HOW FAR INTO THE PROCESS OF REPENTANCE ARE YOU?
Philippians 2:1-12 (KJV)
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies
This passage is saying that if there is any ‘consolation’, i.e. encouragement, in Jesus, and any comfort of love from Jesus, any fellowship of the Spirit, and any bowels of mercy from the Lord, then we should have the ability to do what Paul is about to instruct us. As Christians, we should have experienced encouragement from Jesus, love from Jesus, fellowship with the Spirit, and mercies often from God. So, what excuse would we have, to not know that the thinking of God is far, far greater than our thinking. We must realize that a ‘change in our thinking’, i.e. repentance, is vital, necessary, and unquestionably needed. The people of God need to allow God’s love and care to affect our thinking. We need this loving, encouraging, fellow shipping and merciful God change our thinking.
Fulfil ye my joy that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Paul instructs that we need to make his joy complete by doing some specific things. If we do these things, the ‘mind of Christ’ will be manifest through our lives, through our words, through our thinking.
Becoming like minded is done by having the ‘same love’, getting into ‘one accord’ on doctrines, and having one mind on decisions of how to serve the Lord. One should not therefore be seeking self notice, or be striving for superiority. Rather we should humbly esteem others as better than themselves. We should not be seeking our own good, but seeking good things for others. This is how God thinks, and we must repent and change from any other kind of thinking.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
The saints are to allow the same self-emptying thinking that Jesus had when He came to be a man, suffer hardships, and even be crucified for the sake of others, to be in us. Jesus was ‘in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’ That means He knew Who He is, and was not conscious of being less than His true power and glory made Him. We are not ‘God’ nor equal to Him, but we need to recognize who we truly are, what are our strengths, our weaknesses, our blessings in Jesus.
Though Jesus knew that He Himself is Divine, is all powerful, is omniscient, etc. still He chose to willingly humble and empty Himself for our sake. To have His mind, we must likewise will willing to humble ourselves, to lay aside whatever good blessings we possess, to make ourselves of no reputation, to take the position of a servant, and become obedient even if it means our death.
That is the ‘mind of Christ’ referred to by Paul, and he sought to have that same mind. We may think it impossible, but we can have divine help.
EXAMINATION OF OUR THINKING, FINDING HOW FAR INTO THE PROCESS OF REPENTANCE WE ARE, IS VITAL.
II Corinthians 13:5-6
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
Once in the process of mind transformation, i.e. repentance, we need a daily examination, while living in a sin infested world. We need to see if we are in the true faith.
The Greek word for ‘examine’ is peirazo (G3985). It means to make full proof by testing. If we ‘test’ and ‘examine’ ourselves, we will know if we are truly thinking aright in our minds. The Word of God is our ‘testing’ agent. It is where we go to find the standards for which we are to measure our thinking.
Then we must “Prove” ourselves. This is the Greek word: dokimazo (G1381) meaning to assay metals; to prove or test with the hope and expectation of finding great worth. One does not test ‘gravel’ for gold content. One will test a stone that appears to be gold, that weighs like it is gold, and that all signs suggest it is gold. That rock is taken to the assayer, and one is anxiously awaiting the news that it is ‘gold’ as they thought. So, the word ‘prove’ suggests we should be living, thinking, acting in such a way, that when we ‘test’ our thinking, we are in assumption that it will prove to be Godly.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)
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.
We should be ‘perfect’. For the Greek of the word ‘perfect’ is katartizo (G2675), meaning to adjust, to put in order again, settling by mediation. In the proper thinking manner, ordained by God, we get into the ‘one accord’ by understanding another’s viewpoint, finding common ground, being more concerned with peace than with being right. By jointly agreeing the Word of God is the infallible truth, and then searching and understanding it as it is meant, we then begin to believe "the same thing." Then we can think and teach those same things, and to have no disputes. The church will then be living in peace and harmony.
‘Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates’ means, we have Jesus in us, and He is there to teach us, instruct us, transform us. Yet, unless we are ‘counterfeit’ Christians, pretend, but no reality in our faith type church member, we know Jesus can and wants to transform our mind to think perfectly.
Paul said he was concerned lest he become a ‘castaway’ which is the same Greek word, adokimos (G96), that is translated here ‘reprobate’. It means to become Christ-less, and rejected.
UNREPENTANCE IS BEING CONFORMED TO THE WORLD’S THINKING,
REPENTANCE IS TRANSFORMATION TO JESUS’ WAY OF THINKING.
If we yield our mind to God, and if we make ourselves a living sacrifice, making our thinking to be holy, full of light, dead to sin, alive to God. We have to refuse to be a slave to sin, and mortify the deeds the carnal man would want to do.
Romans 6:10-13 (KJV)
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.
Our body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’, and that means it should be holy. That means more than the outward washing the pharisees did, for we need to be sure our minds are healed from the carnal, sinful, wicked thoughts that are common in the world. Repentance is a change of mind from the sinful way of thinking to wanting and acquiring the Lord’s way of thinking.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
As a slave is the property of his owner, so we, bought by the precious blood of Christ, are not our own. We do not have right to claim independence from the One Who purchased us. He created us, and then saw us rebel. Mankind then began to serve sin, and serve the devil. Yet, then He purchased us from sin, and we again are His. He has a right to tell us what to think, how to think, and what to speak.
Repentance puts us into the process of obtaining that godly way of thinking from God.