or….how to do a Bible study…
1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
I read this passage not too long ago and my first inclination was, I’m sorry to say, one of almost mocking. “But we have the mind of Christ? Yea, riggghhhhhhhhht….” For I know my own mind, and the idea of possessing the mind of my Lord and Savior seems almost cruel to someone (that is, me) because I know I will not, cannot, ever attain even an ant’s brain amount of the mind of God. And yet…there it is, in black and white, “but we have the mind of Christ.”
Studying the scriptures is most worthy at a juncture like this, so I backed up and read the verse in context, because that “but” means something that is in comparison to. There is no commentary on the planet that is of more value than comparing scripture with scripture, so that is where I went. After all, Jesus IS the Word (John 1:1, 14), so to where else would I reasonably go to study?
Here is the verse in context:
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 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.
After I looked up the verse in context, I used a concordance and looked up every time the word “mind” was used. I cannot speak with authority about other Bible versions, but I will say that the King James Bible has a built-in dictionary that defines all of its own words. It is truly miraculous. So that is what I use (among other reasons). I don’t need a man-made dictionary to define Bible words, and with a KJ Bible, you don’t either. But I digress…
The first thing I noticed was that the comparison was between a natural (unsaved) man, and a spiritual (saved) man. Now I know “spirituality” is all the rage these days, but the Bible makes it very clear here that to have the mind of Christ, it begins with receiving the things of the Spirit of God. And to receive the things of the Spirit of God, the desire to DO so must be there.
1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind…
The “natural” man is not a faithful man, and completely unable to do according to that which is in the heart and mind of God. An unsaved man may possess many good, maybe even heroic, qualities and may accomplish many sacrificial works, but none are acceptable because of the state of his unregenerate mind (Pro 21:27, Col 1:21). His unsaved mind is captive to the law of sin (Rom 7:23), and he is considered only with his own thoughts and selfish desires of his own flesh and mind (Eph 2:3). He is offended by God, and consumed with vanity (Eph 4:17, Col 2:18).
To know the mind of Christ begins with receiving the things of the Spirit of God. It is God Himself who will put His laws into our minds and writes them in our hearts (Heb 8:10). A natural man, no matter how spiritual he or she feels or professes to be, is blind (2 Cor 3:14) to the things of God and the first clue of that is the “foolishness” of the Word to him (1 Cor 2:14). The first and second commandments are clearly broken, and gods are created to suit their own needs and ideas. Instead of arguing and reasoning from scripture (why would they do so?), they come with their own puffed pride and worldly knowledge, forgetting that the very God that gave them breath and life (Deut 32:18) just may require something in response from them. Knowing the mind of Christ begins with knowing God, and knowing God begins with wanting to.
..if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever (1 Chr 28:9).
Humility is a hard thing for all of us. Those of us mothering toddlers SO understand this! But until we understand that God has no reason to reveal anything at all to any of us, that we ARE that wretched, inside and out, we will not have room for Him at all, and He will just let us rot in our own self-righteousness. Is it any wonder that people who feel the best about themselves are by far the least humble and teachable? Arrogance is celebrated! God, Himself, is MINDful of us however (Ps 8:4), and He will give to those that fear Him (Ps 111:5, 115:12). The reason why He would give even a token of attention to any of us at all, is something I expect I will never understand, but somehow it gives Him the glory He deserves and truly is owed.
The blessings of receiving the things of the Spirit are huge! Perfect peace (Isa 26:3) that is born of trust for the dear Savior’s atonement for our hell-deserving sins for starters, and a sound and right and ready mind that is cultivated through His Spirit (Mark 5:15, 2Tim 1:7, 2 Cor 8:19) to carry us through this time on earth, too.
Humility of mind is a requirement for knowing the mind of God. It is not in trusting our own works or riches (1 Tim 6:17) or even in having any sort of attainment of perfection, but in action and attitude knowing you are saved because it is evident you have more than yesterday: mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forebearance, forgiveness, charity, the peace of God, and gratitude. Receiving the Spirit of God means in all things giving thanks to God, and in letting the Word of Christ dwell richly within(Col 3:12-17). Which means, of course, that we have to read our Bibles.
The natural man scoffs at the idea of humility towards Jesus Christ, the Truth and the only Way to God, proven by the historical fact of His own resurrection. The unsaved man has rejected the obvious witness of creation (Ps 19:1, 97:6) all around him and has suppressed the truth in his own conscience. The wrath of God abides on the natural man, and truly it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31).
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness…
Please, if the Lord has revealed that you are storing up wrath for yourself, I urge you to repent and trust Jesus alone for your salvation!! Otherwise you will never know nor receive the things of the Spirit of God. You need nothing but a contrite heart and spirit, and He will not despise those.
Psalms 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
You need nothing but willingness. Have you that? The mind of Christ begins with receiving the things of the Spirit. Come to Him in repentance and faith.
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.