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The entire inner world of thought must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit so that the Spirit may bring "into capitvity" every thought to the obedience of Christ, and cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.
The conquest of the mind means that the entire mental activities are possessed and controlled by Christ. It means the mind is emancipated, liberated, made free of all that grieves the Spirit of God -- it means a mind that is pure, clean and free.
Today Satan is assailing the minds of the Lords people. The command of the Lord is that we are to be transformed, that is, transfigured by the renewing or reviving of our mind. Let us go deeper than the mind, and have our innermost thoughts and spirit permeated by the very Presence of God.
Canon Howitt in one of his addresses referred to many of the children of God as "unregenerated in the mind." They are Gods children, "born again," "born from above," and yet their minds are "unregenerated," "unrenewed." They know not an emancipation from the "old," and therefore a more or less divided experience of victory and defeat is theirs. There are hundreds and hundreds of Gods children today who if they knew that the Cross really stands for absolute and utter deliverance; if they really knew what Redemption in all its comprehensiveness means -- that which has been accomplished for them on Calvary, which is rightfully theirs through the "Precious Blood," they would through faith "lay hold" of that which is in Christ for them. But, alas, many are in ignorance because the Word of God is rarely preached in its fullness, power and its simplicity.
But again, there is another class who, though they have light, do not seem to know how to make use of it, how to believe, how to appropriate or to press into victory. With all the light they seem to lack a corresponding intelligent faith; therefore light, because not followed, has become darkness and the victorious experience God meant for His child is lacking. Oh, how we praise God that fresh light is ever ours and that it is imparted not for ourselves only, but that we may pass it on to others. Let us indeed praise God that our Salvation is complete and that as far as the curse hath reached so far hath the Atonement of Christ extended.
How many of Gods children do not even realize the importance of the "renewing of the mind!" This is a day when Satan is assailing the minds of the children of God. The "thought realm," is his great point of attack, and here he has great advantage if the mind is "unrenewed." All that belongs to the "old creation" is fertile ground for Satanic working. Do we not then see the unparalleled importance of knowing that spirit, soul and body are altogether included in that "new creation" which is in Christ Jesus. Satan desires to turn us away from God, and if he cannot succeed in "turning away," he then works to keep in bondage; anything to hinder or limit the soul from a victorious walk in Christ Who is our Life.
Satan desires to imitate Gods lines and to keep himself hidden and unless there has been a definite appropriation (by the believer) of the deliverance of Calvary concerning the mind, he is not on the alert and alive to his workings, and Satan takes great advantage of the child of God. The Cross is where Satan was utterly conquered, and every child of God was freed, loosed from his power and "his works." We must be intelligent concerning the Cross and be able to claim our complete Redemption in its every detail.
Second Timothy 1:7, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind!"
Let us hold on to what God has given, and remember it is a "sound mind!" More than this, in 1 Corinthians 2:16 we find this positive declaration: "We have the mind of Christ." In order to claim victory one must be informed at least in some measure concerning the ground upon which he has a right to stand. We must not be blind, ignorant nor unenlightened; if we are, Satan will take advantage. We must know from what we are saved, to what we are saved; and not only know, but enter in and take possession; a living, vital faith cannot do less.
In our study of this most important subject of the Mind we cannot be too definite or clear; like everything else in the Word of God, definiteness, assurance, knowledge, lead to an intelligent faith. Are we not glad that there is to be no guessing nor supposition about Gods Eternal Facts and Realities, but with the Apostle Paul we can say, "I know," "I am persuaded," "I believe." As we thus stand on the certitude of Gods Word, we will not only be firm, steadfast, unmovable, positive ourselves in what we believe, but conviction will be brought to other hearts, and they will be awakened to lay hold of that which is so real to us. We need the word of Paul to Philemon, sixth verse, the "Communication of Faith," which becomes "effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in (us) in Christ Jesus."
May we turn to Ephesians 4:23, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind." This is indeed a most blessed statement, but how sad it would be had God said this without making it wholly possible. The word "renewed" means to make over as good as new, to give new life to, to commence again. How good it is that our God does not "reform" the old mind, but, based upon the work of Calvary, the crucifixion of the old, brings us to this glorious beginning, this renewing of the mind in Christ Jesus. "Be transformed (transfigured--margin) by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). To transfigure means, to change the appearance of, transform -- to change into another substance -- "a thorough or radical change whether in appearance or nature." Can we not see from the full meaning of these words, "transformed," "renewed," Gods definite dealings with the mind, the radical change which He wants to make?
As the result of the Fall, the human mind is imperfect, its powers have become weak, impaired, perverted. Observation is dulled. The power of reasoning is poor. Memory is defective. In fact all is out of order and the human mind has become the ground of the devils working. The mental processes are a part of Satans attack and often his stronghold. We are all partakers of the Fall. Let us see from the Word of God the state of
The Natural Mind
Romans 1:28 -- "God gave them over to a reprobate mind."
Romans 8:7 -- "Carnal Mind...enmity."
Ephesians 4:17 -- "Vanity of their mind."
Colossians 2:18 -- "Puffed up by his fleshly mind."
Titus 1:15 -- "Mind and conscience... defiled."
1 Timothy 6:5 -- "Men of corrupt minds."
Colossians 1:21 -- "Enemies in your minds."
Philippians 3:19 -- "Mind earthly things."
Romans 8:5 -- "Things of the flesh."
2 Corinthians 3:14 -- "Minds... blinded."
2 Corinthians 4:4 -- "Blinded the minds."
Romans 8:6 -- Summing up -- "carnally minded"; the end -- "death."
Matthew 15:19 shows us quite plainly that thoughts are deeper than the intellect. "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts." Mind and heart are often used in the Scriptures synonymously. "As (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). Thoughts are forces -- power. "Our thoughts determine the real quality of our lives and generally determine action as well." The power of thought is a mighty force and reacts upon our entire being, spirit, soul and body. We ourselves are often but an expression of inward thought. As one has said, "No one but the Holy Spirit can reveal to us the depth and extent of our mental unholiness."
Having had a glimpse through the Word of God of the mind since the Fall, we see, do we not, that it is not only corrupt, but proceeds from a corrupt source?
Not To Be Crucified, Because It Is Crucified
We see that the state of the Mind is a "most prominent indication of mans degeneration." The Mind in its fallen state belongs to the "old creation," -- the "old man which is corrupt." This mind cannot be changed, made new or transformed by any effort of our own. Even God did not attempt to make it over again, but dealt with it in a more radical way. Only one way expresses it and that is "crucifixion."
Back to the Cross indeed! Let us turn to Calvary and see it nailed there in the Death of Jesus. It belongs to the "old man," and when he was crucified all his belongings were crucified with him. God wants us to see that as a fact.
Therefore the first step for us regarding the old mind is to yield it definitely to the Cross, not to be crucified, but because it has been crucified. Let us, therefore, see it on the Cross of Calvary. Let us "reckon," count it there, with all that pertains to it, and put the Death of Jesus over against it and its every manifestation. Many teachers tell us of the "new mind" but so often fail to emphasize the crucifixion of the old! The finished work of the cross, Christs death and resurrection, is the only basis upon which we can claim deliverance and thereby know freedom and emancipation from all the details of the "old creation."
The writer years ago had intense prayer and desire for this "renewing of the mind." Prayer, begotten by the Holy Ghost, became almost a passion that the old mind should not only be dislodged, but taken out, as it were, by the roots. It seemed the most impossible thing that there should be emancipation and deliverance, but this was before the Cross was revealed and its glorious "Finished Work" made known.
There was not then the knowledge of the comprehensiveness of Calvary, nor of the reality and power of the direct application of the Blood of Jesus, until in Gods faithfulness, in the sweetness and power of the "new creation," the full beauty and meaning of Calvary burst upon the soul with its immediate result -- the result that left no question as to prayer answered, the need met, and the imparting of the "new mind," even the "Mind of Christ." "Songs of praise" have not ceased to resound since that time.
The writer sees now that not only is the "old mind" to be yielded and definitely surrendered to the Cross, but just as definitely we may and must through faith receive and appropriate the "Mind of Christ." We must also see that God would have us very clear and most positive concerning the "new mind."
One has said, "We should enter into a transaction with God concerning our Mind as definitely as concerning our souls salvation or the healing of the body." Yes, the "new mind" belongs to the "new man," the "new creation," and is a fruit of the Resurrection Life, based upon the crucifixion of the old. God has made all things possible for us. Shall we not praise Him and receive of His bounty our full "cup of salvation"?
Let us turn our attention now to the
"New Mind," The "Mind Of Christ"
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). This text refers to the Holy Character of our Lord, the depth of His Humility, His Spotless Life, His Holy Disposition. I would, however, call your attention especially to 1 Corinthians 2:16 as bearing more directly upon our subject. "We have the Mind of Christ." This does not exclude the former text, His Holy Disposition, but refers more directly to the intellect ... the very Mind itself. "We have the Mind of Christ."
The Greek word "Phroneo," as used in 1 Corinthians 2:16, means "the thinking faculty of Jesus Christ." It means His redeemed people do not have to depend on their own minds, but they have the "mind of Christ," and the very thinking faculty of Christ Himself.
Let us think more fully of the words, "We have the Mind of Christ" -- the Mind of Christ Himself, His own mind, the Mind of the Anointed One. Let us, too, lose sight of the "study" of the truth in itself, and see it as a very tender relation of our Lord unto us. It is very personal, this relation of our Lord imparting to us in the "New Creation" that which is of Himself.
"This pure, strong mental life of Christ is for our minds just as His bodily life is for our bodies and His spiritual Life for our spirits. The whole Christ is for the whole man." Again the following quotation may clarify the meaning:
"When we speak of the new mind some may think that it cannot really be ours until we realize an entire newness in the mental region. We must not expect it to drop from heaven, so to speak. We must distinguish between the mind as the seat of mental activities and the processes of the mind. The mind is not destroyed, but the old processes must be."
As we use the expression, "the new mind," we are speaking figuratively. We really mean new mental processes.
As we yield our mind to the Lord Jesus His mental life comes into our mental life displacing our old thoughts, thus the old thought circuits are destroyed and new ones established. As a result our old mind, that is, old mental processes, which was crucified at Calvary, positionally, is destroyed practically, and as we yield the mind continually to Him, His mental Life will "occupy," "sustain," "defend," "emancipate," and will strengthen and energize the mind, and thus we find that without effort or strain our minds are being renewed.
Yes, our Lord imparts to us "His inner Life, including His mental Life." We have His Righteousness, His Holiness, His Peace, His Joy and He even wants us to have His Mind. Let us receive the truth in all its power and reality. The "New Creation" includes the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into these beings of ours at every point and in every detail. How truly glorious the fact that we live by the "Life of Another!"
Our starting point, therefore, is this positive assurance, "We have the Mind of Christ." Having surrendered our own definitely to the Cross of Christ, we as definitely have taken His Mind, so without any hesitation we can say, "We have the Mind of Christ." This is the Scriptural standard, Gods statement, Gods fact, and shall we not be as definite and full of assurance as the Apostle Paul?
So many Christians feebly apprehend the positive side of Gods Word. Let us not be among such, but "appropriate" and "apprehend that for which also (we are) apprehended of Christ Jesus" -- NOW! (Phil. 3:12).
We must learn to "possess" our spiritual inheritance. The "Canaan of the New Mind," or the "Land of Canaan for the intellect" is ours! It is a common gift, not for a favored few, but for every redeemed child of God! In Canaan every man put his own foot down on his own territory, on his own land; the privilege is not less in the spiritual Canaan!
We must put our foot down on our own spiritual territory, if we are to "possess" it! No chance here for inactivity or passivity of faith. "Possess your possessions" needs to sound forth now as of old; we must be aggressive, positive; deliverance of the mind is ours, but we must take, "appropriate" and "possess the land!" (Obadiah, verse 17).