The Great Inheritance Series - Righteousness Consciousness
1 Corinthians 2:16 teaches us that we have the mind of Christ.
Colossians 3:2 teaches us to set our minds on things above. And Philippians 4:8 gives us a list of things to think on. It teaches us to think on whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, to think about these things.
Our world today is filled with all kinds of things contrary to this list from Philippians 4:8. We are living in a world filled with lies, injustice and impurity. Things that are neither excellent nor praise worthy are all around us. It would appear almost impossible to have a mind set on things above in our present world. An excellent mind seems out of reach.
The contrast to having the mind of Christ is a carnal mind, fleshy mind or a sin conscious mind.
Roman 8 refers to two kinds of minds, one governed by the flesh and one governed by the Spirit.
It says that the mind governed by the flesh is death, it is hostile to God, it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. There is no life or peace and it cannot please God.
The carnal mind
Naturally, a mind governed by the flesh struggles to maintain a higher thought life, it is not set on things above. It is highly critical, judgemental, angry, argumentative, divisive, loves to complain, compare and gossip and other such fleshy things.
Romans 8:7 calls the carnal mind enmity against God.
This is the pre-Christ mental state. The unrenewed mind.
In the book of 1 Corinthians 3:3 we find Paul’s admonishment of these brothers and sisters in the church at Corinth and he says to them –
“ And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? One version says mere humans, the KJV says “ye walk as men”
We can see here distinctively the carnal mind, and the fruit for death produced by it.
The mind governed by the flesh that Romans 8 called enmity against God.
He goes on to correct them about picking fights and silly quarrels over leaders.. One says I follow Paul and the other Apollos.. Paul says this is carnality!
Isn’t this our world today! We see someone doing things differently from what we are used to and suddenly we start to build these us and them walls of division, comparing and even condemning forgetting that we are one body and God will use whom he chooses how he chooses.
Paul refers to this group as infants, babes in Christ. Their carnality expresses that.
He says because of this, he fed them with milk and not with solid food.
He takes it further in Hebrew 5:11-13, and says though some ought to be teachers by now they need someone to teach them the foundations, the basics, the elementary truths all over again. He says they have become dull of hearing and again makes this reference to milk and solid food in a verse which opens us to what maturity is.
“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." - Hebrews 5:13-15
Not only is a babe carnal, but they are unskilful in the word of righteousness.
They are immature and not able to judge between good and evil. From this verse, it appears that if we desire to be taken forward, we need to be finding out what this “word of righteousness” is.. this benchmark condition of the mature believer... and become skilful in it.
In 1 Corinthians 3:15, Paul says that he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. The spiritual man is unlike the mere man or mere human. He has the mind of Christ, a mind governed by the Spirit.
This is the mind we are talking about here today.
Righteousness consciousness is a mind stayed on God, what God desires and God’s ways. In Isaiah 26:3, God promises to keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on him.
In episode 11 on the SE Podcast, we talked about the great blessing of Justification – we read Romans 5:1 which says, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The righteousness conscious mind lives in the continual awareness of Jesus finished work at the cross. When we understand that we have been made righteous because of what Jesus has done, that God looks at us as justified, acquitted, not guilty, and he is not counting our sins against us – it produces a mind at rest. It sets us apart to live victoriously and fulfil our destiny. We can approach God with boldness and confidence not because of what we have done but a consciousness that we have been made righteous because of what Jesus has done.
Where there is no fear of punishment, we are then able to fully embrace God’s love for us.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." - 1 John 4:18
A clear conscious
One of the plagues or torments of our world is a guilty conscious or an evil conscious mind. This is a mental condition produced as a result of sin. The world may offer remedy through various techniques and therapies but there is only one path to deliverance of the conscious and that is by blood of Jesus.
The book of Hebrews teaches us that, under the old covenant, that gifts and sacrifices offered were not able to clear the conscious of the worshiper until Jesus came.
In speaking about the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 9:13-15 makes this comparison, it says - For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
One of the blessings we have gained in righteousness consciousness through Christ is our ability to produce fruit for God. To be like God in righteousness and Holiness. That is doing what is right in accordance with what pleases God and his will for our lives. To serve God in a new and living way in the advancement of His kingdom.
This is the mind of the born-again believer, the new creation, the spiritual man. One who walks after the spirit and not after the flesh. It is the productive mind governed by the Spirit of God.
May we keep our minds stayed on things above. Be blessed.
1 Corinthians 2:16
1 Corinthians 3
1 John 4:18