Having the mind of Christ requires that we replace ours with His. Are we willing?
16 Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense and is not able to understand it?
We have the Holy Spirit in us; we should be able to access the Spirit whenever we like. The problem is that we don’t like to! Our natural tendency is to do things our way. We must learn to put off the old person within us– kill him–and put on the new Person within us: Jesus!
Through the centuries, leaders have tried to “help” people be moral by making rules to control behavior. Yesterday, I saw two women who were dressed in long, dark dresses, had no makeup, and wore little white hats on the back of their heads. I did not question their faith, just their methods. Jesus talked about such behavior in Matthew 15:1-20 when He said,
11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11
He explained to His disciples:
17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled [our methods]? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands [methods] does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:17-20
Paul elaborated on this point concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, special holidays, rituals, and diet:
22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human precepts and teachings. 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism [false humility] and severity to the body, but they are of no value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:22-23
Paul then gives a practical view of the Christian life that is easy to say and hard to do. In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do on our own. We MUST depend upon the Holy Spirit to help us, teach us, and grow us– and sometimes strive with us.
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above [things that are eternal] , not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality [actions], impurity [thoughts], [put-of-place] passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:1-17
Let’s start by dwelling on the words of God so that they may dwell in us richly.