by Roel Velema
“’For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But WE HAVE the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).
Paul is a master in bringing up the shadows of the Old Testament and apply them to the blessings of the New Covenant. Here the apostle quotes Isaiah 40:13:
“Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him His counsel?”
Comparing these two passages, we see that understanding the mind (of the Lord) is equal to measuring the Spirit (of the Lord). This ‘measuring’ (ESV) is a directing (KJV) or fathoming (NIV).
Paul continues that we have this mind as a blessing of the New Covenant. We are Christ as us, so we have His mind. His mind directs us and brings up the depths of God through the Spirit. And the Spirit has a sevenfold characteristic as seen in Isaiah 11:1,2:
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.”
Paul added to that:
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
All this characteristics are now ours, through which He makes known His unfathomable will. The word ‘mind’ in 1 Cor. 2:16 is the translation of the word ‘nous’ in the Greek text. It also means ‘disposition’, ‘insight’, ‘understanding’ and ‘thinking ability’.
The mind of Christ is the disposition of Christ, while, on the other hand, there is the disposition (‘nous’) of the flesh (Col. 2:18).
Paul also speaks about being “fully persuaded in one’s own mind” (Rom. 14:5), which points to awareness or consciousness. God is Spirit, and Spirit is consciousness. God is consciousness personified, and He is spiritual awareness. In fact, where the Spirit shows His mind as “I AM”, there is consciousness and liberty as “I am”. The ultimate end is a consciousness, a fixed unchangeable relationship in experience of God and me as one person. Until all is Spirit, there will be the psychological urge to change myself, polish away our fleshly differences and compare ourselves with others. Having the mind of Christ, we simply live from the inner conviction that we are the will of God. Faith means that we live out of Christ-consciousness rather than a consciousness of effect, of our weal and woe, of sin or lack. And so we move in the mind of Christ, not knowing anything of ourselves, but only speaking according to the sevenfold Spirit.
Paul once served with his mind (‘nous’) the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin (Rom 7:25). His thinking ability focused him on the law of God, while “the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). So we set our mind on the Spirit and so by faith become conscious of the mind of the Spirit.
Paul surely likes Isaiah 40:13, because he quotes it also in Romans 11:34:
“For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33-36).
Yes, we have the ‘nous’ of Christ, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! In the millennium the overcomers will have the mind of Christ in particular as the hidden manna to feed others from their inner depths in Christ (Rev. 2:17)!