Your Mindset Determines Everything

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). A Christian is to be spiritually minded which means their mindset is what it ought to be! Paul again states this concerning our mindset, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus”(Phil. 2:5). Christ had the proper mindset! In Colossians 3:2 Paul says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” In order to set my mind, I must have the proper mindset and this simply means that I’m keeping God, people, and things of this world in their proper place in my mind!

Why Is This So Important?

In the Bible the words “heart” and “mind” are often used interchangeably and involve a person’s intellect, volition, and emotions — it’s much more than just our physical muscle known as the heart. Jesus stressed the importance of having our hearts (minds, intellects, emotions) in the proper place (Matt. 6:21). So according to Jesus, where my mindset is will determine where my treasure is which will in turn affect the way I live in this world. Paul stated the same thing when he told us to set our affections on things above! Paul was in essence reminding the Colossians and all who read his letter today that one’s mindset must be in the right place.

This Answers Many Questions

1. Why is it folks will dress up when going to parties, or funerals, or weddings and yet give little regard to their appearance when coming to church? THEIR MINDSET! They have unknowingly placed parties, funerals, and weddings on a higher level in their minds than they have given to almighty God!

2. Why is that children are taught to say, “Yes sir” and “No sir” and “Yes ma’am” and “No ma’am” to their elders and yet speak of God in terms of “you,” “the man upstairs,” or “him”? THEIR MINDSET! They have placed giving respect and honor to men of this world on a higher level in their minds than they have given to almighty God!

3. Why is it folks can’t make it to service but one time a week and yet they can attend a ball game and sit and watch a double header, or not miss one single meeting at school or work or even in some cases attend these functions sick? THEIR MINDSET! They have given things of this world a higher position of importance than they have given to almighty God!

4. Why is it that folks respect the laws of this land; readily accepting their responsibility to obey them, yet try to disprove the law of God and show little regard for God’s authority today? THEIR MINDSET! They have brought God down to man’s level and in their minds they no longer respect and honor and give God the important position that he deserves!

Where Is Your Mindset?

One’s mindset determines how he dresses, how he speaks, how he lives day to day, and, more importantly, where God stands in relationship to himself. For you see until I have placed God first and foremost in my mind as being the awesome supreme being that he truly is my respect and regard for what his will is will not be what it ought to be! In other words it could be said that my mindset is not right.

Can it be said that you are spiritually minded? Has your thinking become like your Savior’s? If the answer is yes then that means your affections are on things above and others will notice this because your dress, your speech, your very attitude towards God’s holy word will reflect these very things.

Where Is Your Mindset Today?

Get it right,
Put it right,
And keep it right!
Your mindset determines everything!

Truth Magazine Vol. XLIV: 20 p23 October 17, 2000 (Adapted)

Ignorance Is Not Bliss!

Is there really a blessing in not knowing? Are we better off to “tend to our own affairs” and pass through life blissfully unaware of facts and obligations that might “bother us”? Many have this selfish attitude, and some even offer scriptural “proof” (It is nice to know just enough to know one does not have to know).

Jesus’ Teaching

Let us look at Jesus’ teaching regarding ignorance. Jesus once told the Pharisees, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains” (John 9:39-41). The lesson is related to the healing of a man born blind, who had never had the capacity of sight. One mentally incapable of knowing would not be accountable, so, would have no sin.

But when Jesus said (vs. 39), “I am come into this world that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind;” he referred to (1) meek and humble people who had never had the opportunity to perceive truth (Matthew 11:25), whose eyes would now be opened; and (2) those like the Pharisees, who had the opportunity, but who refused to see. A haughty and self-righteous attitude (John 9:24-29,34) compounded their sin and blinded them to truth.

Luke 12:48 reads, “but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.” This is the portion of the parable regarding slaves and masters when being “cut to pieces” (vs. 46) and “receive many lashes” (vs. 47) were practiced. The purpose of the parable is clearly stated in vs. 48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” or, accountability goes hand in hand with opportunity (cf. Matthew 25:14-30).

The slave who failed his master was not free of guilt. He was “worthy of stripes” (Luke 12:48). As God’s creatures, pilgrims through this life, we have obligations to our Maker and fellow-travelers — to know and accept our fair responsibilities. In a real sense, the parable teaches that one who fails to use opportunities to learn truth and obey, is worthy of “many stripes” (Luke 12:47).

Paul’s Ignorance

Paul was “shown mercy,” because he “acted ignorantly in unbelief.” But 1 Timothy 1:13-15 does not equate ignorance with justification.

In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul says he was “chief” of sinners. He just says his was no presumptuous or highhanded sin (cf. Numbers 15:27-31). His railing and persecuting was done in good conscience (Acts 23:1) in keeping with what he “thought” to be right (Acts 26:9). The mercy he obtained is available to us in the person of Christ, who died for those who will do what Paul did when he learned the truth (Acts 22:16).

Writings Of Peter

Peter writes of those who allow it to “escapes their notice” of God’s power and judgement (2 Peter 3:5). He admonishes, “do not let this one fact escape your notice” (2 Peter 3:8) for though God is long-suffering, we must all stand before His throne (2 Corinthians 5:10). Beware presumptuous ignorance! (Psalm 19:13).

Conclusion:

Finally, “if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized” (1 Corinthians 14:38) is an admonition to cease to cast pearls before one who obstinately rejects the unified revelation of God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:37; Gal. 1:12; Ephesians 3:3). “Let them alone” (Matthew 15:14). There will be no way to “ignore” eternal condemnation (cf. Revelation 6:12-17).

Brethren and friends, ignorance is not bliss!

Some Things Never Change

Nostalgia is based upon memories that bring to mind things of the past that are dear to us. We may not recall with accuracy all of the details, but we find joy in moments of yesterday that take us back to home and hearth. We might even change a few scenarios to fit our idealism and secret wishes for a better ending than the one that really transpired. However, there are some things that never change, things unchanging and unchangeable, and we need to be grateful for that. Such things include, God’s gracious love; the high cost of sin; the hope of heaven; and the integrity of the Bible. These points show the balance, challenge and heart of Christianity in the battles of life as we strive to maintain purity and contentment while in a carnal world of shameful licentiousness.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,” (Titus 2:11). Sadly, though, many fail to respond properly to such majestic mercy and infinite live. Some just will not come to the fount of blessing and redemption for cleansing and peace. Nevertheless, Rom. 10:21 informs us that God still extends outstretched arms to grant shelter to those wise enough to seek His provision.

“There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.”

Sin cannot molest and constant rest from worldly cares does await those who lean upon the everlasting arms of our Creator. We need to change our ways in order to be blessed by God who never changes. The wages of sin has never changed either. Sin and death – separation from the Lord – have always sorrowfully gone hand in hand (Rom. 6:23). Only the power of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary could triumph over Satan’s hold on the human race (Mk. 3:27). What happened that day at Golgotha can never be changed. Hope for humanity echoes down through time in a message of unchanging beauty and glory. Sin is very persistent, powerful, popular, pitiful and personal. But Christ paid an enormous price to make it possible for us to persevere in righteousness. Paul expressed our gratitude best, I believe, in 2 Cor.9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” Our tears of gladness for such monumental grace should flow freely as we partake of the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week in memory of our Savior’s death.
Scripture does not change. We shall be judged by the word of God (Jn. 12:48). The Bible cannot be broken by the changeable whims of men (Jn. 10:35). God said long ago, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isa 55:11). We do not need a new or updated message for modern times. The old Gospel, preached first on Pentecost in Jerusalem long ago, is to last until the end of the world (Matt. 28:20; Jude 3). We need to leave the ancient landmarks alone (Hos. 5:10). The integrity of the Bible and the hope of heaven belong together: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away…on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” (Matt. 24:35; Rom. 2:16). Let us never forget that Christ is our refuge (Heb. 6:18). Therefore, let us seek to please Him in unchanging loyalty, at all times and in every way.

The Grace Of God

The usual definition for grace, “unmerited favor,” is not broad enough in its scope to fully defirne all that is meant by the term (see Luke 2:40; Col. 4:6). W. E. Vine defines it as, “That which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard;…on the part of the bestower, the friendly disposition from which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, lovingkindness, goodwill generally…especially with reference to the Divine favour or grace, e.g., Acts 14:26…” (Expository Dict. Of New Testament Words, pp. 509–510).

As seen in the Bible, grace, in respect to salvation, is a summary of all God has done to effect the salvation of man. It includes all of His acts which show favor to undeserving mankind. But God’s grace is more than mere passive pity. It expresses itself in real, concrete acts of love (Rom. 5:8).
Considering several New Testament passages makes it easy to see how His grace runs through all God has done for man’s salvation. By grace He sacrificed His Son (Heb. 5:8–9). By grace He revealed His plan of salvation (1 Cor. 2:9–12; Gal. 1:11–12; Eph. 3:1–5). It is by grace that God raises sinners to a new life in Christ (Eph. 2:4–7; cf. Rom. 6:4–5). By His grace, God commissioned His Son to build the church (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28).

While grace includes all God has done to bring about the salvation of man, it excludes salvation by meritorious works (Rom. 4:4; 11:6). Salvation by works of this nature would demand a life of perfect obedience to divine law — it would be of debt. Salvation by grace, on the other hand, bridges the gap between our imperfection and God’s perfect law by means of pardon and forgiveness (1 John 2:1).

The presence and reality of sin is what makes the grace of God necessary. Since all have sinned (Rom. 3:10, 23), all, therefore, are under the sentence of death, the penalty for or the wages of sin (Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 21:8).

God, in His matchless love, provided His Son to die in man’s place (1 Pet. 1:18–19). While the grace of God is demonstrated in many ways, none is greater than its manifestation in His Son (Rom. 3:23–24). Since man has sinned, he deserves the punishment of the second death in hell and no works he could do would earn or merit his salvation from it. Therefore, salvation is that which is given by the grace of God, a favor man has not merited. Hence, salvation is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8–9).

Some have erroneously concluded from Romans 6:14–15 that we are “not under law but under grace” and that law and grace are mutually exclusive. However, the fact we are under grace does not mean we are not subject to law and that it is not essential for us to keep divine law.

We are subject to law from God. The teaching of Christ is called “law” (1 Cor. 9:21; 1 John 3:4; Isa. 2:1–3). We are required to obey that law (1 John 3:4; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; John 4:24; 1 Pet. 4:11). Whenever God has spoken to man or given a law, He has expected strict obedience and the utmost respect for His word (Deut. 4:2; Lev. 10:1–2; Rev. 22:18–19).

Grace does not mean we are not subject to law, rather, it means that we have a means of forgiveness when we violate that law, if we meet the divine conditions. The teaching of the apostle Paul in Romans 6:14–15 is that we are not under a system of mere law without grace as a means of justification. Depending on mere law would require perfect law-keeping for justification. Such would make one a legalist. Our justification is by grace through faith.

Though salvation is by grace (Eph. 2:8), it is not by grace alone. Some teach otherwise: “We believe the scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace” (Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, ch. 8, art. 4). Actually, one is saved by nothing alone. The many factors of salvation include: faith (Rom. 5:1); repentance (Acts 11:18); blood (Rom. 5:9–10); works (Jas. 2:24); baptism (1 Pet. 3:21); the gospel (Rom. 1:16); confession (1 John 4:2); and grace (Eph. 2:8–9).

Salvation by grace is through the teaching of the gospel, God’s “power unto salvation” (Rom.1:16). It is called “the word of His grace” (Acts 14:3) and “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). It is by the gospel that the kindness of God redeems man and provides him all spiritual blessings. The word is the medium of His grace (Titus 2:11–12). The word of His grace is able to build up and strengthen the Christian so that he might grow in Christ, grow unto salvation (Acts 20:32; 1 Pet. 2:1–2).

But God’s grace is conditional. It is conditioned upon obedient faith made perfect by works (Eph. 2:8–9; Rom. 5:1–2; Jas. 2:17–26; Matt. 7:21). The obedient works upon which salvation is conditioned do not nullify grace for they do not earn salvation. The examples of Naaman (2 Kings 5) and the blind man (John 9:6–7) show that these gifts were given by grace but conditions had to be met to receive them.