The Mind of Christ (part 3)
Our Worth is Complete in Him
To the degree that we understand what it means to be the righteousness of Christ will be the degree that we abide in the Mind of Christ. Said another way, we cannot walk in the Mind of Christ if we do not apply what the Word says about who we are as His child.
Walking in the Mind of Christ has 3 basic steps:
- Knowing the Word
- Accepting the Word
- Applying the Word
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In order for a belief to be formed, one must first know what the word of God says about a matter.
“Therefore, faith (pistis) comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” (2 Peter 1:5)
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2)
“But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ ” (Romans 10:16)
If we do not accept as truth what God says about us, that truth has no value to us in our daily walk. We are dead to it. Once we hear the Word on any subject in scripture, we must accept it as truth for our own life. If not we are not walking in the Mind of Christ on that subject.
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? (James 2:20)
One of the most mis-quoted and misapplied NT texts in my experience has been the James chapter 2 doctrine. This is because we violate the principle of taking scripture in context, and applying it, in context, to the rest of the Word.
James is referring to faith. The word “faith” in James 2:20 is the Greek word “pistis” and it means “conviction, persuasion, belief. It is the same Greek word used in Romans 10:17.
The word translated “works” is a Greek word “ergo” and means “toil, act, deed, labour,” If I claim to possess a belief on a matter and I fail to toil, act, or labor on that belief, then whatever that belief is, it is useless to me. Faith unapplied accomplishes nothing in my life. It remains dormant.
Faith without action corresponding to that faith.. is useless, or dead.
Let us examine ourselves a bit:
Do we believe God’s Word that says we are His righteousness? (2 Cor 5:22)
Do we believe we are redeemed and without spot or blemish? (Col 1:22)
Do we believe that there is nothing that can make us more special in His eyes, that we are fully pleasing, beyond reproach and complete in Him? (Hmmm….)
The Word of God says that wisdom is proved right by her actions and fruit (Luke 7:35). Our actions, or “works”, in the end will always truly line up with what we really believe in our heart. Said another way, our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and ultimately our actions will be dictated by which mind we are choosing to walk in. The carnal mind, or the Mind Of Christ.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. (James 1:23)
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Eph 5:26 )
“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak.” (2 Cor 4:13)
What do we speak? We speak God’s word over every circumstance and over every thought we have.
APPLICATION: WE ARE MADE COMPLETE IN HIM
Now here is the crux of this study. We will only walk in the Mind of Christ in the areas we apply the Word. Certain camps of the body apply this to healing and others to financial need. Still others apply the Mind of Christ to peace in circumstances and times of suffering and trials. The areas we apply the Word can be evidenced by the upbringing of that particular assembly and the emphasis placed on certain doctrines in that local fellowship.
The time has come for the Bride to apply ALL the Word to ALL areas of her life.
This study is about our self-worth.
Here is the spoiler- you are loved completely. You are deeply, intensely and jealously adored. There is nothing that can add to your worth. There is nothing that can diminish your self worth. You are complete in Him. You are fulfilled in His love. You are perfect objects of His affection. This is the positional and relational reality of all who have accepted Christ as Savior.
Anything that we think, say or do that is tied into determining the value of who we are as a person, as a created being, as His child, is idolatry.
That is what the Word says.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” (16:13)
The immediate context of this scripture is in reference to wealth, but the application and principle is the same. We cannot seek anything above Christ. We cannot say we are walking in knowing we are fully loved by Him, have the righteousness of Christ, are new creatures, have the fullness of His nature abiding in us through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit in us….and seek to be liked, approved or loved by God’s creation as an indicator of our inherent worth. Nor can we set standards for ourselves to determine our value and be resting, walking, abiding or processing our environment in the Mind of Christ.
We cannot be double minded. Let me say again: We cannot walk in the Mind of Christ and be seeking the approval of the world. We cannot use the world to create some self imposed standard to which we must attain in order to be self accepting. The “world” comes in the form of our own standards, our employer, our neighbors, co-workers, our family and loved ones, strangers, or dare I say, our pastor.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10)
God made us beings who are meant to be vessels of His love, not seekers of the love of others. All things are to be experienced within the order of His Kingdom principles and Mind.
“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matt 6:21)
Is God the treasure of your heart? Or is the desire of your heart to seek approval, self worth and affirmation elsewhere?
“But the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Luke 4:19)
Concerns, worries, desires and anything else not brought to the foot of the cross and made obedient to the Word of God will cause us to step outside who we are in Him, and walk in the carnal mind which is dead to God.
At this point I need to stress something and just speak the truth in love:
Not everyone desires to walk in the Mind of Christ in all areas. There are many who would rather seek the approval of those around them more than digging in and accepting the reality that we do not need the approval of the world to determine our worth. This message, although offered to all God’s children, is not what everyone wants. My heart breaks for those people.
Why? Because as we get a revelation of what it means to truly know we are loved, it changes one… forever.
“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)
Anything that is not of God’s kingdom is carnal, earthly. Any thought or belief we are believing that is not in agreement with what His Word says, means in that arena, we are walking in the old man, which we died to. The grave clothes don’t suit us anymore. We have been given the garment of salvation and a robe of righteousness. (Isa 61:10)
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…” (Col 3:5 )
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:4-5)
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5)
God loves us with an everlasting love. We are the apple of his eye, the center of His attention and affection. Knowing our worth is knowing how loved we are. Our worth never changes in the eyes of our Father. (Zech 2:8, Psalm 136:22, Song Sol 2:10,14)
We are complete in Him.
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-19)
The word “know“ is the Greek word “ginosko” and it means to know absolutely, be resolved, understand, to be sure.
The word “knowledge” following it is “gnosis” and comes from the root word “ginosko”. It means “knowing the act, a knowledge related to “science.”
The emphasis here is that we are to personally know God’s love, to abide in it, be immersed in the understanding of what that love is and means and not just have a mental or scientific understanding in our minds of it.
“To be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment–to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” (Eph 1:10)
We are only in unity to each other and to Christ to the degree we are in unity with His truth.
Now here is some more wonderful news. Guess what…? The Father, Son and Holy Spirit love you fully, deeply and unconditionally regardless of whether or not you desire to know and seek Him more than the approval of others or any other standard you place on yourself. You are forever sealed in His affection.
Statement A: The Carnal Mind
“I need to (insert here). If I do not, it really is a sign of my lack of worth. I would just feel a little better about myself if I could only (insert here). I know its silly, but I really just would be much more confident in who I am if I (insert here). Lord could you just help me (insert) so that I can feel special.”
Statement B: The Mind of Christ
“It would be much more pleasant if I (insert here) but I know I am fully pleasing to my Father, So its ok if I never ever (insert here). I can rest in His love. I am His. I am complete, I am home. There is none beside you Jesus.. and I am yours.”
Who is more pleasing to the Father? Statement B Person, right?
We are fully pleasing to Him already. (Col 1:21-22) We need to make a distinction between our actions grieving or pleasing His heart, and the fact that His view of us, His attitude toward us, His intense affection and fierce passionate love never waivers under any circumstances. We cannot lose worth in His eyes, and we cannot add to it in any way either.
So what is the point? Well, One Mind produces life and peace and His fullness that we can abide in. And the other…death.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6)
Success, failure, wealth, lack, sports, exercise, looks, vehicles, make-up, relationships, employment, soul-winning, clergy, laity (a word not found in scripture, but I digress, sorry), hearing God’s voice, dreams, visions, popularity, spiritual maturity, power, “my blog”, etc…
Nothing…no thing.. was ever meant to determine our worth or lack of self-worth. If in any way, an action of ours or an action of others, affects the way we view ourselves, it is an idol. Whether it adds to our sense of well being, or detracts from our sense of worth.. its all contrary to the Word of God and an offence to the cross. He died so that we may enter into his Sabbath rest. We are complete in Him the moment we accepted His gift.
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
What is the world? It is anything that opposes God’s Kingdom and His Word revealed in the scriptures. Let God be true and every man (the carnal mind) be a liar. (Rom 3:4)
Does our Father and Redeemer love the idolater? Emphatically.. yes!
Do we get to enjoy a divine, supernatural relationship that surpasses understanding with all the fullness of what it means to be His child and friend? Emphatically…No.
As I have mentioned another time, this is not a call to “works” in the christian, religious, traditional sense of the word. Their is a work involved though. That “work” is to conform your thinking to line up with His Word about you. This is a call to relationship. Our Dad (sorry, Father) desires nothing more than to spend time with His child. Jesus wants to sit and talk with you. The Holy Spirit (yes he is a Person, not a dove) yearns to call to you as deep calls to deep.
They stand at the door and knock…
Do you have any idea what would happen if we got up an answered? He thrusts His hand through the latch in the midnight hour, calling with a heart that will never be satisfied with less than full communion and deep friendship.
Why? You know the answer by now.
Anything that is in our lives that competes with God’s Word about who we are is death. There is no relationship where there is death. I can have great understanding about certain things of God and can even learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as he moves without ever applying this truth to my life. I see this all the time. People minister with wonderful giftings, some move in tremendous dunamis… and then get offended at others. You cannot get offended if you are not looking to get something from someone. Sorry, it really is that simple. Feeling good that God used you to minister to another person? That is great… unless you think that means God loves you more… or you are in some way additionally special now.. or…anything, other than what His Word says you already are.
We have multitudes in the body of Christ walking around not even aware that their worth is being conditionally determined in their own minds by the sum of their perceived strengths, weaknesses, and fickle opinions of others.
If we are going to walk in the Mind of Christ, this can no longer be.
You are deeply loved, complete, fully pleasing, a treasure, without spot or blemish, a son and daughter and friend to God himself. Are you kidding? Amazing!
As for me? Why, it was just the other night I was rather frustrated with a tune I was trying to get proficient at on the bagpipes. Sullen and dejected I found my mouth was twisting under its own breath with some colorful sentiments aimed at my fingers. Why? Because I allowed a darkened thought to creep in unaware that was starting to weave its way into my identity. Sigh… and so I had to lay the pipes down for a moment and just refresh myself in His love. It was rather brief.. and rather pleasant. And so was the rest of my practice session after I picked them back up… regardless of how I sounded. Super spiritual….nah.. just a whole lot nicer to live resting in His love at that moment.
And by that I mean I cannot express the difference it makes to live in the Mind of Christ as it applies to my ever secure and unwavering worth I have in His eyes toward me.
So, have I “arrived” yet? Am I perfected in this knowledge and application? Ask my beloved brothers and sisters I fellowship with.
It will get a laugh.
But they also know I want to be free of anything that hinders me from being immersed in experiencing the reality of His love for me, and walking with Him in the cool of the day, or the hours after all my family is asleep…and every moment in between.
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God..” (Heb 4:9)
No more running. No more seeking, no more parlor tricks and energy wasted trying to feel unique. It is time we begin to rest in Him.
Rest in His love for you. Rest in your self-worth being complete and unchanging. Please.