and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|October 1, 2011||
Volume 10 Number 19
Let This Mind Be In You
Paul encouraged the Philippians to be of one mind:
1 If there is therefore any consolation in the Messiah, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any inward affections and mercies,
2 Fulfill you my joy, that you be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. -Philippians 2
What kind of mind is he talking about of which we should all have the same one? First, we know that there are two kinds of minds. One is carnal (fleshly), which is death, while the other is spiritual, which is not only life but it is also peace:
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. -Romans 8
The carnal mind has a deep-seated hatred toward God. It is not even capable of subjecting itself to God’s commands:
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. -Romans 8
Paul reminded us that even well-meaning believers may still struggle with their carnal minds for control over their beings. Using himself as a prime example, he revealed the war that he had within his mind between the flesh and the spirit:
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I understand not: for what I would do, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. -Romans 7
It is as though Paul was saying that there were two minds still dwelling within him, one which was spiritual and the other which was carnal. His account sounds much like that of so many people that struggle with addictions. They want to stop whatever they are doing, but when the strong desire to satisfy their addiction rises up within themselves, they are not able to do that which they know they should do. Instead, they yield to their carnal mind and do that which they know they should not do.
Such is the case of many people who want to do God’s will while there still remains a place within their hearts that is in opposition to His will. An example of such a condition was found in King Amaziah of Judah:
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of Yahweh, but not with a perfect heart. -2 Chronicles 25
In other words, even though he outwardly did that which was right in the sight of Yahweh, his heart was not content. He was not at peace within himself to the degree that he could whole-heartedly do Yahweh’s will. Not being completely spiritually minded, he left an opening for the Devil (Satan) to enter into his heart to destroy him, as a "roaring lion" would do:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: -1 Peter 5
Ironically, a company of lions is called a "pride." This word is also applied to us when we have an inordinate amount of self-esteem. It is a major tool by which Satan gains entry into carnal minds to destroy unsuspecting souls.
This is exactly what happened to King Amaziah. After he conquered the Edomites, his heart was lifted up in pride because he was not completely committed to obeying Yahweh. He, therefore, rejected the word of Yahweh and worshipped the "gods of the children of Seir," kindling Yahweh’s anger against him:
14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah had come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them.
15 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, which said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of your hand? -2 Chronicles 25
Even believers, such as the believing Jewish rulers in the synagogue, preferred to be lifted up in pride through the praises of men rather than openly confessing their faith in Yahshua (Jesus). Their preference for the praises of men over the praises of God revealed that they were apparently still being led by carnal minds:
42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. -John 12
It is the prideful desires of our carnal minds that cause us to yield to the worldly promises of glory and power. Satan even offered such promises to Yahshua:
5 And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomever I will I give it. -Luke 4
Inordinate amounts of self-esteem and desire for the temporary things of the world are not of God:
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 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.
17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God remains forever. -1 John 2
Discontented carnal minds lust after the things of the world, but can never be satisfied (see Proverbs 27:20). As they acquire them, whether in the form of pleasure, riches, power, position, or fame, they puff themselves up in the "pride of life," still wanting more. These are the minds of the "natural man." The things of the Spirit of God seem foolish to them because they cannot understand them:
14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. -1 Corinthians 2
When the natural man tries to combine his carnal mind with the mind of the Spirit of God, he finds himself "double minded." He is like a wave that is tossed back and forth in a state of confusion between faith in God and doubt:
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. -James 1
Trying to have two minds, the spiritual and also the carnal, can lead us to become like King Amaziah. While we try to do the outward things that we think are pleasing to God, our hearts are not perfect toward Him. As such, we find ourselves in a state of restless discontentment, seeking to gain more worldly pleasure, riches, power, position, or fame, often even under the guise of doing God’s will. We thereby pridefully seek to receive the praise and the glory that only belongs to God.
Therefore, Paul told the Philippians that they should all be of one mind, not two! That mind, he said, is one that is marked by humility, rather than by pride:
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. -Philippians 2
It is the mind of the Messiah Yahshua (Christ Jesus), which is one of humility, even unto His death on the cross:
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in the Messiah Yahshua:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. -Philippians 2
Those having the mind of the Messiah do not think like the "natural man." They have a spiritual mind that has been renewed so that it no longer conforms to the pattern by which the world operates. Instead, this mind seeks to do the will of God with a perfect heart:
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -Romans 12
The renewed mind is no longer two minds, but one. It is a new creation in which a "new man" is born and sanctified by the power of the Spirit of God. This "new man" is "created in righteousness and true holiness:"
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. -Ephesians 4
Let this renewed mind also be in us.
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