Tuesday, October 16, 2007

godly thinking

Have you ever noticed how muddled our thinking can be when reading Scripture or a good book on Scripture and Christian theology? Of course we now "see through a glass darkly" and "know in part" (1 Corinthians 13). But I'm thinking here of our trying to understand God's revelation to us by sheer intellect. We can begin to understand only through "the mind of Christ." We're told in Scripture that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2). I take this "we" in context to mean believers individually as well as all of us together.

Gordon Fee in his commentary on 1 Corinthians says "the mind of Christ" "probably means the thoughts of Christ as they are revealed by the Spirit." (p 119). Sheer intellect, no matter how high is not going to get the things of God expressed in the word of God. It takes "the mind of Christ" given to us, and it's a mind set on obeying God's will. If we're holding on to sin, and not confessing and seeking to forsake sin in our heart and actions, then we're not really going to understand as we really need to understand the word of God. Of course God in his grace at times will make exceptions to get through to us or others. But this is true as a rule, I believe.

We need godly thinking, no less. And such is found in Christ, as we endeavor seriously to live in Christ, walking in obedience to God in all things in our lives, even in this present existence and world. This starts right where we're at. And there are no exceptions in our lives. I believe that even as we stumble along in trying to live consistently in this way, God will encourage us and help us along.

And we do this with interdependence on other believers as well as full dependence on God. I'd rather hear the counsel of a "simple" believer, than the lecture of a most intelligent person not walking in fellowship with God. Let's not forget that we need each other. This is not an individual endeavor, but a community endeavor, in unity with each other in God through Christ and by the Spirit. The Spirit will confirm whether or not our thinking is godly not just to ourselves, but to other believers who have the same Spirit.

What might you like to add here?

6 comments:

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Good post. God does indeed make foolish the thinking of the wise. Words that are still very much appropriate today.

NaNcY said...

yes, sometimes we try to hard to understand in our own mind what God is speaking to our heart. we do need God through eachother. the is the ultimate way in which we can express love is to share God's love with one another.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan,
Thanks. Yes. Always true in this present world whatever century.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Your thoughts remind me of the verse: Knowledge puffs up; love builds up. If any says they know something they really don't know as they ought to, but if any loves God, the same is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8)

Mary said...

I think there is a difference between a knowledge just for the sake of seeming intelligent and an earnest desire to grow in the knowledge of Christ. My husband, for example, is a student at a well known and well respected seminary. He has sat under the teaching of very godly theologians. These are men whose knowledge surpass anyone I have known and we have had the pleasure of getting to know them and we know they are walking right with the Lord. My husband loves the knowledge he receives from them, he loves his growing knowledge in the Lord. That kind of knowledge, a real zeal to learn about God, is praised in the Bible. It is a knowledge with love.

Yes, knowledge can puff up and love does build up. I would daresay that the knowledge that puffs up is a knowledge without love. Even if it started out great, when one becomes puffed up, love is not present...as it has become selfish.

Aspiring for knowledge is acceptable and biblical as long as we remember it must be accompanied with love.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mary,
I very much agree with you on this, and have the same experience you and your husband have with people I've known. Professors in my seminary experience exuded the same, in the love of God.