To think like Jesus
According to a latest poll, among “Christians”, keep in mind that’s a very board term used there. It is reported that there are 200 million Americans that now consider themselves Christians. That’s a lot of people! But in the same poll was asked other questions like, “Do you believe in heaven?” “Do you believe in hell?” “Do you believe the bible?” “Do you attend church?” There were other questions all driving at the fact of living what you believe. The contrast was a head scratcher. Fewer than 10 million actually said that they believe and practice the principles in God's word. Ten million out of two hundred million, that’s pretty slim percentage, but that sounds close to where we are in America.
Around election time there’s always some Christian group trying to make there voice heard on the issues. And you probably have heard folks like them say already “What is needed is more Christians in America!” If we just had more Christians then we could make the needed changes, get the votes we need, etc.” Yet, I submit to you tonight that what we need in American is not necessary more Christians, but for Christians to start to think like Jesus when it comes to the issues in their lives.
What good would it be if everyone in America claimed to be Christian, yet didn’t think enough like Jesus to believe there was a heaven, or hell, or believe in the bible as God’s word, or at least attend church? What good would all these “Christians” be if they didn’t think like Jesus when it came to their life?
What really is needed in America, as well as in our own lives tonight is to make sure that we thinking like Jesus did when he was in our shoes. By the way, the bible says he was in our shoes, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”. Heb 4:14-15
The bible is saying that we have in Jesus Christ a great high priest that was tempted in all points like we are, yet he passed the test with flying colors without yielding once to sin and because he did it; so can we! Jesus passed these tests by thinking like he did! He didn’t pass these tests by using his power as God; he didn’t perform some miracle to feed himself; he didn’t excuse himself because he was God; No! Jesus can down and walked where you are walking today and he passed the temptations that trip us up by thinking differently than we normally do!
The way we think, the way we look at life, they way we look at God, all factors in to why we are happy and growing or why we are sad and stagnate in our walk with God. Chances are that we aren’t thinking like Jesus did about the things that we deal with everyday. Chances are that we slip back to thinking and looking at life like we did when we were lost! And when we think like lost people things with get pretty ugly and messed up.
For the next few Wednesday nights I want to consider some areas that the average Christian probably doesn’t think too much about or thinks wrongly about. I want us to see what it would mean for us to think like Jesus in areas like our marriage, finances, worship, heaven and hell, the word of God, being in a church setting, and maybe some more. These are just some of the areas where I’m afraid we don’t think like Jesus in and no wonder why we struggle with them!
Look at our verse again “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” Phi 2:5.
Paul is now holding up before the eyes of the Philippians the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. What kind of attitude did He exhibit? What characterized His behavior and thinking? I don’t want to get ahead of myself for next week, but there was something festering in this little church that Paul knew would eventually blow up between two persons, so he brings up this admonition that we should have the same mind that Jesus had, i.e. we should think like Jesus. We aren’t going into the specific circumstances that brought this out of the Apostle, but I would just like to notice some things about how Jesus thought.
I like what one kid said, Jesus in your heart will get you to heaven. That’s so true. But Jesus in your head, your thinking, can help bring heaven down to earth! It changes your life, because it changes the way you think and look at life. You stop thinking like you and start thinking like Jesus!
Before we move on, I would like to answer a thought that is probably already popping up in your head. The thought might be this, “Should Jesus be my example, after all he was God and as God he had no problems with temptations and trails. Is Jesus a worthy example?”
Some think that Jesus isn’t a good example to follow because he was God, so he wouldn’t have any problems at all refusing temptations. That thinking is half right and half wrong. It is right because Jesus was and is and always shall be God! But it is wrong because they fail to see the importance of why Jesus came in the flesh! Jesus came and took on our form, he became one of us yet without sin not to show us up but to show us how to live. Jesus lived a human that was subject to the same limitations, weaknesses, subject to hunger, pain, cold, heat, age, with all the emotions that come with life.
Jesus’ powers as God was suspended for a time while operating as we see him in the gospels under the same power that is available to every one of us, that’s the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything he did, he did because of the Hoy Spirit of God working through him. Jesus showed us that it is possible for each one of to operate under the control of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is available to you today as much as it was to Jesus, the only difference is Jesus yielded his body and mind to the Holy Spirit’s control.
That’s where lose it, we don’t live the way we should because, believe it our not we aren’t thinking like Jesus when it comes to our life.
Have you ever realized that it is not only necessary to honor God with our bodies, (i.e. what we do) but also with our minds, our thoughts!
I. Our Mind before Salvation
Just as our bodies were used to some things before we became saved, our minds were accustomed to some things.
The bible makes it pretty clear what God says about the minds of those who are lost.
Our minds were:
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Alienated means to make unfriendly, hostile, or indifferent where attachment formerly existed. Because of sin man has become alienated in our minds from God. The very thoughts of the God that created us was driven from us due to sin! That’s why David says, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts”. Psa 10:4
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Man’s mind left alone ends up being debased! These were people that used to think about God but have rejected the thought of God and every changed the true imagine of God into an idol. Because they rejected God, God has rejected them by letting them have want they pinned after! Which was their sin! What a fitting punishment!
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The devil, the god of this age has blinded the minds of people so that it takes something unusual and earthshaking to get them to think about life after death! (Like 9-11, suicide of a friend,)
The devil uses everything he can to blind the mind from truth of Jesus Christ! Money, movies, education, career, just the simple everyday problems to keep folks in the dark! Before you were saved you were blinded, have could we say that we had a grasp on life?
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
There’s a lot of pride I the unsaved mind. Everyone owes the something. They are number one! The root word for vanity means emptiness! That’s the truth. There are a bunch of emptied headed people, fill with thoughts of greatness for themselves.
D. Lusts of the Mind
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
There are desires of the mind; probably what is referred to is the imaginations of the mind. I don’t think we would have to take the time to show ourselves that our minds, our imaginations can run away from us and lead us into sin! Simply to let our minds wonder will bring us into sin every time. I think men are more prone to this than woman, though woman are not totally exempt. The pushers of pornography count on that men’s imaginations will work overtime and not allow them to put those magazines down! Men you have to guard your thoughts lest they bring us to sin! Jesus warns us men: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Mat 5:28
Someone said that wives are like newspapers. Someone else asked how? The guy said, Everyman should have his own and learn to keep his eyes on her alone!
That’s good advice.
We could go on about the unsaved mind, but that is a good enough picture to see that it isn’t pretty.
II. Our Minds after Salvation
Sometimes people have mixed up thoughts about what happened to them once they were saved. Some think that they will never get sick again, some think that were healed of some terminal illness they had, some think that they will never sin again, and so on.
We don’t have the time to go in to it, but I will say that the major thing that happened once you were saved is that your soul (that’s the real you) was saved, your spirit was born-again (that’s how we fellowship with God), but your flesh, your body stayed the same! Now I know some people say that once they were saved God took away their desire to smoke, to addictions, whatever. I’m not saying their wrong because in fact I’m glad for them, but for the most part their physical body stayed the same.
So after salvation, after that our soul has changed its position before God, basically the rest of us, our bodies have to catch up to our new found position in Christ. That’s where a lot of Christians are. They are trying to live up to their new position in Christ with the rest of themselves.
Basically put, our minds have to be reprogrammed. You see, your body and your mind was used to living life as a lost person, that meant that you were number one, what you said was true, what you wanted from life is what mattered, the whole nine yards. Basically you thought and lived a certain way.
Now after salvation your not number one anymore, your number three after Jesus and others. What matters now is what God says about life. What God says is true is the rule for our live and so on.
Thinking like a lost person will not work in the Christian life! So don’t try to make it work because it just wont! Others have tried and failed royally!
We have to think on a brand new level now, the level that Jesus thought on and operated his life on.
How is that going to happen?
A. By a daily renewal of our minds.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:2
That word ‘conform’ means to be pressed into a mold, to hold an image. The world has its mold of thinking, does it not? It has its mold of living doesn’t it? The world has its own idea of what a Christian ought to be, doesn’t it? And it will press you into its mold and make you one of them as far as the outside is concerned.
What a shame it is to know Christians that think like the world thinks. They can’t conjure up one pure thought because they let the world trample through their minds far so long!
That word transformed is “metamorphoo” it is where we get the word metamorphous, meaning a total change in form, change in nature.
The Gk. word for “transform” is the same as the one for “transfigure” in Matt. 17:2.) 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we are transformed (transfigured) as we allow the Spirit to reveal Christ through the Word of God.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Co 3:18
Reading the word of God will renew your mind, transform your thinking, which will transform your life!
B. By a Daily washing of our minds.
The word of God washes away the fifth of the world that gathers in out minds!
That he might sanctify and cleanse it(church) with the washing of water by the word, Eph 5:26
When was the last time God’s word flushed out the fifth that sticks in out minds?
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Joh 17:17
The Word separates truth from untruth in our minds.
Our minds are connected to our bodies. Where our minds wonder our bodies will end up following eventually. What is needed is for you to start to take in the word of God that will, if you just give it time, it will begin to change you from the inside out!
But don’t expect it overnight! It will take time just like the time we committed to sin before we reaped from our sin!
Don’t settle for thinking like the world thinks. Their marriages, their kids, their work, their lives, are all doomed from the start until they turn to Christ and then maybe God can do something with them.
We have the opportunity to think like Jesus thought!
We have the chance to lead our lives in the direction that would please the Father like his did!
But it all starts in that space between your ears. To continue to think your way or to think like Jesus.
Merriam-Webster, I. (1996, c1993). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (10th ed.). Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1992). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament (Page 399). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.