There is a common consensus that we are the product of our thinking.  The way a person thinks determines who they are.  “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  (Prov 23:7). All thinking starts with an axiom, hypothesis, assumption, idea, structure, filter, basis, or premise. In mathematics or logic, an axiom is an unprovable rule or first principle accepted as accurate because it is self-evident or beneficial.   

A Battlefield in the Mind

Paul states that our warfare is directed first against principalities, or in other words, principals, foundational thoughts, and structures of thinking  (Eph. 6:12). He explains this thought-idea-structure in more detail in (2 Cor. 10:3-6).  Again, Paul uses warfare language and metaphors to describe that our battle is against strongholds, arguments, thoughts, high things raised against the knowledge of God.   

Word Study: 746. ἀρχή archḗ; gen. archḗs. Beginning. Archḗdenotes an act. cause, as in Col. 1:18; Rev. 3:14 (cf. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). Christ is “the beginning” because He is the efficient cause of creation; “the head” because He is before all things, and all things were created by Him and for Him (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:10). Archḗmay also mean “the pass” – the beginning of something, as the beginning of a line, road, and so forth. The line or road is conceived in one’s mind, but where one touches the paper to draw the line is the pass, the beginning of the line (Matt. 19:8; Mark 1:1; 10:6; 13:8). Archḗ also means the extremity or outermost point (Acts 10:11; 11:5); rule, authority, dominion, power (Luke 20:20; 1 Cor. 15:24). 

The Battle Is For First Position

These original structures and patterns are very powerful if applied to the truth and knowledge of God but can also be totally debilitating and destructive if based on a foundational lie.  Neuropathways form in this way too: The central nervous system (CNS) goes through a three-step process when it functions: sensory input, neural processing, and motor output. The sensory input stage is when the neurons (or excitable nerve cells) of the sensory organs are electrically  excited. 

This is why first experiences are so binding. A child exposed to pornography at a young age builds a dopamine enriched pathway towards self-gratification without relational intimacy.  This will potentially wreck his ability to actually have a meaningful relationship with a real girl. Upbringing, parental role models, types of learned behavior, quality of education, culture and religion builds mental structures of thought that can either be reductional and restrictive or enabling and freeing! 

How You Think Determines What You Think

The problem is hence not so much what you think, but how you think. What are the bases, first premise, axiom from which we begin our thoughts?  

Negative self-destructive thoughts are: I’m unworthy; I am never good enough; I am a failure; I am useless; I’m stupid; I am always excluded; I am weak; I am illegitimate; I am poor; I am a sinner and desperately wicked; etc.  

Now let’s study 1 Corinthians chapter 2 in detail to understand and grasp Jesus’ solution and way out:  

At the start Paul makes it clear that he did not come with excellence of speech, or man’s wisdom.  He already in detail explained this premise in the previous chapter: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (1 Cor 1:19)  

So the way and structure of how the world thinks is not going to unlock your full godly divine potential! You need to acquire a new way of thinking. You need to start your thinking from a different premise.  

Note, that nowhere in this passage Paul is telling us what to think. Parenthood, money, business, wealth creation or even relational challenges are not mentioned anywhere.  You must first get your starting point from which you center your thinking right.  Jesus started His ministry and preaching also with a change of mind. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15.

Word Study: 3340. μετανοέω metanoéō; contracted metanoṓ, fut. metanoḗsō, from metá (G3326), denoting change of place or condition, and noéō (G3539), to exercise the mind, think, comprehend. To repent, change the mind, relent. Theologically, it involves regret or sorrow, accompanied by a true change of heart toward God. 

Notice the order: First, repent then believe.  Simply put – your thinking determines your faith. Faith originates from a certain premise, basis, filter of thinking.  Twins who have everything in common can yet determine to live two different succinct opposing paths. Because they premise their thinking from a different conclusion, conviction, and mindset.  

Jesus does not say that specific sins need to be repented of. He did not say, stop abusing alcohol, He said repent! He was speaking mostly to the Jewish religious crowd about a certain way of thinking.  Jesus makes it plain: the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, there is a new season at hand. You need to accept and come to understand a kingdom oriented heavenly-minded way of thinking.  All Jesus’ parables and deeds were in fact, built on a different axiom! He operated from the premise, foundation, structure of a limitless supernatural realm. This was the major difference between Jesus and the Pharisees: He already attained heaven, God’s favour, oneness with the divine and operated from this premise. All their works and beliefs were based on the exterior (what things seemed like) whilst trying to achieve an inside axiom.  Jesus operated from a Kingdom-of-heaven perspective.  

Opposite To How The World Thinks

Now let’s get back to 1 Corinthians 2. 

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”  Remember the principalities, powers, and rulers, strongholds, arguments, and high things already mentioned. (Eph. 6:12; 2 Cor 10:3) 

Then Paul beautifully explains the knowledge and understanding of a heavenly minded person:  “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Meaning, we do not base our thinking on material, measurable, visible sensory things. 

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

The Mind of Christ is Received

Note that the premise, foundation, structure, and axiom of this knowledge is spiritually received. It cannot be intellectually acquired. When one received Jesus Christ, and He becomes the premise of our thinking, everything changes!! When one receives the mind of Christ we receive His perspective and way of thinking.  

The apostle James, brother of Jesus clearly explains: “O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?“(James 2:20).  Contrastingly, we know that we cannot be saved by our works.  Could it then mean that works without Christ is dead? What we try to accomplish in our own power is dead.  This is self-righteousness and an abomination against God.  “by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight.” (Rom 3:20; Ps. 143:2; Acts 13:39; Gal. 2:16] 

Jesus said: “Seek ye first the kingdom and His righteousness!” (Matt. 6:33) Our starting point thus begins in Him! When we receive His righteousness, the least is greater than John the Baptist, who is considered the greatest of all the OT heroes (Mat 11:11). We therefore RECEIVE the Mind of Christ! His MIND is a gift, it is an awakening, a whole new realization, conviction, and premise of consciousness! We live, move and have our being, in Him! 

Heaven is in God, not God in heaven! When Jesus said, heaven is at hand. He was speaking from a heaven-cosmic-divine-spiritual-eternal worldview. Later, Jesus would pray to the Father, speaking of Himself; “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:16) – our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20). “Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” (1 Peter 2:11-12). 

THE MIND OF CHRIST is received by being convinced of heavenly realities! We are seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). 

Make Up Your Mind

Our old worldly reasoning reacts against this KINGDOM Reality.  Why are we not all healed and prosper in everything? Why do we suffer, and face so much hardship? Let’s conclude with weighing Jesus’ life: Did He prosper in the way the world sees prosperity? No, He died a gruesome death; His own people did not believe; His own inner circle betrayed Him; they doubted, and denied they knew Him.  Yet Jesus overcame the World and the wicked one! (John 16:25).

This is our liberation: the world has lost its hold on us; we should not care what people think (1 Cor 4:3-5; 1 Cor 15:10); we loose our taste for earthly carnal desires and we lose our fear of death and failure.

The mind of Christ:

  • Helps us focus only on being obedient
  • Helps us complete our calling and legacy!
  • Helps us remain calm in the midst of adversary, tribulation and persecution! “Like a lamb led to slaughter”. 
  • Bravely and fearlessly does what is right at any cost!  

A New Premise and Reality

Oh how wonderful to have received the mind of Christ!! “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17).

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38) 

Paul received the mind of Christ: “But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor 6:4-10).