Jer. 23:16 π Jer. 23:30 π Amos 3:3 π Mt. 7:23 π Mt. 25:41 π Lk. 14:33 π Jn. 8:44 π Jn. 14:23-24 π Jn. 16:13 π 1 Cor. 6:20 π 2 Cor. 5:15 π 2 Cor. 10:5 π Gal. 5:20 π Eph. 1:22 π Eph. 4:3 π Eph. 4:13 π Phlp. 3:14-16 π 2 Tim. 3:5 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Heb. 5:9 π 2 Pet. 1:20 π 1 Jn. 3:8 π 1 Jn. 4:6
In this age where almost all are victims of the philosophy of relativism (which disdains even the possibility of absolute truth), most people will have immediate visions of thought-control and thought-police upon hearing an instruction like this one. But I, for one, expect, insist and demand that you think like I do if you expect me to receive you as a mature brother in Christ, one who has a spiritual opinion to be listened to, respected and perhaps even followed. How can I say such a thing? Because I know how I think. First, unlike many a slumbering, sermonized "church"-ite, I think and I think for myself.
But beyond that - and far more important than thinking for myself - I wait upon the Lord to show me His truth. I trust that He will fulfill His promise that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth ( Jn. 16:13 ) if we will but listen, follow and obey. In this way, I remain in the attitude and process of "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." ( 2 Cor. 10:5 ) Those who do not think in this way have not yet entered into the fullness of the eternal salvation Christ gives because "Christ became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." ( Heb. 5:9 - emphasis added; top) If you would be a real Christian - disciple, follower of Christ - you must think like I do. Anything else is a dilution, a deception, a counterfeit, a fraudulent expression of the life in Christ.
This is not nearly the same thing as saying that you must agree with me about everything or see things only and exactly as I see things. God forbid! But whenever you have an interpretation of the Bible that differs from mine, our responsibility is to re-examine the roots and causes of our interpretation and submit all our views to the Head Christ Jesus. While the Lord will allow us our perspectives for a time, He will never allow us to permanently retain any belief that is not grounded in Him - not while we remain His, at any rate. Misbeliefs (lies and errors) are the work and domain of the devil and the demonic. ( Jn. 8:44 , 1 Jn. 4:6 ) Jesus came to destroy all their works ( 1 Jn. 3:8 ) and, if we cling to their works, we will be destroyed right along with them. ( Mt. 25:41; top )
We are not free to pick and choose which portions of teachings we like or agree with by heaping up teachers to scratch our ears ( 2 Tim. 4:3-4 ) and listening to our favorite "evangelist," "apostle," "prophet" or "pastor." God says, "I am against the prophets who steal My words every one from his neighbor." ( Jer. 23:30 ) God also tells us not to even listen to the false prophets - those who misrepresent God or His message - because they will destroy us. ( Jer. 23:16 ) And anyone who concocts his own private interpretation of a Scripture (apart from the revelatory and illuminating work of the Holy Spirit - 2 Pet. 1:20 ) and then says, "This is the word of God," is a false prophet. Make no mistake - these kind of private interpretations abound and are the basic building blocks of the dissensions and heresies ( Gal. 5:20; top ) men most often call denominations (even the so-called "non-denominational" denominations).
Coming together in unity is not the blind tolerance of "agreeing to disagree agreeably." No! "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" ( Amos 3:3 ) Nor is it a mere question of agreeing with one another. It is the way of the flesh to contest or spar or manipulate until the other one submits and agrees with my opinions and agendas. The question is much deeper. No one can walk with Christ until that one agrees with and enters into obedience to the mind of Christ. ( Lk. 14:33 ) And only those who have submitted their all to Christ are then in a position to preserve (note well it does not say "build" or "make") "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." ( Eph. 4:3 ) In the bond of peace, we can walk through the process of submitting our different views to the Headship and unity (oneness, one-accord) of Christ until we do arrive at the unity of the faith. ( Eph. 4:13; top )
Those who might object to importing the thoughts of this Other into our thoughts need to remember that we no longer belong to ourselves but we belong to Him ( 1 Cor. 6:20 ) and are required to no longer live for ourselves but to live the totality of our lives for Him. ( 2 Cor. 5:15; top )
Those who obstinately refuse to think like I do - routinely and ever-deeper submitting to the mind and rule of Christ - are not my brothers and my sisters. They are only the counterfeit, the apostate, those who have a form of godliness but deny the power. ( 2 Tim. 3:5; top ) Not because they don't submit to my ideas, opinions and agendas but because they will not submit to Christ. Those who will not think like I do are not my brothers because they partake of the wrong tree - the independent knowledge of what constitutes good and evil (in our own eyes, of course) - rather than the tree of life.
We need not be - indeed, dare not be - in any hurry to categorize who is "in" and who is "out." That's a question resolved only by the Lord who, when the time is right, will reveal the same things about the one in question to everyone involved. We need not test one another in some vain attempt to demonstrate that we are further along "the path" than all the others around us. As we are simply real and open with one another - something the institutional "church" systemically excludes - who and what we are and how we think will be readily apparent.
Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word... He who does not love Me, does not keep My words..." ( Jn. 14:23-24 ) Nothing is hidden from the Lord and He will expose that which is false among those who desire and demand His Headship and rule over their lives (both individually and corporately). Those who routinely submit to His mind have fewer difficulties submitting to those others who are likewise submitted to Christ as Head of all things over His people ( Eph. 1:22; top ) - even as they will resist to the end all human and demonic attempts to cause them to disobey or depart from the Head. Those who use fleshly weapons and tools to flaunt themselves or to impose their agendas are merely exposing their true natures and Christ will deal with them in His time and in His way - their judgment is not sleeping, just waiting!
This is precisely the way Paul thought. He wrote,
"I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind." ( Phlp. 3:14-16; top )
The attitude of pressing always onward to attain ever closer to the upward call of God - note well all the directional words used here; following Christ is not about acquiring a static group of spiritual or religious "facts" - is almost entirely missing from our mindset. Without this attitude, however, we will be content with our divisive denominational distinctives because they allow us to feel like we are in control of our own lives. The lack of this attitude is directly responsible for the feeling that we are entitled to practice relativistic picking and choosing of which "truths" and teachings we like or agree with (most often, those that don't cost us too much to embrace and follow). It is the rampant lack of individually, personally and persistently pressing into the will of God that has created the fiasco men today commonly call "Christianity."
If asking you to think for yourself and to submit yourself to the mind of Christ is too demanding a religion for you, then you might as well go pick out whichever man-made religion you like best because it will not do you any good to go to "church," do your time there, pay your club dues (tithes and offerings) and hope you'll go to "heaven" some day. All (who are mature in the Lord - something which the institutional "church" cannot produce and which takes some years away from it to even begin to approach true spiritual maturity) are supposed to think like what this article describes. Anyone who does not think like this is either immature in the faith or does not have Christ as their Lord and King. Any who do not submit to His Lordship in this life will have a difficult time convincing Him on judgment day that He was ever their Savior. ( Mt. 7:23; top )
Let he who has ears hear.
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