Having the mind of Christ, or being occupied with Christ does not mean we will not be interested or keenly aware of our work, family, cars, computers, dolls or even sports. Having the mind of Christ does mean, we will see all those things as Christ sees them.

To have the mind-set of the spiritual, instead of the mind-set of the carnal does not mean that we will walk around with some strange spiritual look, with our eyes at half-mast and totally disconnected from the realities of physical life. Christ is keenly interested and infinitely aware of all the details of life. Christ's perspective of the details of life goes far beyond the physical and temporal, and He sees these details in light of the spiritual and eternal.

Too often, we see a multitude of people as an annoyance, or maybe as a business opportunity, etc. Our human view of the multitude or any detail of life is very limited and usually self-serving. Christ saw the multitude and was moved with compassion, because they had no eternal direction, and were like sheep without a shepherd.

Christ's view or the mind of Christ is a multi-dimensional perspective. The view from the mind of Christ sees physical things in a far greater and intense panorama than can possible be seen from the human mind.

Having the mind of Christ does not mean, we will be disconnected from the details of life. It means that our connection with the things of the world will be evaluated as to their long term and spiritual value, instead of how the things of this world can bring self and instant gratification. Sad to say, this matter of self and instant gratification is one of the main motives for many when it comes to religious activities. "What's in it for me and mine" is the theme chorus of so many, when it comes to church and religious activity.

Having our minds set on the Spirit, instead of the carnal does mean that all we say and do will be for the glory of Christ, instead of the glory of self.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

We know from experience, and the Word of God that anything done through human means cannot be spiritual. Therefore, if we are to do all things to the glory of God, we will have to do them by means of a different power than human power .

Ephesians 2:1-2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

Before we became Believers, while we were still dead in trespasses and sins, everything we did was by the power of the spirit who was at work in our lives as the "sons of disobedience". If there had been written instructions, given by the "prince and power of the air" [Satan], for the "sons of disobedience" to follow, those instructions paralleling the Biblical instructions of 1 Corinthians 10:31 might read something like:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, 
do all to glory of the prince of the power of the air. 

Of course, Satan did not need to write instructions for us, the sons of disobedience, to follow. When we are walking in the flesh [either as a carnal Believer or as an unsaved person], we can do nothing else but do all to the glory of the prince of the power of the air. It is Satan's power and only Satan's power working in, and controlling the sons of disobedience.

So, if we are to do anything to the glory of God, there will have to be another power at work in our lives.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Keep Ephesians 2:1-2 [given earlier in lesson] in mind and parallel it carefully with this the truths of Ephesians 3:20-21. As Believers, we have these two powers at work in our lives, the power of God and the power of Satan (with the human nature). We have the same spirit at work in our lives as any non-believer. Even though we have been born again, we still have the human nature working in our lives. This nature is described in Romans 3:10-18.

As well as these spiritually depraved and degrading powers [Satan's and old sin nature], Believers have the power of God at work in their lives. All three of these powers want to, and can control our lives and thinking.

God's power cannot be in control when either or both of the other powers (Satan's, old sin nature) are controlling. But one of these three (Satan's, old sin nature or God's) powers will be in control at all times. The power controlling our thoughts also controls our conduct, and the demonstration of that inner power is either expressed in the "fruit of the Spirit", or the "works of the flesh".

Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

In this relationship with God, God willingly provides His power to make us what we should be in Christ. This in-working of God's power is not for our personal gain, but for the glory of God. In a proper relationship human, we give ourselves willingly for the benefit of the other, as God has done in our spiritual relationship.

However, in this spiritual relationship with God (as it should be in our human relationships), we are not to use that power, so freely given by God, for our own benefit. As we see in Ephesians 3:21, we are to use that power of God "to Him be glory".

Notice something else in the relationship of the Believer and God that should be true in our human relationships. Even though all that God does, in our relationship, is for our benefit, He never dominates the Believer or tries to manipulate the Believer through threats or intimidations. A dominating or manipulating type of relationship would be imposed mental and emotional slavery! That was the type of relationship we had with the prince and power of the air before salvation.

In our relationship with Christ, as it should be in our human relationships, Christ gives us liberty or freedom to do that which is right. Christ never dominates or forces an issue. That will change when we each meet Him as Judge. Then there will be no choice, freedom or liberty. In this relationship with Christ, He also provides the power to live those things which are right. Likewise, in our relationships with others, we are to use our God given gifts for the betterment of the others in the relationship.

We should never be a leech in our relationships. A leech draws from its subject for its own benefit. We should receive personal benefit from a relationship, but only by God's means:

Mark 8:35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

If your relationship is one of domination through threats or intimidation, whether its a marriage relationship or any other, that relationship is not being experienced by the power of God! Therefore, it is either by the power of the old sin nature or of the Devil. If your relationship is either of old sin nature or Satan, don't expect any spiritual blessing from it.

Before we move on, we need to establish a fact that is obvious in both of these relationships:

Notice in both of these, the power that was working, was working in (not on) the person. If the work of either Satan or God is to be seen externally, the human will demonstrate that power through their living or conduct.

For the unsaved, it is a very natural and easy thing to demonstrate, externally, the power of the spirit that's at work in them. The fallen depraved human nature is a natural conduit or channel for the demonstration of Satan's power, seen in the "works of the flesh".

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand,just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If any of these works are evident in your life and your relationships, then they are not of God, they are of Satan.

You may wipe your brow as you read, and say, "Whew! I'm not engaged in adultery, murders, drunkenness, etc. Therefore, I'm home free." It is true, we may not be involved in the biggie sins, but what about some of the other works of the flesh? We Christians have a real knack for picking out a few overt sins that we are not involved with, and ignoring the many that are resident in our lives. Let's see if we can hit some of the sins we are involved with.

a quarrel, by implication of the wrangling type
wrangling (Webster)
to dispute angrily; to quarrel peevishly for the purpose of moving the thought pattern of others to a position of personal benefit; to crowd, round-up or corral -- therefore, cowboys are know as wranglers.

Do you ever use this type of quarreling or disputing to get your way? If so, it is not of God, it is of Satan!

God's way of changing a person or gathering a person into the spiritual corral, is through transformation, not manipulation. Manipulation is of Satan, and is in the category of the works of the flesh.

You can crowd a person into a corner, or corral them in your mental and emotional confinement. However, that manipulation will not change or transform that corralled person. I have crowded many a cow into a confinement called a corral. I have done a lot of things to those confined cows, most for their benefit. I have given them shots, de-horned them and lot of other things, but they are still the same 'ol cow with the same 'ol disposition as before I confined them.

Let's test another outward demonstration in our lives to see which power generated that action. The Holy Spirit mentions another demonstration of the works of the flesh in v.20. This demonstration is seen far too often in the conduct of Believers. This demonstration of the works of the flesh is, outbursts of wrath.

outburst of wrath (Greek)
a passion as if breathing hard; to rush. outbursts of wrath come from inward indignation. In its characteristic, it quickly blazes up, and can just a quickly subside, but it can be harbored for a lifetime.

Surely, none of us would have any of these outbursts of wrath blazing up from our inward indignation. But just in case you know of someone else who has outbursts of wrath, you now know these do not come from God's power "that works in us". Therefore, these outbursts of wrath must come from the power of "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience". It is pretty easy to tell which power is in control of our lives by simply looking at what type of actions and attitudes we are demonstrating on the outside.

selfish ambitions (Greek)
denotes ambition that is self-seeking or a rivalry, self-willed being an underlying idea in the word, hence, it denotes party-making (as in politics) or to win followers by causing factions or a crisis

Certainly, Believers would never be involved in causing factions or a crisis, so they could win followers through this type of rivalry. I know, I think, that none of us would be involved in this type of selfish ambition. But just in case something like this would happen somewhere else, you can be assured that it is not of God, but of Satan.

I don't get embroiled in the controversy of: "Can a Christian be possessed by a demon?" I don't know. The Bible does not tell us. What I might think on the subject is of no real value. However, if the spirit, who now works in the sons of disobedience, is controlling the actions and conduct of a Believer so that the works of the flesh are manifested in what they are doing, I would have to conclude that if Satan is not possessing that Believer, then Satan is certainly controlling that Believer.

As we continue our study of becoming and making disciples, we find that if we want to be a true disciple, it will require discipline or chastening. This discipline or chastening comes in many forms, far too many to look at each in detail. Our major focus is on the discipline that comes through God's power within, the power of the Word of God, and the organized body of Believers. In each of these areas our major concern is the responsibility of the individual Believer to the discipline provided by these three areas.

We know from experience, and the Bible is very clear that no discipline is joyous at the time it is experienced, but afterward yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness or holiness. This outward evidence or fruit of righteousness and/or holiness is only experienced by those who have been trained by that discipline.

Hebrews 12:10-11 For they [our parents] indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He [God] for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
chasten (Greek)
to train up a child, i.e. educate, or by implication, discipline (by punishment); primarily denotes to train children, suggesting the broad idea of education both in knowledge and experience.

Note carefully these three things.

or if those things are not true,

Discipline is not an end in itself. It is a means to the end of righteousness or holiness being demonstrated in our conduct, or here referred to as the fruit of righteousness. The fruit is the outward evidence of the inner nature. We have spent time looking at the aspects of the Christian life in which we are instructed how we should live, and in which we are shown how we can live. This matter of becoming a disciple takes on various forms, and is never a completed process this side of eternity.

We want to change our main focus, from that type of training, to two other aspects of becoming a disciple. Both of these aspects are referred to in most English Bibles by the term partaker. However, much of the information concerning these areas is given to us in the context of terms other than partaker.

In our study, we have already seen many facts that apply directly to this process of becoming a partaker. I will draw heavily on that information already given. Let's look again at some verses and definitions we've seen earlier in this study. This is just in case you have forgotten, and if you haven't forgotten, this will "stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance".

2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
partaker (Greek)
a sharer or an associate; to have all things in common; to be a partner or companion.

Briefly and incompletely, this aspect of bringing God's holiness into our living and conduct is by association with, or being a partner with Christ through the Word of God. There is much more in this type of partaking than is wrapped up in that short statement, but this will give us a handle to hang on to.

I only want to remind you of this aspect, so we may associate and compare it with the other type of partaking presented in the Word of God. This partnership or companionship type of partaking is referred to in many places throughout the Word of God. One passage that may bring clarity is:

1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

We can't spend any more time in this area, or we will not be able to finish this lesson. Let's move on to the other type of partaking.

Hebrews 12:10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
partaker (Greek)
to participate; to take food.

From the base of this Greek word, we get such words as metamorphisis, metabolism and many more. Both spiritual metabolism and metamorphisis are important in the process of becoming like Christ. These two areas work hand in hand as Believers demonstrate holiness in their conduct. However, for convenience of study, we will look at them separately.

The area of metabolism has to do with continuing spiritual health and growth. This area will be addressed later in the series.

It is the area of metamorphisis that we want to direct our attention for the next few lessons. Metamorphisis involves a spiritual form of transformation, while at the same time the Believer experiences spiritual growth. Our passage in 2 Corinthians 3-4 deals with this process of transformation or metamorphisis or becoming a partaker.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

Being transformed, having the mind of Christ, having the mind-set of the Spirit, etc. are all wrapped up in the same package, and can't really be separated one from the other. Our concentration for the rest of this lesson is on how we are transformed. You certainly do not have to know how it works, to have holiness in your conduct. However, most of you have an analytical mind-set, therefore knowing the process will be both helpful and interesting.

Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Holiness is not a set of actions we perform, or things we are not to do. Holiness is an acquired attitude that permeates and affects every thought and action of the life. Holiness is using the mind of Christ, as one's own to see, evaluate and choose every thought and action.

How can that be? 

Well, that critter called a computer that all of us use many times a day, even if we don't know we are using one of them, can help us understand this spiritual phenomena. On this computer disk I have in my hand, you will find the wonderful graphic you see on this page, which was created with my own hands. You can save your applause for some other time. The point is that both words and a graphic are on this disk.

However, that's not really true. 

I don't care how long you look at this disk. I don't care how many pair of glasses you might use. You will not find either the words for the insert, or this graphic on this disk. The only things you'll find on this disk is a bunch of codes and gibberish, that to the normal eye and mind means less than nothing.

GIF89a÷Ñ£H“*]Ê´©Ó§P£JJµªÕ« X³jÝʵ«×¯`Ê.K¶¬Ù³hÓª]˶­Û· 
pãÊK·®Ý»xóêÝË·¯ß¿..L¸°áà .+^̸±ãÇ#KL¹²åË3kÞ̹³çÏ  C‹.Mº
´éÓ¨S«^ͺµë×°cËM»¶íÛ ¸sëÞÍ»·ïßÀ.N¼0+Vű®

However, when I put this disk in the computer, and use the proper operating system and the appropriate application program, anyone with average intelligence can both read the information found in the insert and see the graphic.

The key here is, if you want to see what's on this disk, 
you must see it through the eyes or the mind of the computer. 

You can't bypass the operating system of the computer, and use the operating program of your own mind.

When we allow the mind of Christ to be our personal operating system, we will see the details of life as God sees them. That, by the way, is the process of faith which is the program we are to use for living in a godly manner while in this godless world.

We're setting up two web sites. One for the activities of the church, the other for Bible Study. I might add they are coming along very nicely.

I said we are setting up two web sites. I used that term we very loosely, because I don't have the foggiest idea what we are doing to set them up. Trey or Eric get that computer nerd stare, and try to tell me what they are doing to get the web site up and going. At that point, I just say don't waste your time! I don't understand what you are talking about. Just tell me what I need to do to get the lessons ready to go on the web.

I don't need to know how it works, all I need to do is use it. 
If the program is set up right, it will do the rest, 
even if I don't know how it works. 

Ok, now I can begin to understand a little of how it works, but how do I download this mind of Christ, so it will be my personal operating system? Now we're getting someplace! That's what our passage in 2 Corinthians 3-4 is talking about. So let's see how to get the mind of Christ to be my mind, as Paul said in Galatians 2:20.

You really don't have to download this mind of Christ, that happened at salvation. As a Believer, the mind of Christ came with the whole salvation package. Now, what we need to do is install, into our thinking, God's program of the mind of Christ. We must make sure our disk (our mind) is properly formatted before we attempt to click install.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

To make the mind of Christ a reality in my thinking, I need to be "transformed into the same image from glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18). This aspect of transformation takes place by "beholding as in the mirror the glory of Lord". There are basically two types of mirrors mentioned in the Bible. Actually, the mirrors are pretty much the same, but the use of the mirrors is different. One type, or use of the mirror is seen in:

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

According to the use of the term mirror in these verses, the indication is that something is being reflected from the mirror to the vision of the one looking into the mirror.

mirror (Greek)
any surface sufficiently smooth and regular to reflect rays of light uniformly, and thus produce images of objects which are actually in front of it, but appear to the eye as if they were behind it; spiritual knowledge in this life is represented metaphorically as an image dimly perceived in a mirror; The law of liberty is figuratively compared to a mirror. The hearer who obeys not is like a person who, having looked into the mirror, forgets the reflected image after turning away; he who obeys is like one who gazes into the mirror and retains in his soul the image of what he should be.

The other type, or use of mirror is seen in 2 Corinthians 3:18. In this use of mirror, the person, himself, is to reflect something.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
mirror (Greek)
in the middle voice, to reflect as a mirror

For those in the Tuesday Night Class, you know what it means to be in the middle voice. If your are not in the Tuesday Night Class, you are missing some great teaching that will be valuable in future Bible study.

Quite often the immediate context will clearly indicate the voice of a verb. That is especially true with the active and passive voices. Because English doesn't have a middle voice, sometimes the immediate context in English does not project clearly the import of the middle voice from the Greek. In the middle voice, the subject is acting in some way on itself or on behalf of itself. In this passage, the subject [the Believer] is to reflect the glory. By beholding that reflection, the Believer is transformed from one degree to another degree of glory.

If we will follow God's instruction, we will not see an image, in this mirror, of what some person thinks Christ might look like. Instead, we will be transformed into that same image from glory to glory.

Philippians 3:16-21 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-- who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
© Clyde White, Austin TX, 1998