The Mind of Christ (3)
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 1 John 2.27
Not a chance?
Some years ago a friend began to push me to start a website. If I thought computers were terra incognita, having a website seemed like entering another universe altogether. I had just begun to develop some skills with email and the Internet at this point: I’d learned about downloading and uploading and other, you know, real sophisticated stuff.
My friend would go on and on about how a website would be so much fun, and how I’d be able to get my thoughts out more consistently to more readers. I would nod in assent, knowing that this was something I’d never be able to understand. There wasn’t a chance of me having a website.
But over the next several years, the Lord put people in my life who helped me learn how to use a website and keep it going. Whereas just a few years ago a website was merely something I was aware of, now Susie and I are reaching people in many countries, providing thousands of free studies and other resources, and discovering new potential for maximizing the website for the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12).
As with computers earlier in my life, I just didn’t realize how much potential was there, right at my fingertips, until I began learning about this technology and experimenting with ways to use it for the Lord.
Anointed to learn
The apostle John says that we have received from God an anointing – the Holy Spirit – and that He dwells in us, and we must abide in Him. As we do, as we allow the Spirit to guide us into all truth and to teach us the mysteries of divine revelation coming at us from God’s Word and world, our prospects for learning Jesus are greatly enhanced. We have the mind of Christ, and that, together with the presence of God’s Spirit, is a cart blanche to learn as much as we can, and to use what we’re learning for the Kingdom and glory of God.
The Spirit of God is able to teach us exceedingly abundantly more than we’ve ever dared to ask or think, and to enable us, and make us willing, to use that knowledge to glorify God increasingly (Eph. 3.20; Phil. 2.13). We have the mind of Christ; but to look at the world and live in it from that vantage point, we need to commit to some serious learning.
Every believer in Christ has tremendous potential to learn new things, develop new interests, sustain new habits of study, and acquire new skills because we have the mind of Christ, and with that mind, the anointing of God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God is the primary Instructor in the divine economy, and He can bring us into the truth of God in ways we would never have dared to ask or think before we acquired the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit compares spiritual things with spiritual things, searching the Scripture and illuminating the glory of God in the world, as He works to transform us increasingly into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2.12, 13; 2 Cor. 3.12-18).
We who believe in Jesus Christ are called disciples. The word means learners. If you profess faith in Jesus Christ, you are called to be a learner. We are learners of Christ and God, students of His Spirit, Word, and world, and we are called to exercise dominion for God’s glory and our neighbors’ good in every aspect of our lives. We are blessed with the gift of God’s Presence, so that we might know all things and be a blessing to the people to whom God sends us every day.
Clearly, we have much to learn which, by learning, will increase our ability to glorify God, delight in Him, and serve others.
Learning without limits
And there is no limit to what we can learn, only holy constraints on what we might study, and no bottom to the profound mysteries we might plumb as we abide in the Spirit and study to unpack the mind of Christ.
But learning new things doesn’t come easily. Learning is hard work. It takes time, time we’re probably already using in ways that aren’t helping us learn like disciples, but which keep our old mind fat and happy.
But we have the mind of Christ, and we have been anointed with the Spirit of Christ! We need to respond in faith and obedience to His anointing and become more focused and diligent about tapping into His mind. A commercial slogan from a few years back insisted that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” And when the mind we’re wasting – by indifference, ignorance, or neglect – is the mind of Christ, that’s a terrible thing, indeed.
How can we begin to realize more of the unbounded potential of the mind of Christ and His Spirit?
Start with the basics: Spend more time in the Scriptures, so that the Spirit may strengthen your soul and form you more completely into the likeness of Christ. Make a plan for reading and study in subjects related to your calling in life, your Personal Mission Field. Work at acquiring new skills for serving the Lord – skills in living as Jesus lives and in bearing witness to Him. Study to better understand contemporary worldviews, the varieties of cultural experience and expression, and the subtle beauties of the created order. The goodness of the Lord is in all the earth (Ps. 33.5); seek it in everything you are striving to learn.
So you’ve never been much of a student. There’s no time like the present to remedy that. A world of understanding awaits you, and you can become better equipped to know, love, enjoy, obey, and serve the Lord Who has given you His mind and indwells you by His Spirit. Commit your learning plan to the Lord day by day (Ps. 90.12, 16, 17). Then work your plan so that you grow in the mind of Christ and His Spirit consistently.
Our discipleship requires that we learn as much as we can, using the mind of Christ to prepare for serving Him day by day. Our challenge is simple: Learn Jesus by all the ways and means He is making Himself known (Eph. 4.17-24). The Spirit can teach us to know the Lord more completely and serve Him more effectively. But we must take the step of faith and become students of divine instruction through all the means He intends to teach us.
1. How are you presently involved as a learner in following Christ? Is what you are learning helping you to love God and your neighbor more effectively?
2. Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? This is God’s calling for you. What are you studying – in Scripture and otherwise – to help you in seeking the Kingdom and glory of God there?
3. What can you do to gain more time for studying the life of discipleship? How would you fill the time you gain?
Next steps – Conversation: What is your present plan for growing in the mind of Christ – for becoming a true learner and disciple? Is it adequate to equip you for every good work? Review your plan, commit it to the Lord, then share it with a prayer partner, and ask your prayer partner to pray faithfully for you.
T. M. Moore
Haven’t mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video (click here), download the worksheet, and get started right away.
All the installments in this “Strong Souls” series are available in PDF by clicking here. Check out our newest feature, Readings from the Celtic Revival (click here).
Two books can help you to ratchet-up your effort to learn Jesus. Know, Love, Serve shows you how to integrate all your reading and study into your growing relationship with Jesus. And Understanding the Times situates your growing Christian worldview within the context of our complex world. Each book is free, and they are available by clicking here and here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.