People do not read their Bibles anymore.
Now I’m not saying this of you. You are here on a Sunday night when you could be home watching Columbo reruns on television (I love Columbo! Does anyone know his name other than Columbo?). God bless you for being here!
But people – in fact many so called practicing Christians do not read their Bibles. Many Churches are formed where few people read their Bibles, where few people practice frequent prayer, where few people meditate on the Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit of God to guide them. This is the biggest problem we have in America today. There was a time when all Christians read their Bibles. I remember when I was saved the first thing I did was go to the local Christian Bookstore and find me a Bible. My first Bible was a Thompson Chain Reference Bible. I went through every one of those Chain References found in the back of that Bible, looking up Scripture after Scripture. Oh what a joy it was to learn the Word of God. My second Bible was a Dakes Annotated Bible, and my third a Scofield Reference Bible. Somebody once asked me why I had so many Bibles. My answer is “Because I love the Bible!”.
In our text tonight we’re going to start in:
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV) 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. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
The “natural man” as opposed to the “supernatural man” is unable to receive the things that are of the Spirit of God. The natural man is spiritually dead. The natural man is the Child of Adam. Created in the image of God, the natural man is blinded by the flesh to seeing the things of God. The natural man will not receive the things of God because …
they are foolishness unto him
If you tell a natural man that his morality will not get him into Heaven he will say “that is foolish! What can God have against morality?” The natural man mocks the idea that Christ had to died on the Cross for the sins of the world.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish FOOLISHNESS; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
To the world to hear preaching of the Cross is foolishness:
1 Corinthians 1:21-24 (KJV) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the FOOLISHNESS of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The natural man (and woman) cannot receive the things of God. But the Spiritual person can. The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 2:10-13 (KJV) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
God gave us the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation so that we can understand the deep things of God. The world has a mind of confusion, but we who are spiritual have the mind of Christ. We have access to His mind. We can know the things of Christ.
1 Corinth Is The Worst Church Mentioned In The Bible Because It Did Not Seek The Mind Of Christ. The Apostle says of the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 1:2 (KJV) Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Notice what the Apostle says about Corinth:
It is a Church of God. “Unto the CHURCH OF GOD which is at Corinth”. This was one of Jesus’ Churches. This is one of His congregations.
This Church is “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints”. These people were God’s Children just as you and I are. They are a set apart people.
This Church “called upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord”. They were not worshiping Baal, Baliim, or one of the Gentile gods like Zeus or Jupiter.
They were saved by faith in Christ, and had the promise of God that He would …
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (KJV) …. confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
But Corinth had a problem. They were not the united Church that God wanted them to be.
a Having The Mind Of Christ Avoids Divisions And Destruction. The House of Christ is not to be divided. The Apostle wrote:
1 Corinthians 1:10-13 (KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
The Apostle told the Corinthians “I beg you in the Lord Jesus Christ’s name that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you”. A divided Church – just like a divided army – loses power and effectiveness. The believers at Corinth had begun to split up under different leaders.
And this is very dangerous!
I read recently about a man who – on June 9, 2016 – fell into the Norris Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park. His body was never found. The 23 year old man ignored the clearly posted signs and wandered 225 yards from the Park’s boardwalk before he fell in the acidic hot spring. “They were able to recover a few personal effects,” park spokeswoman Charissa Reid said. “There were no remains left to recover.” The New York Times quotes Reid as saying there have been 22 recorded deaths involving Yellowstone’s hot springs since 1890, with the last occurring in 2000, when a 20-year-old Washington woman suffered third-degree burns after falling in.
If people paid attention to the signs there would have been no deaths.The Mind of Christ heeds the clearly presented Word of God.
When Jesus was about 12 years old His step parents – Mary and Joseph – accidentally left Him in Jerusalem as they headed back to Nazareth. When they discovered Jesus was missing they immediately headed back to Jerusalem – and found Him in the Temple teaching the Doctors of religion. When questioned about His disappearance our Lord said:
Luke 2:49 “How is it that ye sought me? Did you not know
that I must be about my Father’s business?
The Mind of Christ LOOKS UP and not AROUND. The mind of Christ follows God, doing His business. The Mind of Christ is not FLESH oriented but SPIRIT oriented.
Right after Jesus was baptized the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tested. After 40 days of fasting Jesus became hungry – and the Devil immediately attacked. The devil says:
IF You are the Son of God command that these stones be made bread!
Jesus without hesitation says:
IT IS WRITTEN (quoting Deuteronomy 8:3) man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)
With every attack Jesus defended Himself with “It is written”. In fact, the Lord used the phrase “it is written” all throughout His ministry. His life was so defined by the Scripture that the Apostle John called Him “The Word of God”.
When Jesus affirmed John the Baptist as Messiah’s Messenger
He said “It is written” (Matthew 11:10)
When Jesus chastised the Pharisees as hypocrites
He said “It is written” (Mark 7:6)
When Jesus chased the moneychangers out of the Temple with whips
He said “It is written” (Matthew 21:13)
When Jesus was betrayed by Judas
He said “It is written” (Matthew 26:24)
When Jesus headed to Jerusalem to be crucified
He said “It is written” (Matthew 26:31)
Jesus Christ studied, meditated on, and revered the Word of God. If God’s people do this then they will never be divided. It is written.
b Having The Mind Of Christ Neutralizes Pride And Arrogance. The Apostle said:
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (KJV)1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
The Bible tells us that “God opposes the proud, but shows grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Pride is the chiefest of sins. It was pride that led Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit when he heard “You shall be like God”. Pride destroys what it touches. The Lord says:
Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Pride starts fights and ends relationships. The Bible says:
Proverbs 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
The Apostle said “I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. The Cross of Christ is the foundation and all of our faith. Christ our Lord deserved to come to this earth and sit a throne. Yet He came through a simple virgin named Mary. He was born in a small town named Bethlehem. He grew up not in the metropolis of Jerusalem but in tiny Nazareth. His acquaintances were fishermen, Samaritans, publicans, and prostitutes. His entire life was lived in humility. He took in lepers when others would have chased them away. He wrapped His arms around children when others saw them as nuisances. He had one good garment – a covering without seams. He died on Calvary between two thieves, His only accusation that He was King of the Jews. Jesus was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb.
He was not proud, but humble. And through His humility He brought many children from the pit of Adam to the Paradise of God.
c Having The Mind Of Christ Leads You To Labor For God And With God. If we have the mind of Christ we are nor pride filled but Spirit filled. We are not ME centered but HE centered. The Apostle said:
1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (KJV) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
We labor together for God. We labor together with God. We labor together for God’s glory. But we labor knowing that “every man shall receive His own reward according to his own labor”. Every believer will stand before Jesus one day and have his or her works judged. The Apostle said:
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
For a work to be of value it must have Christ as its foundation. It cannot have Me as the foundation, but Christ. On that great Judgment Day
the Christian’s work will be MANIFESTED
the Christian’s work will be REVEALED
the Christian’s work will be TRIED
the Christian’s work will be REWARDED
Those who pursued the mind of Christ will receive a reward and be blessed.
2 The Mind Of Christ Is God’s Standard For Every Christian. Our lives are stewardships from God. We who are born again are to live as the Children of God. The Bible tells us that:
1 Corinthians 3:18-21 (KJV)18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
Jesus Christ never lived for the approval of men, but for the approval of God. We who have the mind of Christ are to live for God’s approval, pleasing Him in all things. The world will mock us. Let it mock. “Let no man glory in men FOR ALL THINGS ARE YOURS”. One day we who are Christ’s shall inherit the earth and the Heavens. ALL THINGS are YOURS. One day Christ will come and conquer. ALL THINGS are YOURS.
We who are Christ’s are stewards of what He has given us. We own nothing but our God. We are owned of nothing but our God.
There are three things you can do to build the Mind of Christ in your life.
a Purposely Pursue The Mind Of Christ. The Bible says:
Colossians 3:2 (KJV) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
I heard one of the stupidest statements made the other day when a man was trying to justify incest in his life. He said:
You don’t choose who you love – it just happens
Hogwash! You do choose to love. Love is a commandment from God. We are commanded to love God:
Luke 10:27 … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ….
and you are commanded to love others as Christ has loved you:
John 13:34 NLT …. I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
You choose to love. Only in this messed up, confused, sexually crazed America could anyone say with a straight face – and it not be challenged – “You do not choose who you love”. We are not animals – we are created by God. We choose.
Choose to love God. Choose where you “set your affections”. Take yourselves in hand and open the Good Book and …
Colossians 3:1 (KJV) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Seek the mind of Christ. In another place we are told:
Romans 13:14 (KJV) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Put on Christ – the New Man – and let His Word dwell in your hearts.
b Purposely Reject The Mind Of The Flesh. The Bible says:
Colossians 3:8-10 (KJV) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Put off the wrong and the sinful, the works of the flesh. Put on the NEW man, the Mind of Christ.
c Actively Run The Race With Christ. The Bible says:
1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Choose to live your lives in step with Jesus regardless as to what anyone else does. Live for Him and in Him. Life for God, because one day you will live with God. Do not let the trials drive you – let the love of God drive you.
Pastor Steve Smith wrote:
“I read one time about how shipbuilders back in the days of sailboats would prepare the masts for their ships. They would go to the forest and find an appropriate tree, then they would clear out all the surrounding trees and leave that one standing, leaving it exposed to the wind and storms. As the tree continued to mature, it would gain strength. The kind of strength it would need to be able to stand up in the storms at sea while holding a large sail. But that tree would never gain that strength if it was just left among the other trees. It developed strength because of the storms. I believe that if we build our lives on the solid rock of Jesus and his words, then when the storms come, we will not only survive, we’ll gain strength.”
May God touch your hearts with His Word.