What Does it Mean to Have the Mind of Christ?
What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? At the very least, it means that Christ and his lordship imprint every aspect of our thinking and thought processes so that all our social and cultural life becomes accepting of his lordship. Faith is not a private or personal matter. Instead, faith requires that our relationship with Jesus Christ influences every area of our lives and all our social interactions. It demands that over time we develop a full-orbed ‘worldview’ that is lived and expressed in the whole of life. A social imaginary where the spiritual, social, cultural, and every other aspect of life is integrated and made whole in and through the person of Jesus Christ.
Accordingly, Paul writes, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). During his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ promoted the glory of God and the wellbeing, welfare and salvation of those he encountered. Thus, we are to have the same disposition that Jesus exhibited: he was humble, patient, loving and kind in his ministry for others; and he lived to do the will of his Father and to complete the work that the Father had given him to do.
Just take a look at verses 6 through 9 of this great Christological passage in Philippians 2 and observe what it says about Christ in his humanity:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
We read that he did not seek his own advantage instead he; made himself nothing; took on himself the nature of a servant; humbled himself; and finally, became obedient even to death on a cross. It is a very sobering description and challenging picture of what it means to have the mind or mindset of Christ.
Consequently, if we are to have the mind of Christ, then every aspect of our lives must be surrendered to Jesus and his lordship, including our body, mind and will, in the same manner, as Jesus surrendered himself to the Father.