Summary: How Christlike are your thoughts? How Christlike are your actions? How Christlike is your daily life? Do you have the mind-set, the attitude of Christ, in every aspect of your life?
The right mind-set: Tempted to think right thoughts
We continue in our series on Discovering Your Destiny and for the next few weeks we are going to focus on having the right mind-set. Today our topic is Tempted to think right thoughts.
The verse I want us to consider together this morning is Philippians 2:5,
NIV: Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus
NLT: You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had
NKJV: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
Greek: t??t? f???e?te ?? ?µ?? ? ?a? ?? ???st? ??s??
(touto phroneite en hymin ho kai en Christo Iesou)
Mindset, mind, attitude are all translations of the Greek verb f???e?te (phroneite).
Verb, 2nd Person, Present Tense, Imperative and Active
The literal translation from the original Greek text sounds a little like Yoda giving instructions to Luke Skywalker in a Star Wars movie: This, let mind be, in, you, which, also, in, Christ, Jesus [was].
Regardless of how the words of the Apostle Paul are translated into modern English, the message remains the same: Disciples of Jesus are to have exactly the same mind-set, the same attitude, that Christ Jesus had.
We are meant to think like Christ.
The problem is we are not perfect in our thoughts or our actions. For a Christian to keep their thoughts and heart in alignment with God’s will and purpose takes real effort. To maintain a godly perspective in a this sin-sick world is difficult but not impossible.
Having the mind of Christ is more than just having a positive attitude, it is being spiritually minded, it is focussing on living as God has called us to live, it is a mind focussed on God, Christ first, us second.
It is not possible for someone who is unsaved to have the mind of Christ, to truly think like Jesus. Because of the effect of the fall, each of us are born with a mind that tends to be focus on three things - Me, myself and I.
From the time of our natural birth, it’s all about us and what we want. As babies, we cry to get attention. As children and teens, we moan and complain to get what we want. As adults, we learn all kinds of techniques to get our way.
Romans 8:6 says “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Holy Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
When we are born-again, when we come into a real relationship with God by repenting and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then our focus in life changes. The Holy Spirit works within us and our focus is no longer on Me, Myself and I - God is our focus, God is our purpose, God at the centre of all we say and do.
Consider the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17, This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Having the mind of Christ involves abandoning our own will and ego, putting others’ needs ahead of our own, humbling ourselves to serve God even when it means personal sacrifice.
When we come to Christ, we are to think differently and to live differently. Our old sinful, self-centred life has gone, our new life with God at the centre has begun.
Colossians 3:10-11 says, Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us.
For us to have the mind of Christ, we need to acknowledge that Christ is all that really matters. Every aspect of our lives needs to be driven by our relationship with Jesus, our lord, our saviour, our God. Our old sinful nature is gone, we are born-again, we are saved, we are forgiven, we are freed from the penalty of sin because of what Christ has done for us.
We are commanded to know Him, really know Him, and become like Him. We can never truly follow God if we are unwilling to live and think the way He calls us to live and think. It’s all about commitment.
Christ first, living for God, it’s all about perseverance, (there is that word again), endurance, running the race, keeping on keeping on.
We won’t be perfect till He calls us home and takes us to Heaven, then we will truly be transformed and be fully like Christ. But, right now, we are meant to try and be as much like Jesus as we can: