Associated Bible Students

New Haven, Connecticut

The spirit of a sound mind


The Mind of Christ
'Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of
Christ. - 1 Cor. 2:16.

THE ASKING of this question implies that at some time there had been or would be people so
bold as to attempt to instruct the Lord; whether consciously is not indicated. To understand the
real import of the question and of the statement that follows, it is necessary to turn back to an
earlier part of the Apostle's letter.
In the opening of this chapter Paul has told these rhetoric and philosophy loving Corinthians that
when he came to them it was with the determination to make no concession to their natural
cravings for argument and well rounded phrases, but to devote himself to preaching the simple
truths of Christ and him crucified. He depended on the drawing power of the love there
manifested, and not on the rhetoric that doubtless would have appealed to a larger number. - Acts
Since Paul was writing to those who had been initiated into the sacred "mysteries," he could
speak among them a wisdom which none of the world or even its princes of learning knew or
could comprehend. Theirs were only human senses, and the truths he had been commissioned to
announce could not be apprehended by any who depended solely on these. Nor would he, though
he had much of ability and training, count on these to make clear to them the Gospel, any more
than he would count on their intelligence alone to comprehend the message. Men are by nature
qualified to know the things of a man; but to enter into the experiences of those of a higher plane
(or even a, lower one), there must be a revelation made by one on that plane. The mind that
endures or enjoys the sensations must be the one to convey these impressions to another's
Of all planes of existence, it is the privilege of the divine alone to fully understand
and sympathize with creatures on other planes.
If, then, the things of God are to be understood, they must be revealed by the mind, the spirit, of
God. That spirit searches accurately and diligently not just the few available and simple
fundamental truths about God, but the "deep things of God," (literally, "the depths of God"). The
natural mind usually is surprised at even so apparent a suggestion as that God has a plan. Or if it
can comprehend that bare fact, the plan that is acceptable to it is a foolish one, in accord with the
foolishness of the natural mind. In other words, not God's plan or anything approaching it, but a
man-made or man-distorted one is all the human mind is usually able to accept. - Isa. 55:9.
The worldly mind, if it had been calling out of the world a class to understand the depths of God,
that they might have a place in that plan, would have chosen the brightest intellects. But not so
with God; for in most instances that very ability would have made impossible a revealing of the
things of the spirit. There can be no desire for God and his assistance if one is satisfied with the
flesh and the little things it can accomplish. Water does not rise above its level until power is
exerted upon it. But since the Almighty Wisdom and Power that planned and brought into
existence all the intricacies of the universe is doing the enlightening, that work is not too difficult
even though not many wise are called. In fact few except the weak ones, the foolish ones of the
earth, are ready to be guided, and they only after having learned their weakness. "Strengthened
with all might according to his glorious power," they can, with the Apostle, ''do all things, [that
God wishes to have done in the present time by them] through Christ Jesus who strengtheneth
Not one of the successful 144,000 overcomers could have reached the "mark of the prize of the
high calling in Christ Jesus' by relying on his human intelligence to attain that end. All that each
one had on his being called was the mind of the world, the mind of the flesh, a useless thing in
this struggle. So the Apostle says, "We have received not the spirit of the world [our struggle has
been to get rid of it], but the spirit which is of God." In making this statement Paul gives some
interesting and helpful information. He uses two different constructions indicating in the first
instance that the spirit is the possession of the world, "the spirit of the world" -- "the world's
spirit," but in the second that its source is God, "the spirit which is from God"; and this is the
thought which later translators give. The preposition used to tell this latter fact would not have
been appropriate in the first phrase. The spirit there referred to does not emanate from the world
but from the "god of this world who hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the
light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." - Gal.
The mind of every Bible student awakes to the utmost alertness when he reads in the next phrase
that the reason for giving the spirit that emanates from God, is "that we might know." It was the
privilege of knowing some things of which others were ignorant that started most of us searching
the Word. Must we be honest and confess that there may be some who have not progressed
beyond that point yet? perhaps few of us as far as we should have done by this time.
Bearing in mind the Apostle's displeasure that human reasonings among the brethren should have
caused schisms, we anticipate that his pleasure is not in knowing that the saints may learn more of
the reasonings of the flesh, have more cause for separations; nor even that they may know more
of the things that human brilliance might discover about the Bible. In these things the flesh might
glory. No, it will not be the things that eve can see, or even the ear hear about, nor the things that
might enter into the human heart. The Apostle limited his own speech to a "demonstration of the
spirit and of power." (1 Cor. 1:29; 2:4, 9.) Is it probable we will find him meaning that we have
the spirit that by its exercise we may make startling discoveries, bringing out marvelous truths,
even some that are not revealed in the Bible? Is this the way the power of the spirit will work for
us? But, No. Christ is our wisdom. Ours is not a strange mixture of human brain and divine spirit,
a mingling of fleshly thinking with divine revelation. That would not be in line with what Paul
wrote to our brethren in Colosse, assuring them: of his care for them. The desire there expressed
is "that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the
full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, even Christ, in whom
are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden." - Col. 2:2, 3.
Two points of the greatest importance for those who desire true knowledge are revealed in this
passage. Those for whom this is an honest desire must first see to it that they are "knit together in
love" with the brethren the Lord has given them. Those who have experienced this blessing know
what a balancing power there is in "the fellowship of kindred minds," an association with those of
"equally precious faith." Only thus, and not as though living in some monastery or nunnery can
we hope to "comprehend with all saints." - Eph. 3:18.
The second point is equally important, for to seek for some treasure without having definite
information as to where to look for it, would be the worst of folly. There is not one item of all the
illimitable treasures of knowledge and wisdom in the universe that will not be found concealed in
Christ; therefore he is our "wisdom," no less than he is our "righteousness and sanctification," and
(as the one Greek word indicates) our "deliverance procured by the payment of a ransom." Since
"no one knoweth the Son save the Father," all is clear not only as to what it should be our
ambition to know, but also how we should go about seeking to acquire that knowledge. And this
is precisely the reason Paul gives for our having the spirit -"in order that 'we might know the
things that are freely given us of God."
The great Apostle is not saying that we will have no use for a brain, nor that it is foolish to try to train
it to work more accurately, but merely that our dependence is not on our brain, nor on the brain of our
teachers, but on the amount of the spirit we and they have. By that spirit we are put in tune with the divine
The method the Lord uses in "freely" giving us the truth, and also our part in the process, is well
illustrated by a game popular with the children. When a child works his first jigsaw puzzle, his chief
interest is apt to be in the queerest of the pieces; and his eagerness to find a place for it might even
tempt him to whittle off a bit or add a little to make it fit the hole he has provided. But after he has
worked a few puzzles he learns that the better method is to start with the simplest pieces, those having
the straight edge that snakes the border. Following this process, he soon has a hole just the shape of
that strange looking piece; and, without pushing or straining, it drops into place. If he had yielded to
temptation, he would never have made the lovely picture for which the puzzle was planned. With the
Bible student, the matter is of vastly greater importance, for the greatest of artists has planned the
picture that his tampering would spoil. But who is there that has not at times been tempted to leave out
a word or a phrase, or to add to some passage to make it say the thing he would like to have it say.
Perhaps even now many of us could turn to our Bibles and find verses that do riot really say what we
had been making them say. To learn that, however, the approach must be "with unveiled faces."
The Bible was not given to us that we might make it over. It was giver, to make us over, transformed
by the renewing of our minds. But by the easy process of addition and subtraction one can soon have a
Bible of his own manufacture; and by a continuance of that process, eventually there will be in it no
more of transforming; power than if every word in it were his own. Only by the sincere milk of the
Word can one grow into the likeness of our heavenly Father; only by his spirit can we be changed
from glory to glory. Therefore we can no more afford to contaminate the pure Word with human
additions than we can afford to elect as an elder in our Class one who would bring the spirit of the
world or the flesh into our discussions.
In the thirteenth verse the Apostle asserts that his preaching of divine wisdom is not "in words which
man's wisdom teacheth, but which the spirit teacheth." All can bear him witness that he lived up to this
intention. This was an important decision on his part, for while the Lord purposed that he was to bear
his message before :kings and rulers, this was not the major portion of his ministry. The most of those
who would hear his message gladly would be the simple folk, despised of the world but very precious
in the sight of the Lord. The golden tongue and the ring of gold that are in no degree effective in drawing
the affection of the Father to us, are equally ineffective for drawing to him those who are ready to
partake of his spirit. Not pride and ostentation but humility of heart hears his call and wins his
Some see in the phraseology of this thirteenth verse a statement of verbal inspiration of the Scriptures;
but it is generally conceded that it is more consistent to consider it a return to the thought of the third
verse, with the added information that the spirit had been guiding him away from the boastfulness of
the flesh to the humility taught by the holy spirit. Dogmatism and intolerance find a more fit vehicle in
eloquence and oratory than in the simple phrases the holy spirit teaches. No more beautiful example of
simplicity can be imagined than the records we have of our Master's words. One's choice of words can
to an extent be taken as an index of the true condition of character; for "out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaketh." Therefore, "by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou
shalt be condemned."
One outstanding characteristic of the "words" of the Apostle Paul, was the absence of speculation.
Some might explain, "Oh, of course he had no need for speculation, no need for guesses, for he had
inspiration." He was inspired and we should never forget how blest we are to have the ministry of one
whose word can be trusted; but the process of inspiration occupied but a small portion of his time.
There were many hours that could have been devoted to surmises had he been so inclined. We are
very fortunate that he was too sensible to waste his time in any such manner. There were many things
he did not know and was eager to know, but he was a good enough Christian to prefer to await God's
time for revealing them when we shall know even as we are known. Not until then will it be proper to
be dogmatic about anything except the plain statements of Scripture.

We cannot do better than quote Marcus Dodds on what may safely be taken from this thirteenth verse.
He wrote:
"This statement of Paul may be construed into a guarantee of the general accuracy of his teaching; but
it was not intended to be that. Paul did not express himself in this way in order to convince men of his
accuracy, still less to convince them that every word he uttered was infallibly correct; what he
intended was to justify his use of a certain kind of language and a certain style of teaching. The spirit
of this world adopts one method of insinuating knowledge into the mind; the spirit of God uses
another method. It is the latter Paul adopts.. It might indeed seem a very simple and sound argument
were we to say that Paul affirms that the words in which he embodies his teaching are taught him by
the holy ghost [spirit], and that therefore there can be no error in them. But to interpret the words of
any writer with no regard to his intention in writing them is voluntarily to blind ourselves to their true
meaning. And Paul's intention in this passage is to contrast two methods of teaching, two styles of
language, the worldly or secular and the spiritual, and to affirm that the style he adopted was that
which the holy ghost [spirit] taught him."
Paul's sensible method of teaching spiritual truth in language and spirit appropriate to it, leads
logically to his preaching it to spiritual persons, the only ones who could receive it. The Diaglott
reading of the closing phrase of the verse gives this thought, which is also accepted by many other
scholars. The Diaglott reads: "We speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but by the teachings
of the spirit; unfolding spiritual things to spiritual persons." There are, however, other readings just as
acceptable to well informed scholars. Moffatt has the verse end with, "We interpret what is spiritual in
spiritual language," while Weymouth has it, "adapting spiritual words to spiritual truths." In
conjunction with Young's Literal Translation, a footnote by Darby leads to a still different reading. In
his translation Darby makes the phrase read. "communicating spiritual [things] by spiritual [means]."
The footnote, however, informs us that the literal meaning of the word he renders "communicating" is
"mixing or putting together." While each of the translations gives us a thought that is quite acceptable
as established truth, the Authorized Version, borne out by these latter, expresses a thought harmonious
and logically connected with the context. It also brings us, back to our jigsaw puzzle illustration as
well as to what experience has shown is the only safe method of Bible study -- comparing Scripture
with Scripture.
Reason and experience taught the Apostle that the natural man will not approve of either truth or this
method of arriving at it; nor will he understand those who hold to such truths and methods. He also
will prefer to be an instructor rather than a pupil, even instructing the Lord himself -- for even that far
his human mindedness will lead him! Shall Paul, shall his pupils, shall we fall into that error? Nay,
"we have the mind of Christ," the mind that can truthfully say, "The words that I speak are not mine"
or at least we will be daily and hourly working toward that precious goal. "The Lord is in his holy
temple; let all the earth keep silence before him."
"Let this mind he in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
- P. E. Thomson
The Mind of Christ
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."-.Phil. 2:5.
SINCE HUMAN heads cannot contain both the mind of the flesh and the mind of Christ, it is a
thing of primary importance that we shall be figuratively "put to death in the flesh and made alive
in the spirit." With pus the process is ordinarily not one of a few days, but a painful one extending
over many years. The gradual and almost imperceptible changes are well illustrated by the story
of Michael Angelo standing before a block of marble and soliloquizing regarding the angel his
imagination saw imprisoned there. The marble must fall away bit by bit until the loveliness of the
angel stands forth revealed to all.
One of the Pilgrims of a former day, Brother Sullivan, used to impress the painfulness of the
process by suggesting, "It would not be at all painful if the victim were stood up against a stone
wall, and shot. It is being nibbled to death by the minnies that hurts." Only by joyfully, submitting
to this process, rejoicing in hope," "counting it all joy," can we be made "alive Unto God through
our Lord Jesus Christ." As we endeavored to show in a previous article, this is not a thing that can
be accomplished through human powers alone. Man's ingenuity may produce marvelous things,
even a hydrogen bomb, but never a "new creature in Christ Jesus." That growth is a
transformation resulting from a close and intimate knowledge of God, a daily, hourly association
with him. Those who have this experience can honestly say, "Truly, our fellowship is with the
Father and with his Son." One of the simplest of fundamental truths is this, that an intimate
knowledge of our God and his beloved Son is essential for the attaining of eternal life. Even a
falling into sin on the part of some Corinthian brethren, Paul seems to blame on the lack of this
knowledge. "Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I
speak this to your shame."
A revelation, or even a statement from the Scriptures, is not necessary to assure us that no human
power can comprehend all the wonders of an eternal, all-wise God. Either of those adjectives --
eternal, or all wise -- is beyond our comprehension, and leaves our faculties staggering. No
human mind can grapple for either end of eternity without a realization of utter helplessness. Nor
can we come any nearer comprehending a wisdom as unlimited as his existence. To be given a
perfect brain at the time of our consecration might seem a very desirable arrangement, but it was.
not the Lord's method; for the next moment when we tried out our brain, we found it just as
capable of thinking selfish, fleshly thoughts as formerly. Then the new will said to it, You must
not do that. I made a consecration to the Lord, and I gave you to him along with all other powers
of my body. From now on you are to think under the guidance of my new, my glorified Head,
think only such thoughts, as he approves. From that time the habits formed during the years when
the flesh was in control had to be fought against and overcome. One living in the country where
there is a mud lane leading out to the surfaced road finds deep ruts are formed in the rain-softened
dirt. The freeze of the winter days makes these permanent. Driving a cart down the lane after.
that, one finds it impossible to keep Out of the ruts; but it is not impossible to pull out. The reins
are for just such purposes as that. Promptly upon the making of a consecration we learn that the
ruts are deep indeed in our brain; some scientists even claiming that we have some of them at
birth, ruts inherited from our ancestors. "If so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even
as truth is in Jesus, pat 'ye- away, as concerning your, former manner of life, the old man, that
waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on
the new man,, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." (Eph.
4:21-24.) Let us keep our hand on the reins and pull promptly when we feel ourselves dropping
into one of the old ruts.

The Apostle Paul was not exaggerating 'when he wrote, "If any man thinketh that he knoweth
anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." The Cambridge Bible comments on this
passage: "If a man thinks he has attained any true knowledge [through the operation of his
imperfect brain], he has not yet begun to know in the way in which knowledge ought to be
gained." Additionally, the, Greek indicates that the thing which he lacks is a personal knowledge.
Though he may have, had the most excellent of teachers, and may have acquired, all the facts
they had to impart, he still is lacking the essential knowledge, that knowledge which can never
puff up, for it gives a personal, acquaintance with the One in whose presence the attainments o1
true learners all shrink to nothingness: In the Father's presence even the only begotten Son, the
undefiled One, he who was altogether lovely, could say only, "There is none good save One." -
Luke 18:19.
One sometimes wonders if humility is in the college curriculum of today. Was it that a college
education was different in Paul's day, or was he different? He came forth with his faith in God
intact, and with none in self. But perhaps all the credit should go to his post-graduate course at the
feet of Jesus. There, if there was any conceit in him, the last of it was removed. How humble, his
testimony: "We are not sufficient of ourselves to think [Diaglott: "reason"] anything of
ourselves." (2 Cor. 3:5.) To learn this fact is essential to one who honestly wishes to be perfected
as a new creature; but not very consoling to the Bible Student who thinks he can think. Nor do the
modern critical translations: or the lexicons give him any comfort. Paul; however, closes the verse
with a phrase that inspires boundless hope: "But God is our sufficiency"; God has supplied our
deficiency, has rendered us competent. Elsewhere he is more explicit regarding our deficiencies
and God's provision for us. As for instance in 2 Timothy 1:7, where he tells us we may have "the
spirit of a sound mind."

The phrase "spirit of" in the above and a number of other passages seems to the writer to have a
force that is easily overlooked. In each instance it applies to things we do not as yet experience in
their completeness, but may some day. The phrase, "spirit of life," is used in Romans 8:2
regarding those who do not have life-those who are dying creatures-but have a hope of life. The
"spirit of life" reveals itself in our conversation, our activities, our fellowships, our treasures, and
our hopes. Similarly, ours is "the spirit of adoption," for this is the time of our probation. Our
calling and election must be made sure before the adoption can be complete. Also even now,
though only the most meager details of the new covenant have as yet been revealed to us, we
minister the "spirit" of the new covenant, as says the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 3:6); and for the same
reason, since now we "know in part," ours is "the spirit of the truth." When "we know even as we
are known," the spirit will have guided us "into all truth."
But to come back to our original phrase: for the time being, we have the "spirit of a sound mind."
In the phrase we have not only an intimation -- and a warning -- of the unsoundness of our
present efforts at thinking, but also in view of the use of the phrase in other Scriptures, we have a
clear prediction of that day when our minds will unerringly work in full harmony with his.
Associated with the spirit of a sound mind is the spirit of power and of love -- two more blessings
we hope to have in full measure when his benediction has been heard: "Well done, good and
faithful servant; enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." In each instance when our Master is quoted
as speaking of the "spirit of truth," he actually said: "the spirit of the truth," "the spirit of the not
hidden"-literal rendering. The "all truth" that is promised, and is to be ours beyond the veil, is for
those who in this present life manifest the spirit of the truth in thought, word, and deed. These
heed the Apostle's advice and "learn not to think above that which is written." (1 Cor. 4:6.) If that
spirit of truth is our spirit, it should in many instances have the effect of modifying the spirit of
our neighbors, and should most assuredly have much effect upon the brethren the Lord has given
There are great possibilities of blessing in .the life where reigns the spirit of truth, of power, of
love, of a sound mind, of meekness, of righteousness, of life. But it is not always necessarily
correct to place all the blame on a brother when one finds difficulty in having spiritual fellowship
with him. The difficulty might be in ourselves. A stranger, making a purchase in a neighborhood
grocery store, inquired of the proprietor as to what the people were like in the community. Instead
of answering directly, the grocer inquired, "What kind of neighbors were those you left?" On
being told that they were "the finest kind of people," the grocer assured him that he would find
the same kind in his new surroundings. Presently another stranger came in with the same question
and was answered in the same fashion. But this stranger testified to having had very undesirable
neighbors-"people that no one could get along with." The grocer, wisely advised him that he
would find the same kind in that neighborhood. One hears of brethren who are both blessed and a
blessing everywhere they go, and also of some who have trouble in every Class. The blame for
the trouble need not all be placed on these newcomers; but it would be wise for them to inquire
whether they found the trouble or brought it. Ours can be lives of true benediction only if we
carry the "spirit of the truth" wherever we go, in our business, in our pleasures, in the Church, and
in the world -- thus being faithful ministers of the spirit of the new covenant.
"O glorious hope of heavenly love!
It lifts me up to things above;
It bears on eagle wings;
It gives my joyful soul a taste,
And makes me, even here, to feast
With Jesus' priests and kings."
Brother Paul was quoted above as saying that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything
of ourselves; but may it be that he was not thinking of people with good and educated brains like
his own? Fortunately he answers the question for us: "In my flesh dwelleth no good thing" --
except one wonderful brain (?). He makes no such exception, but counts his brain in as similar to
ours, in that it is not to be trusted. How different the history of the past two thousand years would
have been, as well as recent ones, if no Christian had ever trusted the working of his own brain
for the finding out of hidden truths; if no consecration had ever contained the reservation:
"Provided I may use my brain to suit myself." God has graciously revealed much regarding
himself and his plans, and those things belong unto us; but all else, he has intimated, belongs to
him, and it is therefore not only foolish but disrespectful to him for us to endeavor to "find out"
the unrevealed. "His ways are past finding out." - Rom. 11:33.
The natural mind thinks what a helpful condition it would have been if every Christian had a
perfect brain and all thought alike, and there were never any occasion of division among us. Like
all other reasoning this falls far short of God's loving and wise PUT pose for us. He knows that
pride is our worst enemy and will cause eternal ruin, as it will for Satan, unless it is eradicated.
Therefore, "We have the sentence of death in ourselves, in order that we should not trust in
ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead." (2 Cor. 1:9.) The arrangement is very inconvenient
in some respects, we will agree, but what a pity it would be if we were to endure that
inconvenience for a lifetime and not receive the benefit that can be derived from it. Shall we not
learn "not to think beyond what we ought to think; but to think so as to be sober-minded." (Rom.
12:3.) When we have a dizzy spell, we keep off the street, for we would not like any one to think
we are intoxicated. But are we always as careful about the vastly more important thing of
conducting ourselves so those who have "the spirit of a sound mind" will think of us as being
"sober-minded?" There is only one means of attaining the reality to have the "mind of Christ."
Not to have that, is to risk the condemnation that comes from the pen of Solomon: "Seest thou a
man wise in his own conceits? There is more hope of a fool than of him." (Prov. 26:12.) Paul had
this in mind when he tried to teach his pupils to learn not to go beyond the things which are
written: "that no one of you be puffed up for one against another." (1 Cor. 4:6.) He knew,
however, that "there must be sects [margin] among us, that they which are approved may be made
manifest." Selah.
Paul does not recommend greater care for his pupils than he exercised himself; but assures us that
it is his practice to bring every spiritual implement to bear on the foes of the new creature, and he
evidently considers this mistake of thinking we can think, as one of the most dangerous of our
enemies. He therefore speaks of "casting down reasonings [Diaglott, Englishman's Greek N. T.,
margin of the Authorized, etc.] and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of
God." (2 Cor. 10:5.) Threatened with an outcome such as that, surely any sound mind must
immediately determine to "cast down reasonings." When we hear a brother claim, "I do my own
thinking," you always hope he really means, "I endeavor to let God do my thinking for me, and
use my brain to the best of Amy ability to determine what his thought is."
Some have thought it an excellent method of Bible study to collect all the Scriptures on some
controversial subject and place the texts in two columns, one column given to each side of the
subject. When asked what they do next, the fallacy of the method is revealed; for the answer
usually is, "Oh, I like the Scriptures best that are in this column, so I have accepted that view-and
that almost invariably is the view they held before starting the investigation. The method must be
utterly undependable as a means of arriving at truth, because the final conclusion is left to a fallible
human brain. Any one should know that God's thoughts can never be divided into two
contradictory columns. Until all the texts fall, without straining, into the one column, one does
not have God's thoughts. "If they speak not [and study not] in harmony with this Word, there is
no truth [margin: morning] in them." When we live in harmony with the truths we have thus
learned, then will we have the "mind of Christ" in the most important, the essential sense.
Recognizing the impossibility of combining our imperfect thoughts with God's, and that we can
hope to know God only by knowing his thoughts, one would expect to find all sincere Bible
students studiously avoiding every thought of his own or that of any other person, knowing that
no human brain can compete with Jehovah's perfect thinking. Yet in some quarters it appears to
be considered a virtue to go violently contrary to, Paul's example of "casting down imaginations."
(2, Cot. 10:5.) (The Greek word here translated imaginations is the word better translated
"reasonings" in 2 Cor. 3:5.) Note that "The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise that they are
vain." (1 Cor. 3:20.) Since that is the Lord's opinion of the working of the brains of the wise men
of the world, what must be his appraisal of the best performances of our little brain. When Bible
student imaginations are given free rein, it is for the purpose of discovering things that are not
revealed in the inspired Word. And this is brazen effrontery if that one remembers that "secret
things belong to the Lord; things that are revealed belong unto us." (Deut. 29:29.) No one lifetime
has ever been long enough to appropriate all that the Lord has revealed. Perhaps we can safely
label as plain laziness the preference for the easier method of guessing, the method of using one's
imagination, instead of the divinely prescribed one of searching the Word.
A "love of truth" is one of the present day tests on the Lord's people; and a love for any one's
guesses indicates a complete failure under that test. The Apostle indicates that the outcome will
be a failure to attain eternal life; for it can be had only through knowing God. (John 17:3.) A
dependence upon reasonings, he lists among the "high things that exalt themselves against the
knowledge of God." The knowledge of God referred to here is probably not a knowledge
regarding God, but the knowledge which God imparts. That is given that one may know God.
Placing our dependence on reasonings, our own or those of other people, may then have the
disastrous result of loss of all hope. The reason is very apparent. There can be no place in this
universe for one who sets himself up above God by refusing to be in submission to his

Are we not forge Lug that it is by God's own invitation that we arrive at truth by the process of
reasoning? Can we not feel free to go as far as we please with our reasonings since he has said,
"Come now, and let us reason together"? This text is a good illustration as to what eternal hazards
our new creature existence may be facing by permitting one slight alteration in a phrase of the
spirit's illumination. He does not say, "Come, you reason," but "Come, let us reason." Then be
sure to leave the word "together in the text, and it is very apparent just what part our brains have
in the process. However, to make sure it is clear, perhaps we should have an illustration. Suppose
some little college professor -- Professor Einstein will do for the illustration -- should say to one
of us, "Come, let us reason together." Would we say: "Yes, Professor, I will be delighted. I have
quite an array of suggestions I will be delighted to make to you"? On the contrary, our lips would
be effectively sealed in his presence, unless it would be to say, "Please go slow, Professor, so I
can keep up with you." How strange that the "wisdom" that is "foolishness with God" should so
effectively silence us, and we still have so much to say in God's presence.
Reason together with God, "search the Scriptures daily," watch intently that we have neither left
out a thought from any phrase nor added anything to it, apply all our feeble reasoning faculties to
the task of securing and fully agreeing with every item of God's reasonings, and then arise from
the study determined that every principle we have found as the guiding principle of our heavenly
Father shall be so faithfully lived that it will become a very part of ourselves and we have
demonstrated overcoming faith. When we read, "He is righteous" (1 John 3:7), our reason tells us
that to be like him we also must be righteous; not with the righteousness of the hypocrite who
cares more for the opinion of men than for the opinion of God; but the righteousness that cannot
be swerved the veriest trifle from its firm stand for principle whatever may be the contradiction of
sinners against it, however plausible may sound the reasonings of "the wisdom of this world."
When we read, "God is love," and that the greatest manifestation of his love for us was in the
sending of his Son to die for us (1 John 3:16; 4:8), we reason with the beloved disciple that we
must learn to lay down our lives for others that godlikeness may be complete in us; must minister
to others instead of wishing to be ministered unto, if we would be like the One who was the
Father's supreme manifestation to men; must seek not our comfort, but the Father's glory if ever
men are to say of us, "If you have seen him, you have seen the Father." Probably it will never be
said, but it should be true to just the extent it is possible to manifest godlikeness in fallen flesh.

There is an apparent discrepancy between the text that heads this article, "Let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus," and the Apostle's compliment paid the brethren at Corinth. "We
have the mind of Christ." As we would have expected to hear him exhorting the unfaithful,
contentious Corinthians to be striving for the mind of Christ, and congratulating the well
developed brethren at Philippi on the fact that they had that mind. The explanation is of course
found in the fact that the word "mind" is translated from two Greek words. The Corinthian
brethren were in possession of the intellectual appreciation that, guided by the spirit of the Lord,
could discriminate between heathen and Christian theories, and rejoice in the beauties of the
"Divine Plan of the Ages."
We cannot be sure that we know all that was in the Apostle's mind in choosing the word he did in
exhorting our Philippian brethren to follow the Lord's example of humility. That word is one of
the physical terms the Greeks used figuratively of a sentiment, of which "heart" is the best known
example. From a verb that means "to rein in or curb," they formed the name of the midriff or
diaphragm, that largest muscle in the body that acts as a partition, with the heart and lungs on one
side and the lower organs on the other. Then from that noun a verb was formed to express,
literally, the exercise of the diaphragm; and, figuratively, "to exercise the mind, i.e., entertain or
have a sentiment or opinion, to be mentally disposed more or less earnestly in a certain
direction." In following Jesus as our example, we follow the One who above all others made a
complete and continuous separation between the higher and the lower sentiments, One who
breathed always of the heavenly atmosphere and whose heart was always "set on things above,"
and who gave to this process the "all diligence" enjoined upon us by Peter. Possibly it would not
be wise to suppose that Paul had in mind the etymology of the word when using it, but it will be
profitable for us to make our separation between higher and lower thoughts as definite as Paul
and Jesus did, as definite as the division nature placed between our higher and lower organs. And
we can be reminded by every deep breath that we must be earnestly exercised in spiritual
sentiments. Let this rein, this curb, be in you that was in Christ Jesus. Keep out of the old ruts.
It takes great strength to train
To modern service your ancestral brain;
To lift the weight of the unnumbered years
Of dead men's habits, methods and ideas;
To hold that back with one 'hand, and support
With the other the weak steps of new resolve!
It takes great strength to bring your life up square
With your accepted thought, and hold it there,
Resisting the inertia that drags back
From new attempts to old habit's track.
It is so easy to drift back-to sink
So hard to live abreast of what you think.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah [to the
mightiest intellect as well as to our feeble ones]. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." But by consecrating
our brains to the Lord to be wholly his, we can have God's thoughts, and by their transforming
power be changed into his likeness. Give our all to this privilege and we can sing with assurance:
"When on Thine own image in me Then hast smiled,
Within Thy blest mansion, and when
The arms of my Father encircle His child,
O! I shall be satisfied then."
- P. E. Thomson.