How to have the mind of Christ

If we were to consider our thoughts, where do they go most of the time? Are they thinking about godly things or worldly cares? Are we preoccupied with keeping up with what the world values and making sure we fit in, or do we have the mind of Christ? We are in trouble if our mind is consumed with worldly cares because God will not accept a lukewarm Christian (Revelation 3:16).

But be hopeful, brothers and sisters! The Bible shows us how to have the mind of Christ. Let us examine the evidence.

What is the mind of Christ according to the Bible?

One particular section in the bible that talks about the mind of Christ is in the book of Philippians, Chapter 2.

"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. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name," Philippians 2:5-9, NKJV.

The verses after Philippians 2:5 show us the mind of Christ:

  • made Himself of no reputation,
  • was a bond servant to God,
  • humbled Himself, and
  • became obedient to the point of death.

And in John 6:38, we find how the will of Jesus was the will of His Father:

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." John 6:38, NKJV.

Just based on these bible verses, we can understand the mind of Christ to be the will of God.

And if we are in God’s will, we will also have the mind of Christ.

Characteristics of the mind of Christ 

The bible also also shares some of the characteristics of the mind of Christ.

We read some above (Philippians 2:5-9 and John 6:38), but there are numerous bible verses which I won’t be able to cover them all here, but I suggest you research them.

In Philippians 2, Paul shares the following characteristics:

  • being like-minded, being of one accord with other believers
  • no selfishness or conceit
  • esteem others better than himself
  • looking for the interests of others

Also in Philippians 2, Paul mentions Timothy in verses 19-24 and Epaphroditus in verses 25-30.

And in Timothy, Paul saw these qualities:

  • Like minded with Paul (mind of Christ)
  • Cared for God’s people
  • Didn’t seek his own things
  • Was second to Paul and didn’t care. He submitted himself to Paul and Christ.

In Epaphroditus, Paul saw these qualities:

  • fellow soldier and worker of God
  • for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking

Wouldn’t you agree that both of these men, Epaphroditus and Timothy, resembled Christ? I should say all 3 of these men to also include Paul!

Next, we go to 1 Timothy in the bible to find more characteristics

1 Timothy Chapter 1 (NKJV) shows us how we should be:

  • teaching the true doctrine
  • loving from a pure heart
  • good conscience
  • sincere faith
  • avoiding idle talk

1 Timothy Chapter 2 and 3, it gives characteristics about how the men and women in the church should be:

  • praying everywhere without wrath and doubting
  • modestly dressed
  • women not in authority over men
  • blameless
  • temperate
  • sober-minded
  • good behavior
  • hospitable
  • able to teach
  • not given to wine
  • not violent
  • not greedy for money, but gentle
  • not quarrelsome
  • not covetous
  • one who rules his house well
  • his children in submission with all reverence
  • not a novice
  • have a good testimony
  • reverent
  • not double-tongued
  • faithful in all things

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“The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15, NKJV.

So, what does it mean to have the mind of Christ?

I don’t believe that we need to be a bible scholar to know what it means to have the mind of Christ. We can gather evidence from scripture that having the mind of Christ means to be so in tune with God that we will be completely in His will and our behaviors/words will exemplify it.

It’s only through Christ working in us that we can embody all the characteristics which are mentioned above.

And why is it important to have His mind?

Having the mind of Christ puts us in direct obedience to God, which pleases Him.

It is also a sign that we love Him:

This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
2 John 6:1, NKJV

Additionally, having the mind of Christ will be a blessing to us and those around us:

But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
Luke 11:28, NKJV

It will also give us a willing heart to follow His direction with regard to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), which is to go and make disciples of all nations:

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38, NKJV

And since we know that He is coming again, but we do not know when that will be or when our last day will be on Earth, having the mind of Christ will keep us prepared and at peace for these events, whichever one comes first.

"He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."
Revelation 22:11-12, NKJV

How do you keep your mind on Christ? How to keep your mind on God all day and how do we develop the mind of Christ?

For starters, God’s Word calls us to separate from unbelievers:

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:17-18, NKJV

Next, scripture tells us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. And to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV).

We are set apart and our behaviors/words should show it.

Also, we should continually seek Him in prayer and in His Word:

Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
1 Chronicles 16:11, NKJV
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12, NKJV
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
1 John 5:14-15, NKJV
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed."
John 8:31, NKJV

And as you read in the sections above, the importance of obeying Him (His Word) in order to be in His will.

Put on the mind of Christ

It definitely sounds a lot easier than it is. But we can start today by making the decision to live a life for God. In prayer, we can ask God to help us have the mind of Christ and reject the worldly things that are consuming us.

It may not take one prayer, but multiple prayers. And you may feel tempted to stay in your old ways because our human nature enjoys satisfying its fleshly desires and staying in our comfort zones.

But ask for His Holy Spirit to lead you in all things:

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16, NKJV

We cannot be living a divided life: “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). So, it is our duty to commit our ways to God if we want to have the mind of Christ!

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:17. NKJV

In October, our book club read Growing in Wisdom and Faith (part of A Woman After God’s Heart series) by Elizabeth George – here we see mentions of the mind of Christ which prompted my investigation into this topic.

For further studies on this topic, checkout these two articles:

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

In Step with Jesus

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