A Priceless Mind

A Priceless Mind
Robert Wurtz II

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

It is sobering to think that Paul penned these words from an ancient jail cell. Understand that jail in the first century was far removed from modern times. In fact, the jail Paul wrote from would likely not have passed muster with the Geneva Convention. We treat animals better than Paul was treated. The cruelty and torture Paul experienced during his ministry is legendary. In an age where even the most vile criminal has rights; Paul  endured treatment more in step with a WWII POW camp. It is from this context that he offered us precious insight into the state of mind necessary to think rightly about ourselves and our life situations. 

It is one thing to be humbled; it is quite another thing to humble  ourselves. The one is forced upon a person; the other is done willingly and deliberately. No man humbled Jesus Christ; He humbled Himself. Paul is able to   contrast this fact with the situation he was in. Someone else chose Paul’s humiliating circumstances; Jesus chose to humble  Himself on His own terms. He condescended to man’s estate — from King of kings to Servant of servants. That is a mighty deep step. This is our example. 

At some point in the eternal past, many of the angels began following the Creation’s first politician. Indeed, Satan had unparalleled ambition. That’s where most men and women get theirs from. He wanted to ascend into Heaven and ascend to the throne. He wanted to be “like” the Most High  God. He had it all planned out. He was going to be like God. Really? Obviously, certain of the Angels, affected by his contagious, sin-diseased mind, had some serious misconceptions about God. Satan wanted the power and the glory, but not the mentality. Perhaps this is one of the reasons God has been using the Church to teach Principalities and Powers the manifold wisdom of God. They don’t know God like they need to. Heaven doesn’t provide the setting for God to demonstrate who He really is — but earth, with all of its fallen ness and suffering, is the perfect place. Indeed, it was the stage for the ages; not to perform as some play actor — but to put on a demonstration of godliness that will last for all times. 

God said, “Let us make man in our own image and likeness.” Satan knew God’s plan. He apparently thought that if he could change the image of man, he was changing the image of God. He was trying to redefine God, exactly like he planned. This hijacking of the image of God in man has been one of the primary works of the Devil. In fact, for thousands of years, he influenced man to make gods in his own image. That is to say,    after his own lusts. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ came to correct the image of man so it would once again reflect the image of God. Amen. 



When I read of Christ’s mentality in Philippians 2:5-8, I think to myself, God could safely hand the reigns of the universe over to such a person and never fear tyranny. Moses was a type of Jesus Christ. It was said of him that he was the meekest man on earth. A meek person will never abuse their authority, power, or ability. That is what separates them from everyone else. A meek leader will not view their powers as “a thing to be grasped.” That is, to grasp after and clinch once they have acquired it. Many men and women have abused their powers over the centuries. This is one of the greatest evidence’s of the mind of Satan being in men. When they get power, they abuse it. In fact, give a man or woman power and authority, and you will find out who they really are. 

The Devil’s Fear

If the Devil could have nightmares, they would involve armies of humans with lowliness of mind. Why? Because humility is one attribute that God will always respond to. In fact, God pours resources without number (grace), on people who serve the Lord and could not care less   if they were ever seen or noticed. People who have a right estimate of themselves are a battle ax against evil principalities and powers in the hand of God. Not false humility, but the mind of Christ manifest in the minds of men. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. This is not automatic; it  is something we must deliberately do — as surely as Jesus deliberately emptied Himself; put on robes of human flesh; and served with a towel draped around about, we must be also humble   ourselves. 

Paul stated on two occasions in his epistles (Ephesians 4:2, Philippians 2:3), that we are to walk in lowliness of mind. Trench says of this word (tapeinophrosune): “The Christian lowliness is no mere modesty or absence of pretension, nor yet a self-made grace. The making of ourselves small is pride in the disguise of humility. But the esteeming of ourselves small, inasmuch as we really are so, the thinking truly, and because truly, therefore, lowlily of ourselves.” In other words, we are small, so we need to recognize that fact. All things considered, we are nothing in ourselves. We can’t even stand or walk without grace. That’s not a figure of speech or a cliché; it is reality. 

It has been said that pride is the only sin of which the Devil will not make us feel guilty. This is very challenging. Another place the Greek word for lowliness was used is found in an early secular manuscript of the Nile River at its low stage, “It runs low.“ This is a powerful picture. Our estimate of ourselves needs to “run low” and realize that if we are anything at all it is the consequence of rain from Heaven. Expositors defines the word, “The lowliness of mind, which springs from a true estimate of ourselves — a deep sense of our own moral smallness, and demerit.” (quoted in Weust)     We are to have the mind of Christ in the genuine article as the antidote for pride. 

The Devil is still at work in the 21st century to corrupt the image of God in man. He even works to corrupt the saints. Nevertheless, Paul has written to us by the Spirit to have the mind of Christ. Many are deluded into thinking that God will be pleased with us in the same way the world exalts its heroes. Nothing could be farther than the truth. The world promotes attitudes and dispositions that God detests. Perhaps we could close this entry with the words of Peter — that though written specifically to women, apply to men as well in this regard.  

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:4). 



Carcinogenic Christianity

Carcinogenic Christianity
Robert Wurtz II

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Eph 4:15-16 ESV)

Ephesians is basically broken down into two halves: chapters 1-3 are doctrinal and chapters 4-6 are exhortation. In short, God says in chapters 1-3, “I have made you a saint.” In chapters 4-6, He says, “Now, live a saintly life.” (Weust) This is why we have the use of “therefore” in Chapter 4:1 and in Romans 12:1. Paul builds his case and then calls us to action. 

When Paul was leaving Ephesus for the last time, he warned the elders emphatically and with tears that grievous wolves would come into the church not sparing the flock. He told them that among those present, some would seek to draw disciples after themselves. This was not the first time he issued such a warning. For years He lamented the destructive power of such behavior- in so much that he had here-to-for spoke these things night and day to them. When writing to the Ephesians years later, he offered precious instruction on how to prevent this type of destruction. To explain it he employed the metaphor of a human body.

Building Up Itself

I find it interesting that in modern times we have a great understanding of the things Paul spoke of. Paul would have had no such knowledge; but the Holy Spirit, who inspired these writings certainly did. As technology has increased so have the dangers Paul spoke of. His metaphor has only sharpened with time. Understand that when a body functions normally, it grows and repairs itself automatically. Cells die and are replaced, while other cells multiply to effect proper growth. However, we need to ask, what happens when a cell begins to grow and divide uncontrollably? We usually call that a tumor. What happens when that abnormal division begins to spread around effecting other parts of the body? We usually call that cancer. Paul’s body metaphor comes into view. He expounds on the importance of the whole body being under the Head (Christ) and that every joint or part must work properly for the Body to grow in love. His concern was that individuals would break off from the Head- doing their own thing becoming what we might call a “tumor” or a “cancer” to the rest of the Body.

The Carcinogen of Pride

Any time there is a platform for men and women to express their pride and ambition there is great danger. We see it in all walks of life. The churches of God are not immune to such things. Pride and ambition are like cancer causing agents in the Body of Christ. When left unchecked, people who are motivated by these realities will multiply themselves (as it were) simulating legitimate growth. We must understand that not all growth is created equal. Not all growth is healthy to the Body. A “following” is not the same thing as a ministry. Many in these last days are taking to themselves the title of minister, but are not truly under the Head (Christ). The result is the exact thing Paul warned Ephesus about:

 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
(Act 20:29-30 KJV)


False Growth

In the early days of Television Ministry, the National Religious Broadcasters held seminars to prepare TV ministers for “celebrity status.” Since that time almost all forms of ministry have been directly effected by a form of Christianity, as defined by Television. The brightest and best have been pushed to the front until Christendom is largely an expression of Paul’s great fear in Acts 20. It has gone unchallenged to the point of normalcy. In fact, many ministers have nearly reached demigod status. They are untouchable. The Christian landscape is now filled with ministries, under the names of men and women, with all of their respective alliances. A form of Christianity has emerged that is very different from the book of Acts. Multitudes have embraced the very thing Paul warned about. 

Christ’s Vision of the Church

Thousands of ministers have a “vision” for their ministry, but Christ has one vision for His Church. In His Church the Saints are endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3). Why? because in the mind of God there is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph 4:-6) To Christ, everyone is vitally important and functional in a real sense. There are no superstars. There are no “American idols.” As the cliche goes, there are no big “I’s” and little “U’s” (you’s). The worldly scourge of such mindsets are non-existent. What did Paul say to the Philippians?

 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (Php 2:5-16)

Lowliness of Mind

It has been said that one of the greatest tests of our spirituality is whether or not we can esteem others better than ourselves. A Christian with a lowly mind is the enemies worst nightmare. A person serving the Lord who could care less if they were ever seen or noticed is a mighty weapon in the hand of God. Paul stated on two occasions in his epistles (Eph 4:2, Php 2:3), that we are to walk in lowliness of mind. “Trench says of this word: “The Christian lowliness is no mere modesty or absence of pretension, nor yet a self-made grace. The making of ourselves small is pride in the disguise of humility. But the esteeming of ourselves small, inasmuch as we are so, the thinking truly, and because truly, therefore, lowlily of ourselves.” The word is used in an early secular manuscript of the Nile River at its low stage, “It runs low.” Expositors defines it: “the lowliness of mind which springs from a true estimate of ourselves – a deep sense of our own moral smallness and demerit.”” (quoted in Weust) We are to have the mind of Christ in the genuine article as the antidote for the spiritual “carcinogens” of this world that lead to “cancers” that sicken and drain the Body of its vitality. 

We have to make a conscious decision to be in God’s will for our lives and not allow selfish ambition to become destructive to the Body of Christ. The world likes to manufacture idols of people. If we fall into that trap we endanger not only ourselves but they that we would seek to lead. We imperil the churches and provide for the enemy a beachhead from which he can invade the Body.   

 

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