Calvary Road Baptist Church

“YOUR GOD-GIVEN MIND”

First Corinthians 7.35

In the past, I have preached to you on matters of the mind and heart, showing you that the mind, the heart, the soul, and the spirit form the immaterial part of each human being, yet is at the same time both distinguished in Scripture and have somewhat overlapping functions and capabilities. My goal tonight is not to so much get into deep or intricate aspects of your God-given mind, but to accomplish two tasks.

First, I would like to run through a number of verses that will each shed just a little light on the human mind, after which I want to draw three simple conclusions about that which is not the organ we know as the brain, but which is most closely associated with the brain, known as your mind.

First, A NUMBER OF VERSES THAT MAKE MENTION OF THE MIND

These are certainly not all the verses in the Bible in which reference is made to the mind, but will be fairly representative:

Deuteronomy 18.6: “And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose.”

Deuteronomy 28.65:     “And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.”

First Chronicles 28.9:       “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”

Nehemiah 4.6:     “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

Proverbs 21.27:   “The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?”

Proverbs 29.11:   “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”

Isaiah 26.3:    “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Ezekiel 23.18:   “So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.”

Daniel 5.20:      “But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.”

Habakkuk 1.11:  “Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.”

Matthew 22.37:   “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Mark 5.15:    “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.”

Mark 14.72:  “And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.”

Luke 12.29:   “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.”

Acts 17.11:   “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Acts 20.19:   “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.”

Romans 1.28:      “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”

Romans 7.25:      “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 8.7:     “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Romans 12.2:      “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 12.16:    Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

Romans 15.6:   “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Second Corinthians 7.7:      “And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.”

Second Corinthians 8.12:    “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”

Second Corinthians 8.19:    “And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind.”

Second Corinthians 9.2:      “For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.”

Second Corinthians 13.11:     “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

Ephesians 4.17:   “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.”

Philippians 1.27:     “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

Philippians 2.2:    “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Colossians 1.21:  “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”

Colossians 3.12:  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.”

Second Thessalonians 2.2:     “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

Second Timothy 1.7:     “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Titus 1.15:     “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Hebrews 8.10:     “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”

First Peter 1.13:   “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

First Peter 3.8:     “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”

First Peter 5.2:     “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.”

Revelation 17.9:      “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

Revelation 17.13:    “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

These are not all the verses in the Bible where the mind is mentioned, but we have a large enough sampling to draw some conclusions with what else we know from God’s Word.

Next, TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR MIND

There are three truths about your mind that I want to point out:

First, with respect to your mind’s ability. What an amazing facility is this part of your nonphysical being referred to as the mind. What is your mind able to do? First, your mind has the ability to learn. Since before you were born your mind has been engaged in learning. This means that each of us has the innate ability to investigate and learn about God. Using our five senses to detect and acquire information, we can gather vast amounts of data, from nature, and also from God’s Word. Second, your mind has the ability to know, to understand a great deal. Thus, we are capable of so much more than accumulating and relating pieces of information, data, and facts. We have some facility at making sense of the details of truth we acquire, meaning of course that we have the ability to understand God to some extent. Psalm 19 attests to our mind’s capacity to draw conclusions about God’s glory, God’s vast power, and His perfections. Third, your mind has the faculty of discernment. This means that since we are moral beings, we can discern good and evil, and make moral judgments. It was a sad day in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned against God, for when God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil,” it was Adam’s knowledge by painful experience that was referred by God, not his ability to discern good and evil. It is a lie of the devil to insist that no one can really know the rightness or wrongness of a moral issue without first experiencing it. You do not have to be an experienced drug abuser to minister to those who abuse drugs. Oh, what abilities God built into the human mind. What astonishing achievements a man’s mind is capable of, and what a waste it is for the cultivation of the mind, for the maximizing of the mind’s potential, to be neglected. Look back through history, whether in the arts or in the sciences, and you will find astonishing accomplishments that attest to the abilities of the human mind, with Christians of real genius very well represented.

Next, with respect to your mind’s accountability. It seems that the mind is at least a major portion of the immaterial part of you, a significant aspect of your spiritual side, that interacts with and exercises significant control over your physical being. This is obvious. What are not so obvious to some are the limitations of the human mind. I do not refer to the limitations of our ability to learn or to grasp concepts. I refer to the limitations of each person’s mind to completely control his actions. Turn to Romans chapter seven, where we see evidence of this limitation:

15     For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16     If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17     Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18     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.

19     For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20     Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

23     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.

This passage clearly reveals that each man’s mind is engaged in a struggle against indwelling sin for full control of not only his thoughts, but also his actions. Each of us will be engaged in for the duration of our lives here on earth this struggle. If you think this somehow mitigates your guilt in the sight of God so that you are not accountable for your thoughts and actions, think again. Each person’s burden for his own sins rests entirely and properly on his shoulders, and on no one else’s. Nowhere in the Bible is there the slightest indication that each person is not completely responsible for both his thoughts and his actions, and will be held accountable on Judgment Day. Rather than arguing that the sinner is someone not culpable for all of his sins because he is not in 100% complete control of his faculties, this is so much more an argument for the necessity of salvation being by grace through faith and not of works, because man is dead in his sins. Thus, your mind is accountable for the thoughts you think and the actions you take because of the thoughts you think, as is indisputably shown in Romans 1.28: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” Thus, God’s judgment of a sinner’s thoughts actually begins while he is still alive, and in some cases before he reaches adulthood. It is both real and reasonable, the accountability that you will answer to God for on Judgment Day, unless you come to Christ before you enter eternity. However, should you become a believer in Jesus Christ, you can say along with the Apostle Paul,

24     O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25     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.

Finally, with respect to your mind’s availability. Even if you are lost in your sins and your mind is darkened, you can still make it available to the spiritual light that shines on you. Is Satan blinding your mind, Second Corinthians 4.4? You can still struggle against the god of this world to see and embrace the truth. Have you built obstacles to the truth in your mind, Second Corinthians 10.5, in the form of imaginations and high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God? I urge you to cast them aside so that enough light enters and makes its way to your heart that with the heart you will believe unto righteousness, and thereby obey Christ. If you are a child of God, there are wonderful blessings that await you for making your mind available for God’s consecration and use. Suffice it to say for now that the Christian’s mind is renewed so that your capacity to learn, to grasp, to think, and to understand is enhanced as you grow in grace, Romans 12.2: “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.” Thus, Christians become better thinkers than they were before their conversion.

Most of us remember the long running commercial for the United Negro College Fund in years gone by, with its theme, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” What a wonderful truth was expressed by that campaign. Even more true is the terrible tragedy of the human mind as the chief faculty given to God’s creatures for discovering and knowing God that is never used to that end.

God gave to mankind the capacity to speak so that we can commune with God, the capacity to read so that we can read God’s Word, the capacity to learn so that we can discover God’s ways and learn how to exercise stewardship over His creation. My friends, these are all faculties of the mind. Thus, filling your mind with nonsense instead of filling your mind with God’s truth is a punishable offense. Distracted thoughts and attention when you could take advantage of opportunities to learn God’s Word by reading or by listening is a terrible waste of potential.

It takes concentration for a man’s mind to attend unto the Lord without distraction. Therefore, completely aside from the danger posed by the distractions of the devil, there are the distractions of a wandering and undisciplined mind to deal with. God gave you a good mind, and He expects you to use it for His glory.

After conversion has taken place, the indwelling Spirit of God works temperance in the believer, one result of which is better control of your thought life. Sadly, many unsaved people never come to Christ, because they are so distracted in their minds that they never seriously consider the claims of Jesus Christ or the opportunities presented in the gospel.

A mind really is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it is wasted on every pursuit except seeking the Lord while He may be found.



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org