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1 Corinthians 2:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Edward D. Andrews writes,
Romans 15:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Now may the God who gives endurance and comfort grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.
There are over 41,000 Christian denominations around the world, all claiming to be “the truth” and “the way” (John 8:31-32; 14:6; Ac 9:1-2), making them the true disciples of Jesus Christ. How can this be? In the first century C.E., there was one Christian denomination. By the end of the second century, there were twenty varieties of Christianity; at the close of the fourth century, there were about eighty varieties of Christianity. Since the fourth century, there have continued to be splits within the denominations of Christianity, usually over doctrinal differences. What does this mean? Well, the upside is that they believe in Jesus Christ and claim to be his disciples. (Matt 10:24-25) Is this enough if we are following Jesus’ example? (1 Pet. 2:21) Are all of these denominations just different roads leading to the same place? We must ask ourselves, do we truly know Jesus, the man who walked this earth for thirty-three and a half years? Do we know the divine Jesus who came down to earth, died for our sins, and ascended back to the Father? Do we truly have “the mind of Christ”? – 1 Corinthians 2:16; Ephesians 4:13.
Deep Bible study is no guarantee that one will be more spiritually mature or stronger, but a lack of in-depth Bible study will lead to spiritual immaturity and weakness. Deeper Bible study, having a correct understanding of what the Bible authors meant by the words that they used will give us a biblical worldview that will enable us to be biblically minded and to have the mind of Christ. If we are going to take off the old person and put on the new person, we will need to have the mind of Christ. This means we need to know how Jesus thinks, feels, and believes and then adopt that as our own. We have to adopt the fruitage of God’s Spirit. As Jesus is the “radiance of his glory and the representation of God’s essence,” we must also reflect God’s qualities. (Heb. 1:3) The more we can think as Jesus does, the more our actions will be like his. And we will then be able to reflect his personality. – Philippians 2:5.
And as we can see from Romans 15:5 above, we need to have “the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.” Therefore, if we are going to possess the mind of Christ, to be like Christ, we need to have the same way of thinking and adopt the complete breadth of his personality. We are to follow in his footsteps. If we look at the Gospels, especially the Gospel of John, we will also notice Jesus’ mind was focused on his relationship with the Father. So, as Jesus and the Father are one in their thinking, we will be one with them in our thinking. In other words, to think like Jesus is also to think like the Father. Notice in Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “the one who does the will of my Father will enter into the kingdom.” He did not say the one doing my will.
The disciples saw everything that Jesus did for three and a half years as they were with him 24/7/365. They saw his miracles and his interactions with others, heard his sermons, and watched how he dealt with people of different stations in life, from the common Jew to the religious leaders, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. They saw his application of godly principles. They said: “We are witnesses of all the things he did.” (Acts 10:39) While we were not there and could not observe him in person, we have been lovingly provided with four Gospels and twenty-three other New Testament books that can bring him to life in our minds. By primarily studying and meditating on Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we open our minds to Christ’s mind. We thus can “follow in his steps” and “arm [our]selves with the same way of thinking” as Christ had. (1 Pet. 2:21; 4:1) Since the Father and the Son have the same mental disposition, by extension, we have all that the Bible tells us about the Father too. Dwelling on and entertaining Christ’s thinking strengthens our spirituality. Increasingly, we will know what Christ would do in any given situation. This will then enable us to make choices that allow us to have a clean conscience and be in an approved position before God. We will be able to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” – Romans 13:14.
Albert Barnes writes,
The mind of Christ. The views, feelings, and temper of Christ. His Spirit influences us.
1st. Ministers of the gospel should not be too anxious to be distinguished for the excellency of speech or language, ver. 1. Their aim should be to speak the simple truth in a pure and intelligible language. Let it be remembered that if there ever was any place where it would be proper to seek such graces of eloquence, it was Corinth. If in any city now, or in any refined and cultured society, it would be proper, it would have been proper in Corinth. Let this thought rebuke those who, when they preach to a lighthearted, carefree, and progressive-minded audience, seek to fill their sermons with decorative thinking rather than solid thought, with the glamour of rhetoric rather than pure language. Paul was right in his course and was wise. True taste abhors insincere, showy embellishments as much as the gospel does. And the man who is called to preach in a wealthy and fashionable congregation should remember that he is stationed there not to please the ear but to save the soul. He needs to know that his objective is not to display his talent or his eloquence but to rescue his hearers from ruin. This purpose will make the mere decorative words of rhetoric appear small. It will give seriousness to his discourse, gravity to his phrasing; unction to his eloquence; heart to his arguments; and success to his ministry.
2d. The purpose of every minister should be like that of Paul, to preach Christ and him crucified only. See 1 Corinthians 2:2.
3d. If Paul trembled at Corinth because of dangers and difficulties, if he was conscious of his own weakness and feebleness, then we should also learn to be humble. He is not much in danger of erring who imitates the example of this great apostle. And suppose he who had received a direct commission from the great Head of the church and was endowed with such mighty powers was modest, unassuming, and diffident. In that case, it becomes ministers of the gospel now, and all others to be humble also. We should not be afraid of men, but we should be modest, humble, and lowly; much impressed, as if conscious of our mighty charge; and anxious to deliver just such a message as God will approve and bless.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would he hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain;
And plain in manner, decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture: much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge;
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too. Affectionate in look.
And tender in address as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men. – Task, B. ii.
Our aim should be to commend our message to every man’s conscience; and to do it with humility towards God and deep solicitude, with boldness towards our fellow men—respectfully towards them—but still resolved to tell the truth, 1 Corinthians 2:3.
4th. The faith of Christians does not stand in the wisdom of man. Every Christian has evidence in his own heart, his experience, and the transformation of his character that none but God could have wrought the change on his soul. His hopes, his joys, his peace, his sanctification, his love of prayer, of the Bible, of Christians, of God, and of Christ are all such as nothing could have produced but the mighty power of God. All these bear marks of their high origin. They are the work of God on the soul. And as the Christian is fully conscious that these are not the native feelings of his heart—that if left to himself, he would never have had them; so he has the fullest demonstration that they are to be traced to a divine source. And can he be mistaken about their existence? Can a man doubt whether he has joy, peace, and happiness? Is the infidel to tell him coolly that he must be mistaken in regard to the existence of these emotions and that it is all delusion? Can a child doubt whether he loves a parent; a husband, whether he loves his wife; a friend, a friend; a man, or his country? And can he doubt whether this emotion produces joy? And can a man doubt whether he loves God? Whether he has different views from what he once had? Whether he has peace and joy in view of the character of God and the hope of heaven? And by what right shall the infidel tell him that he is mistaken and that all this is delusion? How can he enter into the soul and pronounce the man who professes to have these feelings mistaken? What should we think of the man who should tell a wife that she did not love her husband; or a father that he did not love his children? How can he know this? And, like manner, how can an infidel and scoffer say to a Christian that all his hopes and joys, love and peace are delusions and fanaticism? The truth is that the great mass of Christians are just as well satisfied with the truth of God’s Word as they are of their own existence; and that a Christian will die for his love for the Savior, just as he will die for his wife, and children, and country. Martyrdom, in one case, is on the same principle as martyrdom in the other. Martyrdom in either is noble and honorable and evinces the highest qualities and principles of the human mind.
5th. Christians are influenced by true wisdom, 1 Corinthians 2:6. They are not fools, though they appear to be to their fellow men. They see a real beauty and wisdom in the plan of redemption, which the world does not appreciate but views as foolish. It is not the wisdom of this world; but the wisdom that looks to eternity. Is a man a fool who acts regarding the future? Is he a fool who believes that he shall live to all eternity and regards it as proper to prepare for that eternity? Is he a fool who acts as if he were to die—to be judged—to enter on an unchanging destiny? Folly is manifested in closing the eyes on the reality of the condition, not in looking at it as it is. The man who is sick and who strives to convince himself that he is well; the man whose affairs are in a state of bankruptcy and who is unwilling to know it, is a fool. The man who is willing to know all about his situation, and to act accordingly, is a wise man. The one represents the conduct of a sinner, the other that of a Christian. A man who should see his child drowning, or his house on fire, or the pestilence breathing around him, and be unconcerned or dance amidst such scenes would be a fool or a madman. And is not the sinner who is gay and thoughtless over the grave and over hell equally foolish and mad? And if there is a God, heaven, Savior, and punishment of eternal destruction; if men are to die, and to be judged, is he not wise who acts as if it were so, and who lives accordingly? While Christians may not be distinguished for the wisdom of this world—while many are destitute of learning, science, and eloquence, they have a wisdom that shall survive when all others vanish away.
6th. All the wisdom of this world shall come to nothing, 1 Corinthians 2:6. What will be the value of political shrewdness when all governments shall come to an end but the divine government? What is the value of eloquence, and graceful diction, when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ? What is the value of science in this world when all shall be revealed with the clearness of noonday? How low will appear all human attainments in that world when the light of eternal day shall be shed over all the works of God? How little can human science do to advance the eternal interests of man? And how shall all fade away in the future world of glory—just as the feeble glimmering of the stars fades away before the light of the morning sun! How little, therefore, should we pride ourselves on the highest attainments of science and the most elevated distinctions of learning and eloquence.
7th. God has a purpose regarding the salvation of men, 1 Corinthians 2:7. This scheme was ordained before the world. It was not a new device. It was not the offspring of chance, an accident, or an afterthought. It was because God purposed it from eternity. God has a plan; this plan contemplates his people’s salvation. And it greatly enhances the value of this benevolent plan in the eyes of his people, that it has been the object of God’s eternal earnest desire and purpose. How much a gift is enhanced in value from the fact that it has been long the purpose of a parent to bestow it; that he has toiled for it; that he has made arrangements for it; and that this has been the chief object of his efforts and his plan for years. So the favors of eternal redemption are bestowed on Christians as the fruit of God’s eternal purpose and desire. And how should our hearts rise in gratitude to him for his unspeakable gift!
8th. One great and prominent cause of sin is that men are blind to the reality and beauty of spirituality. So it was with those who crucified the Lord, 1 Corinthians 2:8. Had they seen his glory as it was, they would not have crucified him. And so it is now. When men curse God, they do not see his excellency: when they revile true Christianity, they do not know its real value; when they break the laws of God, they do not fully discern their purity and importance. It is true that they are willfully ignorant (willfully rejecting the truth), which often enhances their crime, but it is equally true that “they know not what they do.” For such poor, blinded, deluded mortals, the Savior, prayed; and for such, we should all pray. In many cases, the man that curses God has no sense of what he is doing. The man who is profane, a scoffer, a liar, and an adulterer has no just sense of the awful nature of his crime; and is an object of commiseration—while his sin should be hated—and is a proper subject of prayer.
9th. Men often commit the most awful crimes when they are unconscious of it, 1 Corinthians 2:8. What crime could compare with crucifying the only Son of God? And what crime could be attended with more dreadful consequences to its perpetrators? So of sinners now. They know little about what they do and little about the consequences of their sins. A man may curse his Maker and say it is in sport! But how will it be regarded on the day of judgment? A man may revile the Savior! But how will it appear when he dies? It is a solemn thing to trifle with God and with his laws. A man is safer when he sports on a volcano or when he makes a jest of the pestilence or the forked flashes of lightning of heaven than when he sports with religion and with God! In a world like this, men should be serious and fear God. A single deed, like that of the crucifixion of Christ, may be remembered when all the circumstances of sport and mockery shall have passed away—remembered when the world of wicked mankind shall be destroyed, and stars and suns shall rush to ruin.
10th. Christians have views of the beauties of true Christianity and consolations arising from these views, which the world has not, 1 Corinthians 2:9. They have different views of God, Christ, heaven, and eternity. They see beauty in all these things and wisdom in the plan of salvation, which the men of the world do not see. The contemplations of this beauty and wisdom, and the evidence they have that they are interested in all this, give them a joy that the world does not possess. They see what the eye has not elsewhere seen; they enjoy what men elsewhere have not enjoyed, and they are elevated to privileges that men elsewhere do not possess. On earth, they partake of happiness which the world never can give, and in heaven, they shall partake of the fullness of that joy—of pleasures there which the eye had not before seen, nor the ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived. Who would not be a Christian?
11th. The Holy Spirit is, in some sense, distinct from the Father. This is implied in his action as an agent—in searching, knowing, etc. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11. An attribute, a quality, does not search and know.
12th. The Holy Spirit is divine. None can know God but one equal to himself. If the Spirit intimately knows the wisdom, goodness, omniscience, eternity, the power of God, he must be divine. No created being can have this intelligence, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.
13th. Christians are actuated by a different spirit from the men of this world, 1 Corinthians 2:12. They are influenced by a regard to God and his glory. The men of the world are under the influence of pride, avarice, sensuality, ambition, and vain glory.
14th. The sinner does not perceive the beauty of the things of religion. To all this beauty, he is blind. This is a sober and gloomy fact. Whatever may be the cause of it, the fact is undeniable and sad. It is so with the sensualist, with the men of avarice, pride, ambition, and licentiousness. The gospel is regarded as folly and is despised and scorned by the men of this world. This is true in all places, among all people, and at all times. There are no exceptions in human nature; over this, we should sit down and weep.
15th. The reason of this is, that men love darkness. It is not that they are destitute of the natural faculties for loving God, for they have as strong native powers as those who become Christians. It is because they love sin—and this simple fact, carried out into all its bearings, will account for all the difficulties in the way of the sinner’s conversion. There is nothing else; and
16th. We see here the value of the influences of the Spirit. By this Spirit-inspired Word of God alone, the mind of the Christian is enlightened, sanctified, and comforted. It is by Him alone that he sees the beauty of the true Christianity he loves; His influence alone that he differs from his fellow men. And no less important is it for the sinner. Without the influences of that Spirit-inspired Word of God, his mind will always be in darkness, and his heart will always hate the gospel. How anxiously, therefore, should he cherish His influences! How careful should he be not to grieve Him away!
17th. There is a difference between Christians and other men. The Word of God given to us by the Holy Spirit enlightens us. The unbeliever does not see the beauty in true Christianity; to him, it is folly. The one has the mind of Christ; the other has the spirit of the world; the one discerns the excellency of the plan of salvation; to the other, all is darkness and folly. How could beings differ more in their moral feelings and views than Christians and the men of this world?
 B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” which is often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 42–46.
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