The Mind of Christ in His Word: Part 1 (1)
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3.14-17
The Word of Christ for the mind of Christ
Believers in Jesus Christ have the mind of Christ, and we are called to press on to maturity in our thinking, looking to the Lord to open our minds so that we may take every thought captive for obedience to our Lord and King (1 Cor. 2.16; Phil. 3.15; 2 Cor. 10.3-5). A sound mind is, together with a well-kept heart, an indispensable component of a strong soul. As we’ve seen, growing in the mind of Christ, so that our minds are being daily renewed in Him (Rom. 12.1, 2), does not come naturally. We must apply ourselves to the task, working out this aspect of our salvation as crucial for working out all the rest (Phil. 2.12).
We cannot learn to think with the mind of Christ apart from being with Christ, listening as He speaks to us from His Word and His world. All Scripture speaks to us of Jesus Christ (Jn. 5.39), but it will be of no value to us unless we avail ourselves of that Word, reading, meditating, searching, applying, and obeying all the Word of Christ, so that we see Jesus, are renewed in our minds, and live those Christ-like works that issue from His thinking and redound to His glory.
Every Christian knows this. But knowing that we should read the Bible, and knowing how to read it, and to what ends – well, that’s a different matter. And it is precisely this matter I intend to address in this and our next installment of this series on the mind of Christ.
I want to begin with the importance of reading the Bible, so that we hear the Word of Christ and are renewed in the mind of the Lord. I need to make three points.
First, we are not going to benefit from the Word of God if we do not spend regular time reading and meditating in it. The goal here is to establish and maintain daily time for the Word of God.
Now someone may say, “I don’t see how I can do this, given that my daily time is already accounted for by other matters.” I recall the sound advice given to me as a new Christian by the man who led me to the Lord: We will do in our lives only and exactly what we want to do, and when we want to make time for God’s Word, we will do so.
We all make time for meals each day. That’s because we get hungry, and we enjoy eating, and know that it’s important to eat regularly and well. Regular reading of God’s Word must become as important to us as our daily meals (Job 23.12). Set up a schedule – When will you read? Where? Which parts of the Word? – and work at it until regular, daily reading, together with prayer, is the foundation of your spiritual disciplines and your walk with the Lord.
If other matters need to be put elsewhere in your daily schedule, or if you need to recover more time in the day for reading God’s Word, then so be it. Keep in mind the promised benefits of spending time in Scripture – teaching, correction, training in righteousness, being equipped for every good work, and growing in the mind of Christ. Once you see these as the valuable assets they are, finding the time for regular, daily reading of Scripture shouldn’t be too big a challenge.
Read it all
Second, set up a schedule for your reading that will find you regularly passing through all the books of the Bible. Remember, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for the renewing of our minds unto every good work. Now, not all Scripture is equally interesting or clear. We will naturally gravitate to some parts of the Bible more than to others. However, again, all Scripture is inspired by God, and all Scripture is profitable to equip us for every good work. Therefore, our regimen of reading, meditating, and studying the Word of God must include all the counsel of God, all of Scripture.
Guard against merely settling into favorite or familiar books or sections of the Word. Discipline yourself to read it all, read it regularly, and read with a view to gaining the overall perspective. You will be more likely to do this if you set up a schedule or program of reading that takes you through the Bible, again and again, over a set period. Schedules are available online, and even versions of the Bible, for reading through Scripture once a year. That may be a bit too demanding, but taking up such a schedule and pursuing it faithfully, even if you miss a few days here and there, will at least get you through all the Word of Christ regularly (Acts 20.25-27).
Read it together
Finally, read Scripture together. Don’t read the Bible like a novel, from chapter 1 to the end. Read from both Testaments daily, and include some reading from a gospel. The Spirit of God teaches us the mind of Christ by comparing spiritual truths from throughout the Bible, bringing light from other places to illuminate our reading and study in any passage (1 Cor. 2.12, 13). So the more we read one part of the Bible together with other parts, the more we put ourselves in the slipstream of the Spirit’s teaching.
In the Word of God, one overarching narrative directs all its various parts, one Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point of it all, and the sanctification of God’s people for lives of good works is its temporal aim throughout (Jn. 17.17). Thus, in our reading we should bring together the Old Testament with the New, Law with grace, promises with commandments, and mysteries with those parts that are abundantly plain.
Are you reading the Bible regularly? This is crucial for the renewing and maturing of our minds in the mind of Christ, so make sure your regimen of Bible reading and meditation is daily, comprehensive, and unified in the Spirit.
1. How would you describe your program of Bible reading and study? Can you see ways of improving it?
2. Is your Bible reading regular, comprehensive, and unified in the Spirit? Explain.
3. What are your primary aims in reading the Scriptures? That is, what do you hope to gain from your time reading and studying the Bible?
Next steps – Preparation: In the light of today’s installment, review your practice of reading the Scriptures. What can you do to improve your regular, daily reading of God’s Word? Give thanks to God for His Word, right now, and praise Him throughout the day for what He is teaching you.
T. M. Moore
Our book, The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart, goes into more detail about how to get the most out of your time in the Scriptures. Order your free copy by clicking here.
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).
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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.
- T.M. Moore
- April 20, 2022
You won't know the mind of Christ without it.
The Mind of Christ in His Word: Part 1 (1)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore