What Is The Mind And Spirit Of Jesus Christ?

Our first scripture today is found in Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to more fully comprehend what the “mind” of Christ truly is, the Lord first led me to read this verse in Spanish and then to look up the word “mind,” in Strong’s. So, let’s read this verse in Spanish first. “Haya, pues, en vosoros este sentir que hubo tambien en Cristo Jesus.”

This is in the Reina Valera version which is the equivalent of our King James version. Notice that the word “mind” in our English language has been translated into Spanish as “sentir.” So, what does that word mean to a Spanish speaking person? The first or main meaning is “feeling” or “sense.” If you were ever to live in a Spanish speaking country for even a few days you would find out that they go by their feelings more than by their mind. They are a very emotional people as their music indicates. The state of their mind or attitude is determined more by how they feel about people and things.

For the most part English speaking nations judge people and things on the basis of facts and logic much more than on our feelings and emotions which is reflected in the translation of this verse, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ.”

We analyze the life and even the death of Jesus on the basis of the facts and logic of the New Testament, much more than on the basis of emotions and feelings. As a result, we have missed a vital characteristic and quality of our Blessed Redeemer. We have failed to study the life of Jesus from the stand point of His feelings and emotions.

In fact, when I was growing up in the church of my mother and grandmother in Indiana, for the first 17 years, until 1955, and from then on in Walla Walla, Wash, I was taught that You do not go on your feelings. You cannot trust or depend on your feelings for they will mislead you and cause you to stumble, fall into sin, and be lost.

Of course, any person who has lived very long knows that you cannot always depend on your feelings. But to deny your feelings altogether is just as dangerous. There has to be a blend of the intellect and the emotions or feelings. In fact, God has designed us so that our mind or intellect listens to our feelings, processes the messages that our feelings sends to us and then makes a decision as to whether those feelings are correct or not…whether they are from God or Satan, speaking through our fallen nature.

Therefore, the mind protects and guides the feelings. A perfect example of this is in the life of Jesus at the pool of Bethseda where he met this supreme example of hopeless wretchedness. The man had been there for 38 years. But before He decided to heal him, Christ had to determine whether or not he would heal everyone present. Listen to this inspired commentary on what happened and why.

“Jesus was again at Jerusalem. Walking alone, in apparent mediation and prayer, He came to the pool. He saw the wretched sufferers watching for that which they supposed to be their only chance of cure. He longed (there are His feelings being revealed…His desire to heal everyone) to exercise His healing power, and make every sufferer whole. But it was the Sabbath day. Multitudes were going to the temple for worship, and He knew that such an act of healing would so excite the prejudice of the Jews as to cut short His work.

But the Saviour saw one case of supreme wretchedness. It was that of a man who had been a helpless cripple for thirty-eight years. His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin, and was looked upon as a judgment from God. Alone and friendless, feeling that he was shut out from God’s mercy, the sufferer had passed long years of misery.” DA 201, 202.

And so it was, beloved, that our Lord chose to heal this one man instead of every sick person there by the pool. The Father was leading His only Son because He was listening to His Father’s voice, just as we may do today. Isa. 30:21. His feelings or emotions were reaching out to every sick person there, longing to heal them, but His Father, through the Holy Spirt, spoke to His mind or intellect and showed Him a wiser and more perfect way. And because He listened to His Father’s voice His intellect or mind was able to protect and guide His feelings or emotions. Thus, Jesus’ gave us a perfect example as to how we are to live in this world of so many conflicting voices, feelings and emotions. Notice the purpose, reason and manner in which the Spirit led Jesus to heal the paralytic at that particular time and on that specific day.

Jesus “had chosen the Sabbath upon which to perform the act of healing at Bethesda. He could have healed the sick man as well on any other day of the week; or He might simply have cured him, without bidding him bear away his bed. But this would not have given Him the opportunity He desired. A wise purpose underlay every act of Christ’s life on earth. Everything He did was important in itself and in its teaching. Among the afflicted ones at the pool He selected the worse case upon whom to exercise His healing power, and bade the man carry his bed through the city in order to publish the great work that had been wrought upon him. This would raise the question of what it was lawful to do on the Sabbath, and would open the way for Him to denounce the restrictions of the Jews in regard to the Lord’s day, and to declare their traditions void. Jesus stated to them that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law.” DA 206.

Western Christianity is a doctrinal religion consisting of many laws, rules and restrictions governing outward behavior. The true character of the Father and His only begotten Son are not only ignored, but denied and slandered by teaching a destroyer God who seeks to exact his pound of flesh for each and every transgression of His laws. As in the days of Christ, the people live in constant fear that they may be offending God, even if only through ignorance or forgetfulness. In addition to this there are the doctrinal emphasis and inferences which are contrary to His true character of love, mercy and grace.

For example, Christianity teaches that Christ’s sacrifice for the fallen race was to satisfy the demands of the broken law. It has little or nothing to do with feelings or emotions. A law was broken and someone must pay the price to satisfy the demands of the law. God the Father and God the Son made a logical decision, based on law and decided what had to be done and did it. Now, having satisfied the demands of the law everyone who accepts this act He performed is, by law, set free and can now have eternal life. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Our theology explains the plan of salvation with very little feeling or emotion. Why? That is what we need to try to understand in this article.

A more modern version, La biblia de las Americas, (equivalent of the NAS) uses the word “actitude” which is what the NAS also says. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” JB Phillips reads: “Let Christ Himself be your example as to what your attitude should be.” The NIV and many other versions also translate this Greek word as “Attitude,” with the comment, “Christians are to have His attitude of self-sacrificing humility and love for others.” The Amplified says: “Let this same attitude and purpose and (humble) mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus,–Let Him be your example in humility-.” The CEV says: “Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.”

Many years ago I was on the way to give a Wednesday night prayer meeting talk at the little SDA English Church in San Angelo, Texas. As I made that 90 mile trip the Lord brought to my mind the words of Jesus at the last supper. Notice the deep feelings in His words. “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:” Luke 22:15. Some versions add the word “Longing desire.” What does that tell you about Jesus Christ? He was not just a mechanical robot going through the motions to satisfy the claims of a broken law, so He could get the job done and go back to heaven. He had not come to earth in a body of flesh just to prove that He could do what no human being had ever done before, i.e., live a perfect life without sinning…without once making a mistake by saying or doing something wrong. Although He did that, we are missing the whole point of His incarnation if we think that was the main objective of His mission.

As the controversy is coming to a conclusion and climax in this age we are now living, the Lord is seeking to draw us into the very heart of His Father. He is inviting us to understand how He Himself thinks and feels about everything, especially about the whole human race.

This morning the Lord gave me a fresh insight into His own longings and desires by inviting me to examine my own desires and longings that I have for certain family members, friends and fellow church members to understand the character message and the work God has called me to do for the last 33 years. You can do that too by thinking of people you reach out to every day. Perhaps it is a spouse or one of your children, a relative, friend or neighbor. You long to have communication and fellowship with them but they will not allow it.

So, how does that make you feel? Hurt, rejected and terribly alone and sorrowful? Of course. And that is precisely why Jesus was known as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows how we feel because He went through the same thing with His very own people. “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” John 1:11.

Yet, He never stopped loving them because there were always a few who responded.

So, what was the objective of His mission? What is the real reason He came to this planet in the first place? He answered this question in many ways. For example, in John 3:16 Jesus said that God (the Father) had such a deep love for the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

“The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:28. Mark 10:24. In the original language the word “many” seems to be all inclusive, meaning “altogether,” as Paul writes: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one god, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Notice that Paul says that Christ willingly sacrificed Himself, as a ransom, for everyone, which means ALL. “To be testified in due time.” Most versions translate this phrase as meaning that Christ’s ransom/sacrifice was revealed at the proper time. Even the margin states that the word “testified” actually is “Testimony.” This adds meaning to the concept of Jesus sacrificial death on Calvary. It was not only a “ransom” but a revelation or demonstration (testimony) of who God really is, not just a sacrifice to pay a debt per se, for in reality, there never was a debt in the first place because it was all in our minds, Col. 1:21. So, it was much more than a “juridical” act of declaring us innocent, although that is part of it as well, to remove Satan’s “legal claim” over us, the “Cheirographon” (handwriting of ordinances). “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Rom 5:10. NAS.

Now, going back to the phrase, “due time.” I believe that Paul is also referring to a future time when God will reveal the truth about the salvation of all men to all the redeemed during the millennium because only a few have entered into this revelation in this age. He tells us that this plan is a mystery that was not revealed until Jesus came. “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.” Eph. 1:9, 10.

This brings us back to the Mind of Christ once again. What do you think was in His mind when He agreed with the Father (the Counsel of Peace) to come to this dark earth? Do you think that He envisioned saving only half or one third of the human race? Would He have been satisfied with that? (Isa. 53:11). Would the Father have agreed to that? Well, Son, since I know all things, I can tell you ahead of time that your mission will not be totally successful. The best you can hope for is to save about one third of them. (See Zech. 13:8, referring to this age). What does the Holy Spirit tell us through the inspired word? “He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” Isa. 53:11. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Do you have His mind in this matter of the salvation of the whole human race? Are you on the same page with our Blessed Redeemer? Are you willing to cooperate with Him in this project after the 1,000 years? He is waiting for your answer my friend.

One inspired writer who claimed to have special insight through prophetic visions has written about Jesus’ sorrow when Adam and Eve fell into sin. “The fall of man filled all heaven with sorrow. The world that God had made was blighted with the curse of sin and inhabited by beings doomed to misery and death. There appeared no escape for those who had transgressed the law. Angels ceased their songs of praise. Throughout the heavenly courts there was mourning for the ruin that sin had wrought. The son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. His heart was moved with infinite compassion as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him. But divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed. The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin–sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.” Patriarchs & Prophets, page 63.

The same writer describes how the Son pleaded with His Father for permission to come to this dark earth to rescue His children. “I saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came from the Father, His person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and doubt, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.” EW 149.

“By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God, –God’s thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples he says, ‘I have declared unto them Thy name,’–‘merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,’–that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.’ Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which ‘angels desire to look,’ and it will be their study throughout endless ages. “Desire of Ages,” page 19.

Now, let us go a little deeper into the Mind of Christ. “For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been His counselor?” Rom. 11:34. What is Paul talking about here? We have to go back to vs. 25. “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Vs. 27.

Yes, the Lord has promised to “take away their sins.” But in the past only a few have entered fully into this experience, such as Enoch and Noah before the flood. And Abraham and Isaac and Jacob afterward; Only a Remnant or few in every age have experienced this. But in the great AGE OF THE AGES, in the future, the Lord will finally accomplish this through the fire of His love (Rev. 20:9) as He did with Saul of Tarsus in Rom 9. Vs. 28 & 29 indicate that they are beloved of the Father for the Father’s sakes: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” “For God’s gifts and his calling are irrevocable.” NIV. We need to also remember that with God there is no time limit or expiration date on God’s gift certificates. And also that God lives in the Eternal Now, seeing the end from the beginning, knowing the future as clearly as the past.

Now, let’s look at two quotes from the best book ever written on the Life of Christ. “The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desire that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. Those whose course has been most offensive to Him He freely accepts: when they repent, He imparts to them His divine Spirit, places them in the highest positions of trust, and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His boundless mercy. He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christlikeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. He would have us bear testimony to the fact that He cannot be satisfied until the human race are reclaimed and reinstated in their holy privileges as His sons and daughters.” DA 826.

When this quote was read recently in a seminar, a brother protested by saying, “But it does not say the ‘whole human race,’ or ‘every person.'”

So, then a quote from page 425 from Desire of Ages also was read: “These men (Moses and Elijah), chosen above every angel around the throne, had come to commune with Jesus concerning the scenes of His suffering, and to comfort Him with the assurance of the sympathy of heaven. The hope of the world, the salvation of EVERY HUMAN BEING, was the burden of their interview.” DA 425. Of course, this didn’t make any difference because the person’s mind was closed. He obviously was not interested in having the same mind of Jesus, who was willing to suffer every humiliation and die the horrible death on the cross, in order to make the greatest demonstration and give the ultimate testimony, so even Satan Himself could no longer accuse the Father and Son of being selfish and not willing to sacrifice themselves.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST

Now, let’s talk about the Spirit of Jesus Christ. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Rom 8:9.

How can we know the difference between the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Satan, because we are told that Satan is a deceiver who can transform himself into an “angel of light.” “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Cor. 11:13-15.

That is why the bible tells us we must “try or test” the spirits to see if they are true or false. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” John continues on stating that one sure test of a true Spirit is that it will confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. And every spirit that does not confess or teach this is a false spirit.

As we study the life of Jesus we see that He was always a kind, loving, gentle and good person who was patient and longsuffering with His own disciples who were stubborn, angry, slow to learn and even denied Him at His trial and forsook Him. And we all know Judas, the betrayer, sold Him for thirty pieces of silver. Yet, He forgave them all on the cross. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal. 6:22-24.

What kind of a personality did Jesus have? Listen: “There were in the throng some who at Christ’s baptism had beheld the divine glory, and had heard the voice of God. But since that time the Saviour’s appearance had greatly changed. At His baptism they had seen His countenance transfigured in the light of heaven; now, pale, worn, and emaciated, He had been recognized only by the prophet John. But as the people looked upon Him they saw a face where divine compassion was blended with conscious power. Every glance of the eye, every feature of the countenance, was marked with humility, and expressive of unutterable love. He seemed to be surrounded by an atmosphere of spiritual influence. While His manners were gentle and unassuming, He impressed men with a sense of power that was hidden, yet could not be wholly concealed. Was this the One for whom Israel had so long waited?” Desire of Ages 138.

Now, let’s ponder that question for a moment, for the Jews at this time believed the Messiah was about to appear to deliver them from Roman bondage. So, this was the question on everyone’s mind. Has the Messiah finally arrived? Notice the answer.

“To the multitude, however, it seemed impossible that the One designated by John should be associated with their lofty anticipations. Thus many were disappointed, and greatly perplexed. The words which the priests and rabbis so much desired to hear, that Jesus would now restore the kingdom to Israel, had not been spoken. For such a king they had been waiting and watching; such a king they were ready to receive. But one who sought to establish in their hearts a kingdom of righteousness and peace, they would not accept.” DA 138.

And so it was that Jesus “came unto His own” and was rejected. His life of unselfishness and self-denial was hated. “Unselfishness, the principle of God’s kingdom, is the principle that Satan hates; its very existence he denies. From the beginning of the great controversy he has endeavored to prove God’s principles of action to be selfish, and he deals in the same way with all who serve God. To disprove Satan’s claim is the work of Christ and of all who bear His name.” Education, 154. Anywhere and anytime this “Spirit of Christ’s unselfishness” is manifested in a follower of Jesus you can be sure Satan will make war upon that person to try to destroy His example and testimony, for this above all other traits, reveals the true character and Spirit of Jesus.

May the Lord help each of us to enter so fully today into the Father’s heart that He will be able to infuse and empower us to go forth as Messengers of light and mercy to a dying world so the work may be finished and Jesus can come again very soon. May the Lord bless each of you as you dedicate yourselves to this mission.

Your friend always in the power and love of our Blessed Redeemer, Pastor Mike Clute.

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