The Mind of Christ
June 8, 2014
In 1 Corinthians 12:1–2 (NKJV), Paul writes:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
Notice that Paul mentions “dumb idols.” What exactly is a dumb idol? It’s not an idol with a low IQ. A dumb idol is an idol that doesn’t have the power of speech. It’s a mute idol.
Before the Corinthian believers came to Christ, they were following pagan gods that didn’t possess the power of speech. These gods were mute. They were dumb. Paul goes on saying the following (this is my paraphrase of verses 3–6):
Remember how you served mute idols? Well, now you serve a God who speaks, and He speaks through you and your fellow members of the body of Christ. For example, when you say, “Jesus is Lord,” God’s own Spirit is speaking through you. There are varieties of spiritual gifts, but it’s the same Spirit. There are varieties of ministries, but it’s the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but it’s the same God who is working through them all. The one true God speaks through a variety of different ways via His one body.
Notice that God communicates in a variety of ways, but it’s the same God who is doing all the speaking. And God does that speaking through His body, i.e., a local assembly.
Consequently, the mind of God can be made known through only a corporate body of believers.
Jesus Christ has the power of speech. He’s not a dumb idol. And when He speaks, He reveals the mind of God. But Christ never reveals His whole mind through an individual. It takes a body of believers to lay hold of His mind together.
Hence, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:9–10:
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
Consider the following words:
Eye has not seen. He’s speaking of a single eye. A solo eye has not seen.
Ear has not heard. An individual ear has not heard.
And it has not entered into the heart of man. A single heart hasn’t received.
Now listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:16:
For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?
This is an absurd question. But notice the singular: “Who has known the mind of the Lord that he [singular] may instruct him?”
The answer is obvious. No individual has God’s mind. But then Paul makes this remarkable statement: “But we [plural] have the mind of Christ.” We, corporately—as His body—possess the mind of Christ. Incredible.
The mind of Christ is discoverable. Jesus Christ is not a dumb idol. He has the power of speech. He desires to speak and reveal His thoughts. But the mind of Christ is a corporate discovery. It’s a corporate pursuit. It’s not the property of any individual. It’s the property of the body of Christ working together to secure it.
As a result, all three ways of God’s speaking in Christ (Torah, prophetic, and wisdom) should be held in tension. The reason? Jesus Christ incarnates all three modes.
Jesus Christ is the real Priest as well as the Torah itself.
Jesus Christ is the real Prophet as well as the prophetic word.
Jesus Christ is the real Sage as well as wisdom itself.
Our Lord reveals His will to and through a local community of believers when they are seeking to lay hold of His mind together. The local assembly, which includes all the believers, is the vehicle through which God has chosen to disclose His mind. Through some believers, He speaks as Prophet. Through others, He speaks as Priest. Still through others, He speaks as Sage.
The speaking may sound different, but it’s the same Christ working through each one.
The Lord helps us to revise our ears so that we may learn to hear the voice of the Shepherd through each one of His sheep.
From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author