A Mind for Your Savior
Topic: Midweek Sermons
Good evening and welcome once again to our Tuesday study. Now that we have completed our series on Catholicism, it gives us an opportunity to go a different direction and I'm excited to be able to do that with you here this evening.
I'd like you to turn to 2 Peter 1. We're going to do a series over the next few weeks that I've entitled "The Godly Mind," and what we want to do in this series is to cultivate in you the right way to think, to reinforce the right way to think, to have the proper biblical principles at the forefront of your thinking at all times so that you would have a mind that is girded and prepared to live the Christian life. And in this series we are going to say a lot of things that are very familiar. There is not going to be much that is new. Perhaps in the way that it's put together would be new and helpful, I would hope, but I want to read something to you from 2 Peter 1 to kind of explain why we would even do this and why we would rehearse familiar truths. Peter said in chapter 1, verse 12, he said,
12 ... I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.
This is the way that I feel about you as an audience, the way that I feel about you as a church. I believe that you're established in truth, that you know these things and that they are settled in your mind. And yet Peter was not content to leave it there. In verse 13 he said,
13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
He says, "I want to stir up your memory. I want to turn the turf so that it is fresh and that it's able to receive the nutrients and the rains so that fruit would grow, that things would take root in the soil of your mind." He says, "I know I'm not going to be with you forever. I'm going to be leaving soon," he says, "and so I want you to be able to remember these things after I'm gone." And in verse 15 he says,
15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.
So Scripture tells us to go back and to rehearse things, to go back and remind ourselves of fundamental truths and so that's what we're going to try to do in this series that we've titled "The Godly Mind."
Now just by way of a brief pre-qualifier, I guess, throughout this series we are presupposing the inerrancy and the inspiration of Scripture. A godly mind understands and starts with the authority of Scripture and that is the foundation of everything. We're not going to rehearse that here in this series because we've established that many times, what we want to do instead is to rehearse some of the fundamental truths of what it means to be a Christian in a way that cultivates our mind and so that our mind is responding – here you go – our mind is responding to whatever happens to us in life from a consistent position of truth. That's what we need. That's how we grow in godliness is that there is a consistent response from a godly, developed, biblical mind that knows how to think and to process things properly.
The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:8, he said,
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
And Paul emphasized that because Scripture teaches us that what you think about over time is what will shape your character, and what shapes your character is that which will be that which you respond from in the nature of life. When you build a house, you build a solid foundation. You have to lay a solid foundation before you put the walls up and put the roof on, and as a Christian, there are certain nonnegotiable convictions of mind that frame the function of your mind. There should be in your mind principles of truth that you do not allow to even be open for discussion for possible change; that there are principles of truth that cannot be denied, that are not subject to revision, and this comes and flows from things that you know from the Scriptures.
So we're going to start here with five principles tonight and I've titled this message "A Mind for Your Savior." A mind for your Savior. A way of thinking about the Lord Jesus Christ that would drive your love for him and drive your obedience to him.
We're going to start, first of all, with this principle, we are going to start with God's hatred of sin. God's hatred of sin. Think about it this way: we start here with what caused you to seek Christ as your Savior in the first place? Why was it that you turned to Christ? Why was it that you turned to him for salvation? Well, at some point you had an understanding that God was a God who was holy, a God who hated sin, and you were aware of your own sin and that that was a problem; that at the heart of true salvation there is a desire to be free from sin not simply to not go to hell, not simply to avoid the punishment of sin, but to embrace God's view of sin to know that he hates sin and that you identify and embrace the same attitude toward sin that God does. That conviction will drive the way that you think and respond to life.
In Habakkuk 1:13, and we're just going to kind of bounce on the surface of these points tonight; my goal is to kind of lay out the vista rather than to go into much detail. In Habakkuk 1:13, God's hatred of sin, the prophet said,
13 Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
That's a cornerstone principle from which to frame your thinking. It means when that is established in your mind, it gives you a framework to think when temptation comes to you. It is a framework to think when sinners try to entice you into their ways. When Solomon was talking to his son in the Proverbs, he warned him repeatedly about avoiding the way of the adulteress lest he be drawn into it and his way be drawn into the steps that lead to the chambers of death, and that understanding, that commitment, that embracing of God's hatred of sin, is the bulwark that prevents you from going down that road. You must have that clear in your mind.
How much does God hate sin? Well, we can measure it by the punishment that sin brings at the end in judgment. In Revelation 21:8, Scripture says,
8 ... for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
You can measure God's hatred of sin by the punishment that he has in store for unrepentant sinners. And what does that do? How does that sanctify your mind and your life? Well, turn to Proverbs 16. It should be fresh in your Bible because Andrew just read from it, in the providence of God, read one of the very verses that I wanted to bring out here tonight. Proverbs 16:6,
6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.
How does that sanctify your mind, God's hatred of sin? Well, beloved, there should be within you a sense of righteous, of holy reverence, and a sense of respect toward God that makes you fearful of sin, that makes you fearful of violating the holiness of God in the course of life that you would choose. And I like to tell people that when you see someone falling into sin, why is it that people can choose a lifestyle pattern of sin, why is it that people drift into sin? At root there is a fundamental lack somewhere along the way of a proper fear of God because Scripture says by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. And as you understand God's hatred of sin and you revere him and you respect him for his hatred of sin, it teaches you to take your feet into a different path. And even as believers we need to be aware of this, we need to be aware of God's discipline that he brings upon us for our sin.
Hebrews 12:9, if you would turn there with me Being mindful of the fact that God disciplines his children in order to make them holy, that we might share in his holiness, Hebrews 12:9 says,
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Beloved, would you have a proper approach to life, would you want to live a life of godliness, would you want to develop a godly mind? Well, you can start with a fresh remembrance of the fact that God is a God who hates sin; that he is pure, that he is holy, that he is separate from sin; that he is a judge of sinners; that he is one who disciplines even his own children that they might share in his holiness. And here's what that does for you, here's how your mind should work, here's how you should think in broad principles and the prism through which you process life and everything that comes to you in life: you should have developing in your mind, especially for you young adults that are coming together and you are developing your approach to life, you should have in your mind, you should have conscious in your thinking moral judgments that you have made on the environment in which you live and moral judgments on the condition of your own heart and then go a different direction. To be clear in your mind that this world in which I live is sinful, the philosophies that drive its thinking are wrong and unbiblical and anti-God so that when that is clear in your mind, you are strengthened to stand against it rather than to be sucked into the whirlpool it will take you down.
1 John, just on the other side of Hebrews, James, Peter and then John. Turn to 1 John 2:15-17 and, again, we're just eager to embrace and to understand fundamental ways about how the Christian mind should operate. In chapter 2, verse 15, the apostle says,
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
So you think about life from this perspective on this principle: God is a holy God who hates sin. I live in a world that is full of passing lusts, passing desires, things that appeal to my flesh, things that appeal to my eyes, things that appeal to my boastful pride. Left unaddressed and you say, "I am going to align myself with the holiness of God. I am going to plant my feet in God's attitude toward this environment in which I live. I'm going to plant myself in the way that God thinks about sin and hate my own sin and hate the sin around me, and I'm going to be set apart for the purposes of God. That's why he saved me was to set me apart for his purposes." So to have a godly mind, you adopt God's hatred of sin and you remember that.
Now, let's go to a second point on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, an entirely different realm, and you can think about it this way, going back to the construction of the house illustration here. A house has multiple walls but think of a room having four walls, there are different walls that are putting you into the place of safety in the house that you're in, and one wall that we've established here is God's hatred of sin but there is another wall that helps establish the thinking of your mind that is a completely different wall, painted in different hues, painted in different colors. As opposed to the sternness, you might say, of God's hatred of sin, there is another wall that is painted with colors that invite and warm your heart and it's this, point 2: to remember Christ's love for your soul. To remember the love of Jesus Christ for your soul and this is so key.
John 3:16, again, familiar verses that we want to go to here,
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Why is it that you are a Christian? Why is it that you have been delivered from sin and judgment? Oh beloved, always remember, always come back to the fact that Jesus Christ has displayed and has procured a great love for your soul; that our Lord Jesus Christ looked on you in love while you were in sin, looked on you with compassion and said, "I will undertake to save that soul." Out of love for you, out of kindness for you, out of a great mercy for you, Christ has saved you and Scripture attributes the motivating factor of that not to anything in you but something intrinsic to the character of God, intrinsic to the character of Christ, his great love for sinners just like you.
Romans 5:8 says,
8 … God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul said,
20 ... the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who [what?] who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
You see, beloved, you're probably like me and it's easy to forget this sometimes. You get busy in life, you struggle with sin, you deal with temptation, you get discouraged by trials or conflicts and personal relationships, people close to you you are kind of hard to live with and your mind gets clouded up with the circumstantial things that are around you in life and the difficulties that come. Or going back to perhaps the way that you were brought up that taught you that God was severe and God was somebody remote and different and whatever you do, you don't want to get him ticked off because he'll crackdown on you if you do. Those brought up in legalistic environments struggle with this, I understand that. Well, what we have to do, brothers and sisters, is we need to come back again and and again and again and drink from the deep fountain of the love of Christ for your soul; to remember that there you were in your sin, there you were separated from God, there you were guilty, condemned, with nothing to commend yourself to a holy God, and then to realize that Christ knowing that full well, Christ knowing the utter sinfulness of your heart more fully than you did, in love, in a spirit of self-sacrifice, in a desire for your eternal well-being, Christ came from heaven, went to Calvary in order to redeem your soul. And Scripture says he did that voluntarily. He did that in love. He did that out of a great concern for your soul. Well, beloved, that has a transforming effect on your affections. That has a transforming effect on the way that you think about God. Yes, we fear him for his hatred of sin and well we should, we respect him for that, but we are also drawn by this great incalculable love, this great calculable self-sacrifice that Christ made in order to make us his own, in order to make you his own.
Christ, some have well said, think about it this way, here you are in your sin and what did Christ do, and God's wrath is here? Christ came and stood between your sin and the wrath of God. Bore it in his own body. Christ in love for you came and stood between you and your sins and a holy God. While you were helpless, he died for the ungodly. And we should spend more time here than what we're going to do but, beloved, always, always, always come back to the love of God, the love of Christ for your soul, so that when you're struggling, so that when you are dealing with sin that just seems to cling and you never quite get rid of it and you get discouraged and you sink down in the discouragement and the despair that that can sometimes bring, you must understand, you must come back to the fact that Christ is one who loves sinners just like you; that Christ died for you, he died for your sins in order to reconcile you to God. So much so, in fact, that Christ said that he compared himself to a physician and said, "It's not those who are well that need a physician, it's those who are sick." He said, "I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Christ didn't come to save you because you were so good that he had to have you on his team, Christ came because you weren't on his team. Christ came because you were separated from God and said, "In love, I will redeem that soul as my own at the cost of my own blood." Well, to any redeemed heart, that should have a sense that says, "I want to go and be with him. I want to draw near to him." To realize that having shed his blood, that his arms of invitation are open to you to come and to draw upon the goodness and the love and the grace and mercy that he has for your soul.
That motivates you and frames the way that you think and it does something else for you, if you want to think with a godly mind, if you want to cultivate a mind of biblical principles that will sustain you through all of life, that will sustain you when you move on to other places, other circles, that will sustain you after friends and loved ones have gone on to be with the Lord. What is it that will sustain you? How do you think with a godly mind? Beloved, I say things like this all the time and I say it because it needs to be said again and again and again, talking about the love of Christ, Christ crucified, Christ resurrected: beloved, whatever else you do with your mind and with your thinking toward God and toward Christ, do not make the all too common mistake of trying to measure the love or purposes of God by the nature of your shifting circumstances. Do not try to measure the love of God by your fickle emotions. Your emotions are not a reliable way to think about and to relate to God with. Your emotions are fallen along with the rest of your being.
So you don't look at what's happening in life and ask whether God loves me, because you'll come to a wrong conclusion more often than not if that's what drives your thinking. It saddens me so much when I talk with people and they are processing the purposes of God in their life and saying, "My circumstances are bad. Now what do I do? It's like God is arrayed against me." The godly mind moves beyond that. The godly mind realizes that circumstances are no way to think about God, circumstances are no prism through which to think about the greatness of his character. No, you think about, you measure the love of Christ for your soul preeminently, first of all you go and you go to the cross and you say, "There is love undeniable. There is love that cannot be extinguished. There has been established for all time the attitude of my Savior toward me. He died for me. He gave his blood for me. He shed his precious lifeblood in order to redeem my soul. I know that he loves me." No matter what else I may be feeling at the time, no matter what else my circumstances are saying, the cross rises up and in its exalted place in the presence of Christian thinking, establishes for you the love of Christ for you soul. And whereas God's hatred of sin motivates you to step back from the precipice in a holy righteous fear, the love of Christ for your soul gives you stability, security, confidence, peace. Peace, my brother. Peace in the midst of your struggles that says, "Whatever else is happening in life, no matter how much I might fail or mess up, it is established beyond dispute that Jesus Christ is favorable toward my soul. He gave himself on the cross. He loved me. He gave himself up for me. I can always count on him as my brother in heaven. I can count on him to be my Intercessor, my Advocate before a holy God. He is my brother. He is my friend. I trust him. I can breathe a breath of peace."
Yes, my brothers and sisters, remember the love of the crucified Christ for your sinful soul and let that always be one of the first principles of all of your thinking throughout life from now on. If it hasn't been, it needs to be. We do not serve a Christ who is harsh and remote, we serve one who came from heaven to draw us near. That's precious. That's how a godly mind thinks. That's what a godly mind bases its entire view of the world on.
Now related to that, related to that, and could kind of mesh these two into one point but then I would only have four points and I promised you five. Point 3 tonight: remember God's forgiveness of your sins. Remember God's forgiveness of your sins. We've talked about, as we spoke of the love of Christ, we talked about what motivated this, now we move into what the result of that love is, what the goal that the love of Christ accomplished and the love of Christ displays the gracious nature of God. Based on the atonement of Christ, God has forgiven all of your sins and what does that say to you about what your Savior must be like? What does it say to us about the character of God?
Well, first of all, it tells you that you're in a blessed position. You're in a blessed position to be under the umbrella of that love, to have his blood, as it were, painted on your soul that there would be no charge ever brought against you again. David said in Psalm 32:1,
1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
Look, it's not that you're sinless, it's not that I'm sinless. That's not the basis upon which we relate to God. It's not based on your perfection and it's not based on your performance. Thank God for that because if it was we would all be miserably lost. The basis upon which you stand before God is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has shed his blood for your soul and God has pardoned all of your iniquity. He has forgiven all of your sin. He does not hold them against you. He will not bring them to remembrance any longer. He said, "Your sins and your lawless deeds I will remember no more." Psalm 103:12,
12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Well, beloved, this is basic theology. This is basic Christian theology. This is what should animate all of our thinking and all of our response to life is that my sins have been forgiven because God has led to me to Christ and I have put my faith in him. Not by any works that I have done, solely by his mercy.
And what does that tell us about the nature of God? Isaiah 55:6-7. I'll just read it to you here. Isaiah 55:6-7,
6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And
What will God do? What does God do when the prodigal son comes home? What does God do when a man forsakes his sin and comes seeking pardon with nothing in his hand to claim anything by merit? The prophet says, what does God do?
He will have compassion on him, [let him come] to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
You see, beloved, God is far more willing to pardon your sin than you are to confess them. God is more eager to meet you in forgiveness and reconciliation than you are to be found there in that blessed place of privilege. So when you struggle with sin, when you have fallen yet again, you cannot sink into the despair of that. You have to look outside of yourself, you have to look beyond yourself and remember who your God is. And who is God but he is a God who has abundant pardon on those who come to him confessing their sins.
1 John 1:9,
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You say, "I don't always feel that way." That's not the point. Remember we said this isn't about your emotions. We are not building a godly mind based on your emotions and how you feel at any given time. We are basing our godly mind, you develop a godly mind based on revealed truth in the inspired and inerrant Scriptures.
Micah 7:18. One day we'll teach out of Micah. Who knows when but Micah 7:18, this is one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament. Micah 7:18 says,
18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.
That's who your God is. That's who the God of the Bible is. That's the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the nature of Christ himself. He doesn't retain his anger forever. Why? Because he delights in unchanging love toward his children. Isn't that sweet? Isn't that precious? Isn't that a refuge for your soul? I ask you, beloved, isn't that all you need to go home tonight and put your head on your pillow and rest in peace? "My God is a God who abundantly pardons. God has had compassion on me. Christ has loved me at the cost of his own blood. In this is love not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins." So what a godly mind does even when it doesn't feel like it, even when an accusing conscience wants to keep you awake at night, the godly mind in simple faith trusts the grace of God in Christ that all of your sins have been covered, all of your sins have been paid, and God will hold them against you no longer.
Beloved, this is essential to Christianity. This is what it means to be saved. And what does that do? What's the effect of that on your mind? Well, beloved, it frees you to think in security. It frees you to live life with courage. The man who understands that God is on his side, that God has shown him favor, that God has forgiven his sins, is a man who is equipped in his mind to stand against the world if need be because he understands whatever the world does, whatever the world thinks of me, God has shown his favor to me. God has forgiven all of my sins and that is the final court of appeal. The Supreme Court of the universe has rendered judgment in my favor. He has brought me into his family. He has called me a child of his. My brother stands before the throne and represents me before God. And a godly mind draws strength and courage and comfort and peace from those great truths.
Let me state it a different way. The man with a godly mind based on those things, is a man who does not fear judgment, who does not fear the grave, is a man, is a woman, who does not fear Satan. Contrast that with the horrible fear and bondage that you hear so-called Christians say, you know, "Satan's out to get me." Well, he does prowl about like a roaring lion but Satan is not sovereign. Satan is not in control of your soul. To the extent that Satan or his demons afflict us, it's all under the hand of God. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, the godly mind remembers God's forgiveness of sin, Christ's love for your soul, and realizes that, "I am in a position of strength. My mind feeds on great truth. God is full of compassion toward me. I believe what his word says even though I don't feel it, even though I don't deserve it. My mind is," you say, "my mind is subordinated to this truth and Scripture reveals to me that God is a God of compassion on his children and I rest in that, I revel in that, I count on that, I believe that and I will live life from that perspective come what may."
So terminal diagnosis, "Wasn't expecting that but do you know what? I'm at peace. God has forgiven all of my sins. I part from this life and to be absent from this body is to be at home with the Lord. Because God has forgiven my sins, I can say it is better to depart and to be with Christ rather than to stay in this body." This is where it takes you. That is the courage and the confidence that a godly mind gives you, and a godly mind is premised on these great fundamental truths.
Now, coming back into a fourth point here as you develop a godly mind, as you develop godly thinking, you need to remember, fourthly: God's reason for saving you. God's reason for saving you and we are developing a mind for our Savior and we say, "He has loved me. Though he hates sin, he has saved me. He has loved me. He has forgiven all of my sins." And why did he do that? What am I to do with that now as I move forward in life as I cultivate these principles in my mind, as I rehearse these things over and over again to develop a godly mind? Which reminds me, let me say this: you know, these are things that you go back to again and again and again. This is not something that you hear once and you move on from these things. These are the foundation upon which you always stand. So again and again you should find over time, week to week, month to month, year to year, you are rehearsing these kinds of things in your mind. You are filling your mind. You are going back to these truths again and again and again.
Fourthly, God's reason for saving you and why did God save you? Well, he saved you that you would be holy, that you would live righteously and not in sin. Romans 6:1 and 2 says,
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
So we have our approach, we develop in our mind this perspective that says, "God loved me. God has forgiven me," and that is a springboard toward holiness, not a springboard, not a diving board to dive back into sin. It amazes me, it saddens me when people think that salvation means that they can just live any way that they want to without regard to principles of holiness. That is not biblical salvation. God saved you in order to make you holy. God saved you in order to set you apart for himself. That is the reason that he saved you.
2 Peter 1:3-4 says this,
3 ... His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
So what should your perspective be even as we still deal with the remnants of sin in our life? I understand that. We're not denying that struggle, we're talking about our mind toward that struggle. We're talking about the mindset that we have toward it. What is it that helps us in the midst of that is to remember that Christ saved you to deliver you from the corruption of this world.
Look at 1 Peter 4, if you would. 1 Peter 4. We're developing a mind for our Savior. We are conscious of why he saved us. In 1 Peter 4, beginning in verse 1, we read,
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
You see the clarity of the mental direction to which Peter calls us, to picture ourselves at a fork in the road, to the left comes the lusts of the world, to the right comes the will of God, and we say and we are conscious of the fact, "I have been delivered in order to be on the fork that goes to the right. I have been delivered in order to live for the will of God. That is my purpose."
And he goes further, in verse 3 he says,
3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.
And some of you are like me and you have times in your past before you were a Christian where those things marked your life. Your past was marked by the drunkenness and the sensuality of this world. Well, you know that is what it is but when you remember the purpose for which Christ saved you, you come to the point and you say, "Yeah, but the time for that is over. Those things are done. My life is different now. I have a different purpose. Whatever the timing of God was in my salvation, those things are over. Now I have been delivered. I have been saved for a different purpose, armed to be an instrument of the glory of God in whatever realm he gives to me in life." And you arm your mind, you strengthen your mind with a clarity of purpose, "I live not for this world, I live for the glory of the one who saved me." And you align your mind with the mind of God. You embrace the purpose for which he saved you.
You young adults, you young people that are new to Christ, understand that God has saved you to set you apart that you would be his, that you would be instruments of his glory, instruments of proclaiming Christ, instruments of honoring him with your life. That's the whole purpose of salvation and you think about all of life from that perspective and in time, that leads you away from worldly philosophies, sinful passions, and the foolish corruption of the environment in which we live. Do you find, you don't have to nod yes or no, but do you find at times as you're seeing the world play out before you the foolishness of it, the senselessness of it? Not just in violence but just the frivolity that people devote themselves to in life? And you have this sense, "I don't belong here. I don't fit here. The things that they think are funny, the things that they think are enjoyable, the things that they devote their lives to, I have nothing in common with that. I don't fit here." I feel like that a lot. It's kind of uncomfortable until you remember that the Scriptures address this.
Look at Philippians 3. And again for you young people, for you young adults, this is just so very crucial for you to understand because some of us to greater degrees perhaps than others, we like to have the approval of the people that we're around. We want people to like us. We want to be in favor with the people that are in our lives. But sometimes for the Christian that's just not possible and the reason that it's not possible is because we have a completely different mindset about existence than they do and you set your heart on the reality of the purpose for which God saved you. God did not save you preeminently for this world. This is not the priority.
20 ... our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
And so, beloved, based on the teaching of Scripture to the extent that you have that uncomfortable sense maybe with people that are close to you in blood relationships, you say, "Man, I just don't fit here,"understand that that results from the fact that God saved you to separate you from this worldly environment and so that's in part to be expected, but also, beloved, set your sights on heaven. Again, I'm bleeding into my final point here but that's okay. That feeling of not belonging, that sense of alienation from the environment that you have during this 70 year window on earth, do you know what, beloved? When you get to heaven, that's going to be all gone. When we get to heaven, we are going to have an immediate, permanent, eternal sense that this is home. This is where I belong. This is what God made me for. It wasn't preeminently about this life. It wasn't first and foremost about this life. Your citizenship as a believer is in heaven. The fullness of home remains future for you, and remember the purpose for which God saved you was to set you apart so that he could prepare you for that eternal final resting place that he has for all those that know Christ.
That leads us naturally into our fifth and final point here as we develop a mind for our Savior. In some ways this is the best of all. This is the culmination of everything that we've said. Point 5 is: to remember Christ's plan for future glory. Christ's plan for future glory. As this life crumbles down around you sometimes, as the weight of sin, as the weight of trial, as the weight of discouragement just seems so relentless, the trials just do not stop, well, beloved, step back, get your head above water and breathe in the fresh air, take a fresh breath of the reality of what is yet to come.
Christ's plan for future glory. Turn to John 14:1. And you see, these points of which we speak, they all build on one another. They reinforce one another. It's a unit. It's a single woven garment. All of these five threads woven together in order to give you a garment that you can wear on your mind as you go forth in life; that your mind would be clothed with glory and not with discouragement or the things of this world. John 14:1, Christ said, our Lord Jesus said,
1 "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
And in John 17:24, what is going to be the theme, the vision, what is going to occupy our mind when we are there with him? Christ stated it plainly in his high priestly prayer in verse 24 of John 17. He said,
24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."
Beloved, beloved, lift your mind out of the quicksand of this world. Grab hold of higher purposes, higher aims, and remember the reason that Christ saved you, remember the plan that Christ has for you is for you to be with him in glory and that he has prepared a place for you. There is, as it were, speaking metaphorically, an engraved golden plate at the banquet table of the King that says, "Reserved" for you, and you will sit down and you will belong there not from your deserving, not from your merit, not because you've been good enough, but because Christ saved you for that very purpose and it was his desire before the foundation of the world that you would be with him in glory and see him for the glorious one that he is. And when that comes to pass, whatever crown we may or may not receive, if there is a literal crown, we see Christ and we're going to take that crown off and fling it like a frisbee to his feet and say, "This crown belongs to you because you are the one who purchased it for me. And Lord, I give it all to you."
I have often taught on, I have often gone to 1 John 3:2. You can turn there with me to reemphasize this theme. 1 John 3. And before I read this, let's just step back and just kind of summarize everything that we've said here as we remember the love of Christ for our souls proven beyond doubt at Calvary, remembering the forgiveness of our sins, remembering that God has blessed us with a purpose in this life that transcends this world that we might be able to live for his glory. And you step back and say and I'll just speak autobiographically here. I was born in a hick town in southern Indiana. Who am I? I was the one who frequently and often used the holy name of the Lord Jesus as a cuss word. I was the one who deliberately sinned against him. I was the one who literally tossed his word away from me. I was the one who falsely claimed to know him when I didn't and I knew I was lying when I said it but I said it anyway in order to please the people that were around me. A nobody hick from an obscure town in southeastern Indiana, a sinner of the worst stripe to boot, and God has shone this love on me? God prepared before the foundation of the world that I would one day be with him? That Christ would cleanse me of all of my sin and God would not hold me to account on them? Put your own autobiography in there, put your own sinful life, your own sinful thoughts, your own sinful conduct before Christ saved you and realize the immeasurable immensity, the magnitude of grace and love and great mercy that has been shown to you and you'll see why you'll enter into the mindset that animated the Apostle John when he wrote in 1 John 3:1,
1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
There, beloved, in those two verses are the gratitude that flows from a godly mind. There, beloved, in those two verses are the destiny that belongs to you as one redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. A child of God. Destined for heaven. Going to see Christ face to face, and not only see him, somehow to be transformed so that you will somehow be like him when you do. And there in heaven with him, not as a stranger, not as someone to be booted out because you don't belong there. You there as a family child. There as one on the receiving end of immense privilege. There one beloved by God. That's the future glory that Christ has in store for each one of us that know him. Those are the things that the godly mind extends its roots into the water, into the pure, crystal, flowing fountain of the goodness, the grace, the love, the mercy, the kindness of God, and the godly mind drinks from that. It draws its roots and its roots draw from that and it feeds and enables you to live with joy, with courage, with confidence.
John seemed to have a thing for this idea of seeing the face of Christ. We'll close with this passage from Revelation 22. What's it going to be like for you in heaven? What's the mental and spiritual and if I can use the word, the emotional experience of that going to be? Revelation 22:3,
3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
Where every tear has been wiped away. Where every sorrow of this world will be forgotten. Where every conflict, every disappointment will be nothing. It will not even occur to you because everything will be consumed by the glory of seeing this one face to face who loved you and gave himself up for you.
Do you want a godly mind? Recall Christ's plan for future glory and revel in it. Reach forward into the future and take that which is already yours by birthright in the family of God and bring it in and let it inform your whole perspective on life to shape the whole way that you think, because that noble thought, these noble aspirations, these unconquerable truths will shape your mind into a force for godliness.
Let's pray together. Well might the song say, "How great the Father's love for us. How vast beyond all measure." Father, that you would take a wretch like us and make us into children of God.
Father, strengthen our minds, strengthen our hearts, strengthen our resolve to live in light of these truths. Strengthened by them, comforted by them, perfected by them, that in the seat of our being, in the way that we think, O God, you would be lifted up high and exalted. Holy, loving, gracious toward us, and that would frame all that we think, all that we say, and all that we do. Yes, Lord, give us a godly mind beginning with a humble loving mind toward our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.