Wisdom Wednesday: The Believer’s Wisdom and the Mind of Christ

Wisdom Wednesday: The Believer’s Wisdom and the Mind of Christ

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad

The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (NIV, I Cor 2:15–16)


In the second chapter of the letter to the church at Corinth, Paul cites Isaiah 40:13, where Isaiah asks, ”Who has known the Mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him?”

Isaiah’s Challenges

In chapter 40 of Isaiah’s prophecy, Isaiah spoke of the future coming of the Lord—“Clear the way!” … “the glory of the Lord will be revealed!” … “Here is your God!” (See verses 3-11). Then Isaiah extolls the “Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (v. 27). In the remaining 19 verses of the chapter, he asks a series of challenging questions that invoke the greatness of God:

  • Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, (v.12)
  • Who has marked off the heavens by the span, (v.12)
  • Who has calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, (v.12)
  • Who has weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? (v.12)
  • Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, (v.13)
  • Who, as His counselor, has informed Him? (v.13)
  • With whom did He consult, and who gave Him understanding? (v.14)
  • And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, And informed Him of the way of understanding? (v.14)
  • To whom then will you liken God? (v. 18)

In verse 22, Isaiah answers his own questions – it is He (God) who, “…sits above the circle of the earth”… and, “stretches out the heavens like a curtain”… and, “reduces rulers to nothing…” (vv.22-23)

We focus on verse 13, where the Septuagint translation is “Who has known the mind of the Lord? and who has been his counsellor, to instruct him?” (Brenton’s Septuagint Translation) and this is the phrasing that Paul uses in his citation in I Cor. 2:16). Paul follows this with the amazing claim that “But we have the mind of Christ.”

Having the Mind of Christ

After citing Isaiah, Paul tells the believers that they have the mind of Christ – But what does this mean to have the “mind of Christ”?

The word Paul uses is the Greek “nous,” meaning the operations we think of for the mind: understanding, reason, and comprehension. This means we have the ability to think like Christ. Paul has more to say about this mind of Christ throughout his epistles:

  • In Romans 11:34, Paul cites Isaiah 40:13 again, extolling the depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge, and then four verses later (Romans 12:2), he counseled believers to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We are “transformed” (this is a passive Greek verb) as God’s spirit changes our thinking to think like Christ.
  • In Philippians 2:5–11, Paul exhorted, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (KJV). Paul used a different Greek word here, phroneō (to have understanding, to think), but emphasizing the same concept of having the mind of Christ. The passage describes the way Christ thought:
    • Though God’s son, he humbled himself,
    • Taking the form of a servant in the likeness of a man
    • even to the point of death
  • And as we think like Christ, we are transformed into his likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18); in this way, we become “… imitators of God”. (Eph. 5:1)

Can it be that believers can think like Jesus Christ? Indeed, we can! This is the wisdom of God – to think and have the attitude of selfless servitude of our Savior, speaking the truth of the Gospel.




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