Having the Mind of Christ.

Peter tells Christians that we are to arm ourselves or equip ourselves with the mindset of Jesus Christ when it comes to our suffering in this world. (1 Peter 4:1)

In order to do that we need to understand the suffering of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at Isaiah 53.

According to this prophecy which occurred in the future and is now in the past but which applies to the Christian in the present, Jesus Christ endured tremendous suffering.

We can see these main occurances which Jesus Christ endured. Let’s break them down.

Jesus was despised. 
This means that Jesus was not valued and seen as worthless. In other words who Jesus is and what he did for humanity is not respected and in fact is scorned by many people both in the past and today .

Since Jesus was despised why do we think that we should experience any better kind of treatment? Jesus himself said that the world hated him so don’t expect it to like us either. Are we armed with this mindset?

Jesus was rejected by men. Many people simply do not want Jesus Christ. They prefer their own ways.

Since Jesus was rejected because his values are not appreciated then we must also be armed with his mindset. We may not be liked or valued or accepted by those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a given.

Jesus was afflicted. That means he had to endure pain, abuse, bullying and scoffing. He was beaten and murdered too. Are we armed with this mindset?

Now let’s look at some other things Jesus endured for our sakes. Isaiah 53 goes on to tell us that Jesus bore our sorrows, he endured shame, he bore our griefs, and he carried our burdens.

Galatians 6: 2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. This means that when we are armed with the mindset of Jesus Christ we come alongside our brethren like he did and help them carry their burden. Whether it’s in prayer, giving, ministering, helping, or serving.

Paul tells us that when we consider our sufferings in this world to be unworthy of the glory that will be revealed in us we can see a positive outcome of all this suffering we endure. Our sufferings are not because God is a sadist but rather the suffering we endure for the present if we are armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset have both eternal and present benefits. Let’s check it out.

Jesus bore sorrow, pain and grief for our sake so that through his affliction he could bring us healing. Jesus was wounded so that through his stripes we could recieve forgiveness ,healing and restoration.

He endured the cross and the shame so that he could bring many out of darkness and make them his children. When we are armed with this mindset we can endure our sufferings for the benefit of others.

Maybe enduring a mean person at work or rejection by your family. Enduring name calling and bullying by class mates who are not Christians or even having to give up your pay check to help a relative in sickness or give up your life to be a witness for your faith.

These are just some examples of what a Christian may have to endure to represent Jesus Christ in this world and share the gospel to the lost.

Jesus suffering brought us not only salvation but righteousness and justification. He suffered in patience and endurance because he knew what the outcome would be. Armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset on suffering we learn to be patient and wait for a good outcome too.

No suffering in this life is pleasant scriptures tell us BUT it is working out a far greater work of glory. In heaven we will be rewarded and sometimes even here we will reap the benefits but do you know what the best part is? It brings honor to the Lord! (Hebrews 12:11)

Think about that! When we patiently endure and pray then God walks through the suffering with us (Isaiah 43:2) He helps us carry our burdens and with joy we can bear them.

The beneficial outcome will come in God’s perfect timing. Just continue to trust him for faithful is he who has promised. (Psalm 34:19)


Be Strong in the Lord.

Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God in order to stand against all the schemes of the devil. However, prior to that in verse 10 this scripture gives us a perquisite for that armor to be effective.

Before we are told to put on the full armour of God we are commanded to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Let us examine this exhortation.

To be strong, according to the ancient Greek language, means to be able to perform feats of strength. That is having the power to move heavy weights or perform physically demanding tasks.

We are called to be strong, not in our own strength but in God’s power.
Power in this verse is endowment. We are given by God through prayer his strength to perform tasks under his delegated authority.

So in effect we need the Lord’s empowerment to perform great feats of strength which we are commissioned by him to do.

We are called to be strong in the Lord with his mighty power, not reliance on our ability and resources but by his dumnis supernatural Holy Spirit power.

Power in this verse context means to be 
positioned in Jesus Christ’s supreme authority.

In other words we are to be strong in the Lord (positioned in his authority) and in the power of his might. Not just in authority but in power. Here is where many Christians miss it. They exercise authority in Jesus name but have not tapped in to Holy Spirit power.

Scriptures tell us that kind of teaching emphasizing form without power (concentration on our authority) has a form of knowledge but no power.

We can scream at the devil, demand that he jump to our command even using Jesus name and strut around in our Christian armor all we want but unless we have HOLY SPIRIT POWER to back up our claim its just a lot of noise.

Might in this verse is literally forcefulness which means to exert power,effort, strength stamina, exertion, pressure, to fight.

HIS MIGHT is the key. Not your might. Not your spiritual prowess or Biblical knowledge but through HIS MIGHT. This is because having Holy Spirit power requires surrender and that is just way too high a price for many Christians to pay.

Surrender to Holy Spirit requires death to self. Not just death to sin but death to self effort. Holy Spirit power requires depending on the Holy Spirit for everything. That’s why Paul said “If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Many Christians are born again of the Spirit and live in the Spirit but they don’t walk in the Spirit. Walking is more than positional. Walking it is an action. To walk in the Spirit is to move in the Spirit in every thing that we do. To rely on Holy Spirit as our source for every thing in life. All our decisions and all our actions.

Putting it all together, Ephesians 6:10 says, to be STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER. This means to be positioned in his great power (with the ability to perform by the Holy Spirit)and having dominion (authority and jurisdiction of the government control of God’s Kingdom) and HIS MIGHT (possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size.)

THEN AFTER we are commissioned and empowered with the Lord’s strength for battle, we can put on the full armor of God.

No soldier goes out to battle without a commission and back up of military power. This is the same with the soldier in God’s army.

When we are delegated athourity to exercise power to perform tasks of strength then we are able to go into battle.

Ephesians 6 tells us that once we are commissioned with delegated power and strength we are to then put on the whole armor of God so that we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil and his principalities and powers of whom we wage war with or wrestle.

Our battle according to this chapter in Ephesians 6 takes place in the spiritual realm or high places of wickedness and our use of Spiritual weapons provided for us by God are demonstrated through the function of prayer. We are battling demonic powers and therefore we need God’s supernatural power in this battle.

We are called to be constant in prayer with all kinds of prayer; supplications, petitions, intercessions, declarations , praying the word, praying in tongues. This constant prayer life is for the purpose of being watchful over the saints. It is also for praying that souls be saved. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-28)

Lastly, after we have done all through prayer and what God shows us to do then we are called to stand in faith.

This is another area we miss it. If we don’t see a manifestation right away or answered prayer in our time schedule we give up. We should never give up but trust God in faith that he will do what he has promised to do in his timing and in is way.

BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT and put on the full armor of God then you will be able to stand against all the schemes of the devil. Keep standing for victory is guaranteed to those who put their confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.