6-24-2017 The Mind of Christ
The Birth The Cross
Recently, Father brought two things back to my mind. One in Doug Addison’s “Weekly Connect” (6/1/2017) and the daily entry for June 1, 2017 in a small magazine I was receiving for a while, “Men of Integrity” (MOI), titled “Knowing God’s Spirit”, a word from David Bowen, a Christian speaker, writer and poet.
The MOI entry, in part, reads “We have to realize that the ‘Holy Spirit’ is God’s actual Spirit. The Holy Spirit connects us with the mind of God. In fact, the Holy Spirit connects us to God’s mind … (in) … that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinth. 2:16). The same mind that allowed Jesus to live in perfect relationship with the Father dwells within us.”
Jesus promises us the Holy Ghost, two-fold. One in the ‘indwelling’ as recorded in John 14:16-17, I’ll pray the Father give you another comforter that He may abide with you forever. The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it doesn’t see Him but you know Him for He dwells with you and shall be in you. And in John 20:22 when Jesus says “Receive the Holy Ghost …” At that time, Jesus breathed on His disciples so we know that something happened to them. But, we know that this is not the fullness of what Father has to offer for Jesus has already told His disciples “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away, but if I don’t go away, the comforter will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). All this occurred before (what we refer to as) the ‘baptism’ of the Holy Ghost as recorded in Acts chapter two. And keep in mind, in order to complete His mission on earth, Jesus needed strength in His natural body from all that the Holy Ghost is.
The second is in the ‘infilling’ which Jesus promises just before He ascended back into heaven. He tells His disciples (and all believers) “You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you …” (Acts 1:8). All we have to do is ask (Luke 11:13). This is the ‘infilling’ or the “baptism”.
That baptism is realized at Pentecost which, for believers, is the day that the power of the Holy Spirit became available to us. At that time, it was evidenced by a rushing wind and tongues of fire resting upon each of the 120 in the upper room (Acts 2:1-4). They spoke in ‘other tongues’ as the Spirit gave them utterance and they experienced a joy beyond description. Tongues is a Spiritually inspired language given to us by Father which enhances our communication with Him and gives us strength to do what we need to do.
But, understand that Jesus gave His disciples authority over sickness, disease and evil spirits even before the accounts recorded in John chapter fourteen, sixteen and twenty and Acts chapters one and two. Jesus gave His twelve disciples power over unclean spirits to cast them out and to heal all manner of sickness and disease (Matt. 10:1). Then later, He sent out the seventy who, when they returned, said “Even the devils are subject to us through Your name (Luke 10:1-17)!
This is a season of joy, power and revelation! (Doug Addison’s 6-1-17 Weekly Connect “Prophetic Word for Pentecost”) Think what Jesus has given us, we are like the seventy! Not just apostles, but the disciples. The disciples received the same authority as the apostles. When the Holy Ghost came into that upper room, He didn’t land on just the apostles, there were 108 other disciples in that room and they all received ‘the power’.
THINK ABOUT THAT!
Why are there two terms, indwelling and infilling, described? The indwelling is when the Holy Ghost takes up ‘residence within us’ while the infilling is when we allow the power of the Holy Ghost to ‘operate in us and through us’. It isn’t just acknowledging who the Holy Ghost is, it isn’t just ‘knowing about Him, but yielding our lives over to Him so we can (indeed) have the power to follow Jesus’ example for living. Does this mean we will never ‘mess up’? Absolutely not! The Father gives us ‘free will’, to choose the path in which we tread, before and after our salvation experience. Our ‘baptism in the Holy Ghost (with fire’ Matt. 3:11) strengthens us to a greater level and even though the Holy Ghost is alive and well within our hearts, we still have that freedom of choice. However, the Holy Ghost does give us the strength to choose and stay the right path. It is not automatic. We choose - we do.
Three things are prominent about Pentecost: 1) for Israel, this is the time for harvesting (the wheat), 2) This is the time God gave Israel the Law through Moses, and 3) this is the season the disciples received the Holy Spirit bringing to all a deeper joy, power and revelation. In the Old Testament, God would visit man and speak through Moses and specified prophets then the high priest to intercede as he was the only one allowed in the Holy of Holies. The Holy Ghost was ‘with’ them. Today, because the curtain separating man from God is torn in two and fully open, we have we have direct access into the Holy of Holies, to the Father because the Holy Ghost is now ‘in’ us.
In the Old Testament, the harvest was reaping the ripe fruit from the fields. Today, souls are ready and ripening, ready to be injected with God’s love and to be harvested into His kingdom. They just need to hear the Word in love, truth and power so they can come into God’s kingdom with all their heart, mind, soul and strength (Luke 10:27-28).
In the Law, given to Moses, Father briefly explains how His love functions in our lives. It explains our relationship with our heavenly Father and those around us. It gives us a picture in the spiritual as well as the natural arenas as to how we should act, speak and think.
This is also a time where the Holy Ghost calls us into obedience in God’s love so we can effectively share our Father’s love with others as we yield ourselves over to Him. This is a decision, followed by an action. We decide to yield ourselves to Him, then we listen to Father for direction in life and then we do it!
Through His Spirit (within us) Father gives us the strength to make decisions in accordance to His will and then the power to implement those things in our lives as a testimony to those around us.
Understanding these things (Doug, MOI & the HS), Father quickly impressed upon me that even though no man can know the mind of God (Romans 11:34), we do have the mind of Christ (1 Corinth. 2:16)! And who is Jesus? The Word of God personified, in the flesh (John 1:1-14) and as John 1:1 says “the Word was with God and the Word WAS God”. This is not a one-time event but an ongoing existence. Father and Son have always been one, together, the same!
Surely we cannot instruct God, know His mind, but we can surely know how He thinks (read the bible from Genesis to Revelation). We CAN understand how He operates in this world and why. We can understand His love. The whole bible is God sharing His love for us and with us and that love reveals ‘how He thinks’! With Pentecost, we can receive the Holy Ghost, through Whom we can receive the power to live this life, just as Jesus did – and more (John 14:12)! The Holy Ghost gives us the strength to live in God’s love then to be able to go out in truth and power and share that love with those whom we encounter. We should not falter for He will give us what to say (Luke 12:11-12).
The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God (1 Corinth. 2:10) and He equips us for our task! (Phil. 2:13, Heb. 13:20-21, 2 Peter 1:3)
We really don’t know how to pray, so the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings (noises) that cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26). When we are unable to speak out our needs, the Spirit knows our hearts and takes t say to our heavenly Father because He is our connection with Father and is an extension of God. So He speaks to Father, on our behalf with sounds we may not understand. Because He is God, the Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of the Father. After all, He is the Father in us! So the Spirit speaks for us, even when we can’t vocalize our need. He brings Father’s response to us so we seek guidance from the Holy Ghost in all that we do to obtain and retain our relationship with Father. Don’t misunderstand me here, Jesus is our mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) with the Father, but read on.
Seven church councils have shaped the Christian Creed: 325 - Nicaea, 381 – 1st of Constantinople, 431 – Ephesus, 451 – Chalcedon, 553 – 2nd Constantinople, 681 – 3rd Constantinople, 787 – 2nd Nicaea. The council of Nicea (381 AD - or the 1st council of Constantinople) and when the ‘smoke’ cleared, they declared that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. He is not sent, but proceeds. That means that the Holy Ghost is one with the Father and the Son and cannot be separated. The Nicene Creed declared this and subsequent councils confirmed and explained it.
So, as the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and Son (completing the Godhead) He knows the mind of the Father and the Son and He knows our hearts and minds. The Holy Ghost IS the connection between heaven and earth. Between God and man. Who is better to intercede for us then give us direction? It pleased the Father that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus (Col. 1:19, 2:1-10). This is why Jesus had to go back to Father, before we could receive the Holy Ghost.
Now, the Holy Ghost walked in the presence of the disciples in the person of Jesus (yes? – Jesus received the Holy Ghost through His baptism by John – Matt. 1:13-178, John 1:29-33). Jesus told His disciples the Holy Ghost was with them but would be in them (John 14:16-17) and power would be given to all believers. When the Holy Ghost is come upon us we would have power (Acts 1:8). The power to do what? Walk in God’s love (to live this life), to deal with life’s situations. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:1-6) and then He will be able to effectively share that love through us with those whom we encounter.
The mind of God is love for God is love (1 John 4:6-11). The heart of God is love for God is love. Everything that is God is love for God is love. All that is God dwelt in Jesus, so Jesus is love (as we have already read – the fullness of the Godhead). The Holy Spirit is the breath of God (Job 33:4 - look up breath Strong’s 5397 and Spirit 7307)) and proceeds from the Father and the Son so the Holy Spirit brings love. As we see in the passage from 1 John, our hearts should operate in God’s love. We can’t operate in God’s love unless we understand that love, which translates into “knowing the mind of Christ”, which, in turn, means we come to know how God (Father) thinks! God thinks, exists and IS love! or should we say love is God? And the bible is our ‘handbook’ into God’s love.
So, do we know what God is going to think at any given moment? We may not understand what’s going on in a particular situation, at a specific time, but we do know that whatever Father thinks and does is wrapped in love. Whatever is happening in our lives is wrapped in love. Only our understanding, or lack of it impacts our actions. Do we do God’s will? Or do we do our own?
Love seeks to edify us and build others around up so whatever Father does in our lives is for our benefit. To help us draw closer to Him. To abide, function and grow in His love. Why, so we can truly say we are made in the image of God. For God is love and we are becoming a reflection of that love to the world around us.
Can we know the mind of Christ? As with the Father, the mind of Jesus is love! Yes?