We know the physical body of Jesus–the begotten son of God the Father was considered the “body” of God when Jesus was on earth. Recall, the Word was "made flesh" (John 1:14), i.e., given a body of flesh as we learned previously. Also consider: Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:7-10. By the Holy Ghost we are part of the body of Christ, and members in particular. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 12:27. This is possible by the price He paid for us. We who are born of the Spirit were “bought with a price”. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (Emphasis added). Recall, being “born of the Spirit” means a person is aligned with the trinity in all three aspects of the “one” Spirit: (1) the Word and the (2) the Holy Ghost indwells them, and they serve (3) the Father as a father pursuant to His will in the same manner Christ Jesus existed.
As such, we are baptized into the body of Christ, and have “put on” Christ. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27 (Emphasis added). Stated another way, if our body and spirit (will of man) are owned by God as His purchased possessions, we then MUST serve Him as our Lord and master, not men. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23. Accordingly, the only proper use of our body is to live penitently by His Word. Similarly, the only proper choice for our spirit/will of man is choosing to do His will. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4:11-13 (Emphasis added). Thus, we present our bodies as a living sacrifice for the edification of others who would come to know Him, and we prove the will of God in attribution of who we are because of Him. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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. Romans 12:1-2 (Emphasis added).
As reproof of our responsibility because of who He is, we all live in the Spirit as a member (part) of His actual body according to the Word! As part of His body, i.e., as one body, we are all one church with many members. For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians 12:14. Therefore, as part of His body and being physical members thereof, we are personally and individually “tasked” to do different things and represent Him as each of us has a place and corresponding function in Him. Similarly, as the true “church”–ONE church, we ONLY advocate HIS doctrine and ministry, i.e., do the Father’s will. Only by doing His will, do we come to know the doctrine as we live it. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:17.
Since we live in Him, i.e., in His body–the body of God is on earth. The things we do as an ambassador for Him are those same things He did when He was here. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20; see also, Ephesians 6:20. As His ambassadors and part of His one “body”, we are the true church by the Holy Ghost. He (Jesus/the Word) remains the “head” of the body–the true church. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18. As the “head”, we then must have the “mind of Christ”. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16.
We begin understand there is a transformation that shall take place. 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. Romans 12:2. To help explain the mind of Christ, we may look to and understand what it is not. The only other type of “mind” the New Testament covenant speaks of, albeit in a variety of ways, is the “carnal mind.” The carnal mind caters to the flesh and the will of the flesh, not the will of God. Hence, the carnal mind opposes the mind of Christ to live for the things of God and do His will. Stated another way, the “carnal mind” is the mind to live for the things of this world that are pleasing to the flesh in satisfaction of the god of this world. …[T]he carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7. (“Enmity” means hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism,…,. Therefore, “enmity against God” is “ill will” toward the pure Word, or simply “ill will” as not of the Father’s will.)
A “carnal mind” brings with it “hostility, hatred, ill will, animosity, or antagonism” towards the will of God often via a rejection of the pure Word. In the “church” this often manifests in a person’s preference for an adulterated version as in a flesh pleasing interpretation of the pure Word because of the carnal distaste for the associated suffering of the flesh in doing His will. However, to be carnally minded means death. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6. (As discussed in detail later, a “reprobate mind” does not know they are set against the will of God.)
By comparison, the “mind of Christ” brings with it the recognition of, and desire for, the will of God. But can someone have a carnal mind and the mind of Christ? Yes, but not at the same time. In fact, when a person “flip-flops” between the mind of Christ for the things of God and a carnal mind for things of the flesh, he is “double-minded” and unstable. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8; see also, James 4:7-8.
Interestingly, the Bible properly renders the term “double-minded” in James 1:8 and 4:8 (immediately above) as “double-souled”! As discussed previously, we know the disposition of our own soul is governed by our will of man (spirit of man) as we decide to live a lifestyle according to the will of the flesh or the will of God. “Double-minded” rendered “double-souled” does not mean someone has two souls, two spirits, or two brains, etc. It does mean a person has a “two-willed” consideration of life. But note, God is a jealous God. See, Exodus 20:5 and 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9 and 6:15; and Joshua 24:19. He does not like the lukewarm. For example, And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16 (Emphasis added).
Does having the mind of Christ mean the brethren living in Christ (in Him) never have a thought from the carnal mind? Of course not, the “lukewarmness” of Revelation 3:16, and “double-mindedness” of James 1:8 and 4:8, are not the same as the inherent weakness of the flesh. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Romans 8:3. Flesh by its nature is weak. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41; see also, Mark 14:38. Even the flesh of Jesus was weak as He was created in the likeness of sinful flesh. (Jesus Himself said: “Why callest thou me good?” …Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19:17 (Emphasis added); see also Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19. Jesus used the “me” reference to refer to His own flesh, not the Word as the spirit/will within Him.
As long as we live in this world the flesh is always there to remind us of our weakness(es) and our need to live by the Spirit (the Word and Holy Ghost that quickens our mortal bodies) as part of the body of Christ obeying the Father–not giving in to the will (desires) of our own flesh. When confronted many times with one of his own fleshly weaknesses, here is what Paul said. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Rest assured, the weakness of the flesh can then be described as a human condition affecting all of us, including Jesus. For example, even though He was born the begotten son of God the Father having the Word in Him as His spirit of man and that Spirit that made Him “God with us” from birth (as Emmanuel (see, Matthew 1:23)), Jesus was tempted as we are. 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. Hebrews 4:15; see also, 1 Peter 2:11. By way of reproof, we know the crucifixion of Jesus was most assuredly the will of the Father, but the flesh of Jesus did not want to submit to the torture leading up to and including the crucifixion. In fact, the body of Jesus produced sweat like drops of blood evidencing His anguish. …Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:42-44; see also, Matthew 26:39 and 42. (If the flesh of Jesus were perfectly comfortable with doing the will of God unto death, He would not have sweat drops of blood in anguish!)
As Jesus struggled with His flesh, He knows we will struggle with ours too. As a chosen vessel of Jesus (Acts 9:15) to preach and teach, Paul said it this way:
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
As we live each day in this world, we know the struggle with our flesh against disobedience to the will of God is a daily occurrence, and Paul said it this way: I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 1 Corinthians 15:31. For those of us that are His, if we do sin we have Jesus as our advocate with the Father. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:1-6.
When we “die daily” as Paul said, we are alive in Christ, i.e., in Him, and a “new creature.” Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Emphasis added); see also, Galatians 6:15. As a new creature, our “new man” is created in true righteousness and true holiness, not of ourselves, but because of Him. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24. Being a new creation, a new creature, and a new man, we cannot expect to behave as we did before. If we live carnally as we did before, our claim of salvation is fraudulent. Even worse, we know not the Spirit and the Spirit does not know us. Simply stated, being a “new creature” means we have forsaken the life and lifestyle of the “old man”. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; Ephesians 4:22. Therefore, we who are the children of God MUST realize: the lifestyle of Jesus the man is our new lifestyle, not by our works, but by the renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5).
By way of reproof, with the understanding the human soul is installed in each living person at birth by operation of God’s will established from the beginning of mankind, we come to know He did not give us our souls with the underlying desire or intent to destroy them. He is a God of the living not the dead! His desire is that none should perish, and yet the willful control over the final disposition of our own soul was given to us as the possessor thereof. For example, In your patience possess ye your souls. Luke 21:19. As the possessors thereof, we use our spirit (will) of man as the custodian of our soul, while that which we love most in our heart is the focus of our will. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 12:35. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: Matthew 15:19. See also, Mark 7:21 and Luke 6:45.
Accordingly, of our own accord we choose to live for the things of the flesh pleasing to the will of the flesh, or the things of God pleasing the Father. Jesus lived for the things of God. If we live in Him, then only the carnal mind of our old man can give life to our “‘old man” according to the will of our flesh. For clarity, the spirit/will of man in each of us must choose to live by the will of the flesh, or the will of God. Choosing the will of the flesh means we have chosen to live temporally in the flesh consistent with the carnal mind. Choosing a life according to the will of God, beginning with the Word, means we have chosen to live eternally by the Spirit consistent with the mind of Christ. Whatever we choose determines the disposition of our own soul as stated previously. (As discussed in more detail later, living “in Him” by the Holy Ghost means we get the grace of Jesus the Christ when we mess up, but of course, we do not continue in sin so that grace abounds!)
Romans Chapter 6 summarizes all of this perfectly!
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans Chapter 6.
LIFE IN CHRIST MATTERS and the LORD'S PORTER are trademarks of Life in Christ Matters. Life in Christ Matters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Your contributions are very much appreciated and completely tax deductible, but please consult your tax advisor.
©2020 Life in Christ Matters, All Rights Reserved.