirit of Counsel
- The Spirit of Might
- The Spirit of Knowledge
- The Fear of the Lord
It's the Holy Spirit's mission - with our consent - to produce this "mind" in us, so that we can "live the truth" and the Gospel can be passed on to others.
The Mind of Christ, therefore, is simply a process by the Holy Spirit in which the Word of God in our hearts becomes a living reality in our lives. Simply stated, the Mind of Christ is God's supernatural Thoughts (Logos) produced in our lives by His supernatural Power (Dunamis).
Note, however (and this is very important): this "divine" conceptual process by the Holy Spirit does not automatically occur. Only as we, moment by moment, "renew our minds" by putting off the garbage in our own thinking are we able to receive from the Holy Spirit, not only the Mind of Christ, but also God's Agape Love. Should we choose not to renew our minds, we will quench God's Spirit, and once again His Mind and His Love will be blocked in our hearts.
Purpose of the Mind of Christ
This phenomenal gift of the Mind of Christ was not just given to Jesus Christ and a few "chosen" men in the Bible, but it is bestowed upon each of us the moment we believe and accept Christ into our hearts.
The purpose of the Mind of Christ in us is that we might "know" (oida - to see or to intimately experience) the things freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 confirms this: "Now 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. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the Mind of Christ."
God not only desires for us to intimately know "the things that are freely given to us" by Him, but He also wants us to judge all the things that happen to us, not through our own eyes (own mind), but from His Mind (through His Wisdom, Counsel and Knowledge, etc.).
"He shall make him of quick understanding [renewed thinking] in the fear of the Lord. And he shall not judge after the sight of his [own] eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his [own] ears; but with righteousness [Mind of Christ] shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth..." (Isaiah 11:3-4)
(See Chart 6)
The divine seven-fold process of thinking called the Mind of Christ begins with the Spirit of the Lord, who desires to impart to us not only all of God's supernatural thoughts (His wisdom); but also understanding of those thoughts; counsel as to which of those thoughts are appropriate for our own situation; supernatural strength to implement those thoughts in our lives; personal experiential knowledge of seeing those thoughts manifested in our life actions; and lastly, the ability to walk in the fear of the Lord (and not the fear of man) by fleeing anything that would quench His Spirit in us.
Again, throughout the Bible, the Spirit of the Lord is often referred to as "the eyes [or the mind] of the Lord." Psalm 32:8 validates this, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with Mine eye."
And Revelation 5:6 corroborates, "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."
So the Mind of Christ is a process by which the seven-fold Spirit of God becomes a reality in our lives. Salvation occurs when the Lord lights the candle of our spirit; but we are only enabled to see clearly as we allow God to give us His Light through the Mind of Christ.
The goal of our instruction then, as God sees it, is not more learning or more head knowledge, but simply showing forth more of Christ's Life (His Light).
"Now the end of the commandment is Love [Christ's Life] out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned...." (1 Timothy 1:5)
Functions of the Mind of Christ
Let's learn, then, what are the phenomenal capabilities that are ours through the Mind of Christ, so we can be transformed and we can learn to live the truth. (See Chart 7)
The seven-fold Spirit of God, that creates the Mind of Christ in us, is like a Jewish Menorah. The Spirit of the Lord is the trunk (or the center core) and all the other six functions (capabilities, attributes) branch out from it - the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord.
"...behold a candlestick all of gold...and, his seven lamps thereon..." (Zechariah 4:2)
My intention is to go through each of the functions of the Mind of Christ in our forthcoming articles, and try to understand not only what each one is, but also how to appropriate these capabilities into our own lives.
In the next article, we'll just touch upon the awesome subject of the Spirit of the Lord. I'm not an authority or a theologian, I'm just a sister in the Lord. You have the same Teacher as I do and also the same Instruction Manual. So, be as the Bereans - check out everything that I am sharing. (Acts 17:11)
* * *
This article was excerpted from Nan's new book, Be Ye Transformed.