SUNDAY MESSAGE | 10/12/2017 | Pr. Jason Verghese Joy
Scripture portion: Hebrews 8: 8-12.
For this the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
This is about the New Covenant, which God himself will make and also what He will do. But there was an Old Covenant (v:9) which was given through Moses and said, “if you keep the laws, I will be your GOD”. But the people of Israel did not continue according to the laws.
And God gave the New Covenant. God precisely said what He will do — He will put His laws into their minds and write them on their hearts.
How does one enter into this New Covenant?
When a person believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins and receives Jesus into their hearts and confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord; then they will become part of the New Covenant.
- Mind of Christ is received and developed in us by the working of the Holy Spirit.
When a person gets saved, the Holy Spirit will come and dwells in him and He will begin to teach him the things of God. And He is the one who will write God’s laws in their hearts.From the least to the greatest… everyone who becomes the child of God; Who becomes part of the New Covenant.Hebrews 8: 11This is one of the greatest things that God gifts a believer with — the inner voice of the Holy Spirit.
As we read in Ephesians 2:1-7, before becoming the part of the New Covenant, we were influenced by the spirit of this world, which is the prince of the power of the air. This spirit was at work in the sons of disobedience. We were by nature the children of wrath. There is no neutral ground. We are either controlled by this spirit of the prince of the air or by the Holy Spirit.
This portion talks about the grace and mercy of God, which is the pillar of the New Covenant by which we who were dead became alive with Him and have become His workmanship.
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
This is the gift of God for the believers of the New Covenant. God has prepared things for His people, which no eyes have seen and no ears have heard or not even conceived in the hearts of men. But it can be known by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. It does not matter how much ever a person is wise, greatly learnt, or has acquired good knowledge, if he is not a part of the New Covenant and does not have the Holy Spirit inside of him, he cannot comprehend the things of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (v19). I can do nothing on My own (v30).
John 5:19, 30
Here, Jesus shows us how our lives should be so connected to God with complete surrender that we will clearly know the heart and the mind of the Lord. It is possible to walk like Jesus. We need not continue to walk in our old ways.
- How to grow in the Mind of Christ?
It is through the revelation of God’s Word that we can grow in the mind of Christ. Written Word of God is powerful and it is the Truth. We know how God Himself testifies about David that he is the man after His own very heart. How did he become so? He greatly loved the Word of God (Psalms 119:97-99).
- Having the Mind of Christ is a platform for the greater works of God as led by the Holy Spirit.
If we look at Paul’s life in the New Testament, we can see that he had the mind of Christ. He did great things for God. Similarly, in the Old Testament, we see the life of Abraham who knew the heart of God. He was ready to sacrifice his only son when God commanded him to do so. And it the same we see in the life of Jesus.
- Mind of Christ helps us to challenge the status quo.
When the Jews brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, the established law states that she should be stoned to death. But Jesus, even in that situation, knew the heart of God and responded in a different way so that everyone was silenced. He demonstrated the loving kindness of Father God.On another instance, when the woman with the alabaster box came to Jesus to anoint His feet and broke the costly perfume jar, everyone around her turned quizzical as to why waste so much money on a perfume when it could be given to the poor instead. But Jesus responded in a different way because He had the heart and mind of the Father.
- Mind of Christ helps to differentiate between the permissive and the beneficial behaviours.
After forty days of fasting, Jesus was hungry and was tempted by the devil to change the stone to bread just to satisfy His hunger, but Jesus did not do so. Holy Spirit inside of us will tell us, “this is not wrong, but it does not edify”. It is our choice to listen to Him.
- Renewing of Our Mind is not automatic, it is our choice.
Choice has to be made from our side to renew our minds. Whatever is true… think about these things (Philippians 4:8,9). For to set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6). It is not automatic. It is a daily conscious effort from our side to set our mind on things above. Otherwise it is possible to set the mind on flesh too, which is not the will of God for us. What a great privilege it is for us to have the Mind of Christ!
- There is life and peace for those who set their mind on God.
You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3). It is not automatic. Holy Spirit is our best teacher. He is gentle, like a dove; it is we who have to tune into His wavelength to listen and learn from Him. Like what David says in Psalms 131,
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Won’t you quieten yourself to hear the voice of God?