He who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the LORD that He may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16
Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
What a shock it is to discover our whole Christian life has been lived in the flesh. What a revelation to realise our fleshly striving was of ourself. How disturbing to eventually recognize it is not Christ but I that lived in me. Well, it certainly was for me.
The spiritual man is the one who has the mind of Christ, and Phil 2:5 exhorts us to: let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. How articulate is that tiny little word let.. let.. let this mind be in you.. allow this mind to be in you.. grant permission for this mind to be in you.. sanction; authorize.. permit this mind to be in you, that was in Christ Jesus.
We are to be of the same mind.. to agree with – to cherish the same views, and by implication there is much lacking that needs to be addressed. And the process of sanctification brings every believer to this blessed spot. Now, justification (the process of being saved by God), is a choice. It is one of many choices we make in this life. For example:
Initial Salvation or being born of the Spirit, is a choice we all make in this life. EITHER→ believe on the Lord Jesus Christ→ and you will be saved→ saint. OR→ don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ→ and you will not be saved→ sinner.
The choices we make today are eternal choices.. through time and into eternity, but God’s grace dictates that the choice is open for every sinner until death. But throughout the life of a sinner, the Spirit is convicting that sinner of his need. The Spirit will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. John 16:8
Sanctification or being matured by the Spirit is also a choice we make in this life. Sanctification (or growing in grace) is a choice made by the believer. Another way of putting it is you can live a spiritual life or a carnal life. EITHER→ permit the Holy Spirit to work in you and train you → a spiritual saint. OR→ don’t permit the Holy Spirit to work in you and train you → a carnal saint. Believers can choose submit to His will in our life, and daily grow into His likeness, OR we can choose to resist His will in our life, and quench His work in our lives.
What we choose today will affect our life in the kingdom for a thousand years, for the millennial rewards in Revelation 2-3 – are rewards for the coming kingdom, and we will be judged by the works that we do in this life – for good or bad. These works must not be our own fleshly works that we should do: for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil.2:13. And Paul tells us that: the ‘day’ will declare the quality of the works that we do. The fire will test each one’s work, of whatever sort it is. 1Cor.3:13. And throughout the life of a saint, God will work through us, if we permit Him.
Life is full of choices – and so often we make the wrong choices. Many choices that I have made in my life have often been foolish and rebellious, but amazingly God works everything together for good, even our bad choices. So as long as there is breath in these bodies, the carnal Christian can submit and cry out to the Lord: Father I have sinned against You, I have quenched your Spirit and resisted His holy work in my life – and He will kill the fatted calf and put a ring on your finger.
As I have looked at the lives of the apostles and prophets of old, my heart is comforted. I see Abraham blatantly resist the Word of God. I see Rebekah plot her own selfish course. I see David scheme his selfish, lustful future happiness. I see Peter deny His Lord – but God in His grace took each transgression and turned it for good. Abraham became the father of countless ‘stars’ and a multitude of people. Rebekah became the mother of Israel. David has a future inheritance in Jerusalem and Peter will be judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Why – when each one failed? Each one lived much of their life in the flesh. Why – because God in gracious, long suffering and of great goodness. A man with the grossest of sin and the most dark and evil past can be saved. Salvation is an unbeliever’s choice: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.. And a believer who has lived the most carnal life can still become spiritual. A spiritual mind is a matter of choice for a believer – live in spirit and in truth..
Willing Sanctification is a matter of choice. So, let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, Who made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name…
And then it continues…. for it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless – the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world….” Philippians 2:5-15
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