‘For “Who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).’
‘If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1).’
“What do you set your heart on?” and, “With what do you fill your mind?”
The answer to these questions will reveal who you are. They will reveal your identity – the essential you: the things that contribute to making you an individual, just as your fingerprint is uniquely yours.
A Christian’s Focus is on Jesus
A Christian sets his heart on pleasing Jesus (Hebrews 13:21), and to this end he learns all He can about the One he follows (John 10:27). His focus at all times is on His Lord and Master. He looks to Him for everything – for He is his Provider (Genesis 22:14) who supplies all his needs (Philippians 4:19).
A Christian passionately loves Jesus (John 14:21) and he has great joy in serving Him (John 12:26). He is motivated to study the Bible, to pray, and to live a life of obedience to Him (John 14:15, 23). He willingly takes up his cross and follows Him (Mark 10:38).
Christ is loving (1 John 3:16), merciful (Ephesians 2:4), kind and gentle (Matthew 11:29). He cares for His sheep (John 10:15). His followers (John 12:26) seek to imbibe these same characteristics. They want to be like Him – caring and loving. You might think this is a big ask, but God equips His saints with His indwelling Spirit (Luke 11:13; John 6:63). They can do all things in His strength (Philippians 4:13), and nothing is too difficult for the Him (Luke 1:37).
A Disciple of Christ Studies God’s Word
For a Christian the study of the God’s Word is paramount (Joshua 1:8). Reading the Bible and trying to understand it is of utmost importance, but this is best done in conjunction with prayer. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit it is impossible to grasp what it is all about (1 Corinthians 2:14). Head knowledge of the Scriptures alone is of no effect, but when the hearer of the Word is convicted (John 16:8) by the Holy Spirit of its truth, the gospel becomes ‘the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).’
The Bible is the prime source to which Christians go for seeking God’s wisdom (Romans 11:33; James 1:5) and for knowing His will. It is God’s rule book that spells out how believers should conduct their lives. The knowledge and wisdom gained from God’s Word must be put to practical use (James 1:22). Christians will want to respond to its imperatives, particularly the command to love God with all their heart, and to love their neighbours as themselves (Mark 12:29-31).
A Christian Worships with other Believers
Although a Christian is a unique individual, he is also a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27), which is His church (V. 28); therefore he fellowships and worships God with other believers who are to him, brothers (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:6) and sisters in Christ. They love one another as Christ loves them (John 13:34). In that love they build one another up in their faith by encouraging (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11), teaching and exhorting (2 Timothy 4:2). They give practical help (Philippians 2:4) to their Christian brothers and sisters; particularly where members are frail and they are unable to look after themselves (Cf. 1 Timothy 5:3-10). Socially, they cultivate friendships within the church family (Romans 12:10), and they respect their neighbours to whom they witness (1 Corinthians 10:32, 33).
A Follower of Christ Preaches the Gospel and Makes Disciples
If a Christian is to present the gospel to the unsaved he must know God’s Word well, and he must explain it in a way that the biblically illiterate can be challenged by it. He cannot be a sedentary member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27); for his calling is to go forth and to, ‘“make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).’” A Christian is to be active in this way for as long as he is able, and he must have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Collectively and individually Christians preach the gospel to whomsoever they can, wherever they can, and whenever they can (Romans 10:13-17; 2 Timothy 4:2). It is their primary mission.
Saints Look Forward to a New Life in a New World
The whole purpose of Christ’s coming to the earth was to make *atonement for the **elect. As is the case for all people, the elect are worthy of death and of everlasting punishment because of their disobedience (Cf. Romans 3:23). Before their conversion they are in Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22), and like him they deserve to die (Romans 1:32), but in God’s mercy (Ephesians 2:4) He gives them eternal life in Christ (John 11:25).
Not only does Jesus restore their relationship with His Father, but He will take them to be with Him and His Father (Matthew 16:27) in His new earth (Revelation 21:1). He will give them spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:44) like His own (1 John 3:2).
This ultimate paradise is what all Christians crave for, day and night. They look forward to being with their LORD for evermore in His new kingdom of light and love (Revelation 22:3-5).
These are the things Christians fill their minds with and set their hearts on (Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18; Colossians 3:1, 2). Christ dwells in them (Galatians 2:20), and their identity is found in Him.