The Importance of a Christian Mind in the Bible

The mind is the center of our thinking.  It drives our decision making – for good or evil.  If our mind is focused on honorable things, sinful thoughts are kept out.  The Bible has a lot to say about the mind of  Christian.  Before looking at the Scriptural references, Strong’s provides this definition.  The mind comprises the faculties of perceiving, judging and determining:

  1. the intellectual faculty, understanding
  2. reason in the narrower sense, as the capacity for spiritual truth, the higher powers of recognizing goodness and of hating evil
  3. the power of considering and judging

Use of our mind in the Bible

  • What the mind does and is:
    • Creates plans (Proverbs 19:21) and has desires (Ephesians 2:3)
    • It can be hardened (2 Corinthians 3:13-15), be darkened and futile (Ephesians 4:17), blinded by the god of this world (unbelievers) (2 Corinthians 4:3-5), defiled in unbelievers (Titus 1:15-16) and is double-minded and unstable when not trusting God (James 1:5-8, 4:8)
    • It’s foolish to trust in our own mind (Proverbs 28:26, 14:12)
    • However, the mind can be renewed (Ephesians 4:24) and repentance is of the mind (1 Kings 8:46-51)
  • God’s relationship to the mind:
    • God sees (Jeremiah 20:10), searches (Revelation 2:23) and tests the mind (Psalm 7:9, Jeremiah 11:20, 17:10)
    • He puts law in the mind (Hebrews 8:10) and provides peace to guard it (Philippians 4:6)
    • God blesses some with gifts of the mind
      • He gave Solomon a ‘wise and discerning mind’ (1 Kinds 3:8-12, 10:23-24)
      • He gave the craftsmen of the tabernacle skill (Exodus 36:2)
      • Wise and understanding mind from God (Job 38:35-37)
      • Opens the mind to understand Scripture (Luke 24:44-46)
    • God gives up the debased mind to sin (Romans 1:28)
  • What we should do with our mind:
    • Have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)
    • Be sober-minded (1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Peter 4:7, 5:8), be mature in thinking rather than childish (1 Corinthians 14:20), be prepared for action (1 Peter 1:13) and be humble (1 Peter 3:8-9)
    • Be prepared to suffer like Christ (1 Peter 4:1)
    • Love God with all of our mind (Matthew 22:37), serve God with a willing mind (1 Chronicles 28:8-10, Romans 7:22-25) and honoring God and give thanks to Him (Romans 1:21)
    • Sing and pray with an actively engaged mind (1 Corinthians 14:14-16)
    • Be united in mind with other Christians, so there is no divisions (1 Corinthians 1:10, Philippians 2:1-8, 1 Peter 3:8-9)
    • Be transformed by the renewal of our mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect rather than being conformed to this world (Romans 12:2)
    • Think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned rather than thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3)
    • Think about/set our mind on
      • Things of God rather than the things of man (Matthew 16:23)
      • Things of the Spirit, which are life and peace, and not on the things of the flesh, which leads to death because it is hostile to God (Romans 8:5-8)
      • Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:7-9)
      • Heavenly rather than earthly things (Colossians 3:1-3)
    • Not think about…Do not covet others’ things (Exodus 20:17)
      • Put to death covetousness (Colossians 3:5)
      • Guard against covetousness because life does not consist of an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15)
      • Fighting and quarreling is a result of covetousness (James 4:2)

Summary

The mind is central to the whole Christian life – prayer, singing, speaking – and critical to our maturation in Christ.  It determines what we think about God and whether we obey Him.  Our thinking should therefore be distinctive from non-Christians who have their mind blinded and do not understand spiritual ideas.

  • The mark of the Christian mind is that it cultivates an eternal perspective.  That is to say, it looks beyond this world another one. It is supernaturally orientated, and brings to bear upon earthly considerations the fact of Heaven and the fact of Hell. – Harry Blamires
  • Loving God with the mind means that our thinking is wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things.  Treasuring God is the essence of loving Him, and the mind serves this love by comprehending the truth and beauty and worth of the Treasure. It is an expression of cherishing, delighting, admiring and valuing Him.  Love for God is an affair of the affections.  We can’t love God without knowing Him and Jesus is the fullest revelation of God.  If we truly know Him, we know God.  – John Piper (Think, Chapter 5 & 6)

Application

We must:

  • Audit our thoughts – The mind reveals our priorities, affections and concerns.  Consider what you thought about most today or this week and what topics your thoughts drift off to.  What does this tell you about yourself and how you need to change.
  • Manage our intake
    • Filter our mind – protect the eye and ear gates because they feed the mind, do not covet God’s blessings on others.  This may mean changing the media you consume or activities you do
    • Fill our mind – set your mind on things above.  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. – Proverbs 4:7.
  • Change our mind (Be transformed in thinking) – love God by having the mind of Christ.  Christ sees everything differently than we’re trained to see.  He said, “You have heard it said, but I say unto you…”  We must immerse ourselves in study and prayer to see the:
    • From earthly to heaven focus (Store up treasures, do not be anxious about…)
    • From external to internal judgment (God looks at the heart)
    • From prioritizing self to others (last to first)
    • From obeying others to God (fear not who is able to kill the body,…)
    • From dependence on self to God (save life by losing it, works to faith)

 

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About PS

The mission of James’ Mirror is to guide you to Christian resources such as books, articles and sermons that will enhance your knowledge of God (doctrine) and encourage your obedience to Him (discipleship).
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