What does it mean to have the mind of Christ?

The mind of Christ is something all believers have, as the Apostle Paul said, when speaking to the Christians in Corinth, "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). Those who have the mind of Christ are able to discern spiritual things that the natural man (or the unbeliever) cannot understand or see. Having the mind of Christ is the same as being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and both are attained through faith at the moment of salvation (Romans 5:1-2; Acts 2:38).

Through the Holy Spirit, God has made us "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) so that we can have all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Himself. Think of the human mind as a computer, and the Holy Spirit as a sort of anti-virus program that can be uploaded to the human hard drive. Once the program is uploaded, that "mind" can then affect all the computer's systems, taking out harmful applications and replacing them with good, functional applications. Continuing the analogy, the mind of Christ rewrites our hard drives so that we are capable of understanding, or interfacing with, God Himself. We gain new desires and qualities, like humility (Philippians 2:5), compassion (Matthew 9:36) and other godly "fruit" (Galatians 5:22-23). We have a new purpose that is aligned with His (Luke 19:10) and we can see clearly the reality before us that this world is temporal and flawed, and that we are meant for an eternal world (1 John 2:15-17).

The mind of Christ is only accessible through faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12; John 3:16; 1 John 5:12). Once we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to the believer, filling him or her with understanding and hope of a future inheritance, which is a glorified existence (Colossians 1:27). "Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).

Finally, having the mind of Christ is not something that is reserved only for "perfect" people. Any and every believer has access to the mind of Christ through faith. However, we also still have the old mind. We still give in to the lure of sin. We may also be hindered by false doctrines (Galatians 5:7-12) or choose to use our freedom in unhealthy ways (Galatians 5:13-15). This is why Paul exhorts the Roman believers, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2). Our minds need to be consistently renewed, moving away from the mind of the flesh and into the mind of Christ. Ultimately, all who have the mind of Christ, those who belong to God, will be sanctified, or changed by the new program that has been installed by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 10:10, 14). The process unfolds over a lifetime and God is faithful to bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).

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