Conformed to the Redeemer

By Francis Frangipane

As Christians, we spend too much time battling basic, elementary battles: "Am I truly saved?" "Am I really forgiven?" "Is there really a heaven?" God has so much more for us. He seeks to form in our thought-life the very mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit comes, not just to give us goose bumps and chills, but to restructure our attitudes and perceptions until we think with the thoughts of Jesus Himself.

Paul wrote, "My little children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you." Our goal is not merely to be saved and go to heaven, but for Christ to be formed in us on earth. We are not just to have a religion about what Jesus did; we are to possess the very life substance of the Messiah Himself. Yes, it means we indeed will go to heaven; but it is more: Christ now comes again to earth and, through our yieldedness to Him, is given flesh and blood access to this world. Yes, we face conflicts, but it's to bring forth Christ within us; indeed, we face persecution, but it's only so Christ will shine.

"For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor 4:11).

What does it mean to have the mind of Christ or that the "life of Jesus . . . may be manifested in our mortal flesh"? Does that mean we walk on the water or do great signs? Miracles are indeed part, but just a footnote on the page of His life. There is something to attain that is higher than performing miracles: Christ's mind is the thought-life of God. It is to possess the motives of heaven in unfailing pursuit of redemption.

Our fleshly motives instinctively alternate between self-preservation and self-gratification; Jesus' motives are passions born of loving self-surrender and the obsession to gratify the mercy quest of God. To acquire the mind of Christ is to learn to think, not as a prosecutor searches to find the guilty, but from a Savior's view to redeem the fallen.

We cannot bring our carnal, judgmental minds into Christianity and expect to succeed in becoming Christlike. To become like Him is to be conformed to the One Who ever lives to make intercession for the saints. To have the mind of Christ is to have the mind of Him who died to redeem the world.

It is a great offense to God when Christians become judgmental. Judgmentalism is the antithesis of the nature of Christ. Thus, Paul tells the church, "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself" (Phil 2:5-8).

Don't sell your salvation short: You can have the mind of the Messiah. Jesus saw the world in its sin and then died for it. Right now, you can begin to actually think like Jesus thought! If you accept that you do not have to live trapped in your carnal thoughts, but can think the redemptive thoughts of God, your whole life will change. But we must choose the mind of Christ and pursue the attitude of our Redeemer.