What we believe about the mind
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Tim 1:7)
Commentary: Spirit-Filled Life Bible, NKJV:
"Possibly because of his youth or natural temperament, Timothy was prone to timidity (fear) and may have been reluctant to accept heavy responsibilities. In the verses (1 Tim 1:6-7) Paul is reminding him that the Holy Spirit's fullness and gifts provide enabling power to exercise one's ministry."
The words sound mind come from the Greek 'sophronismos' a combination of 'sos,' (safe), and 'phren,' (the mind), hence, safe-thinking. The word denotes good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.
Link this to Romans 8:27, "Now he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is...." and again to 1 Chronicles 28:9, "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intents of the thoughts..."
"And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. See also Deut 10:12; 30:6; Luke 10:27.
Here the word mind comes from the Greek 'dianoia,' literally, "a thinking through." Dianoia combines nous, "mind," and dia, "through." The word suggests understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension, the faculty of thought. When this faculty is renewed by the Holy Spirit, the whole mind-set changes from the fearful negativism of the carnal mind to the vibrant, positive thinking of the quickened spiritual mind.
"Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid." (Mark 5:15)
The words 'right mind' come from the Greek 'sophroneo.' To be of sound mind, sane, self-controlled, serious, moderate, sober-minded, restrained, disciplined, able to reason. From 'soon,' "to save," and 'phren,' "the mind." The word describes our behavior and attitude as we approach the ending of the age (1 Peter 4:7).
Other 'mind' scriptures:
"Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or has given understanding to the heart?" (Job 38:36)
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You." (Isa 26:3)
Commentary: Spirit-Filled Life Bible, NKJV:
"Perfect peace is expressed in Hebrew by 'shalom, shalom,' a Hebrew method of putting great emphasis on a word. You will keep him in everything the word shalom implies: health, happiness, well-being, peace. The word translated mind is not the usual Hebrew word, but rather a word meaning 'creative imagination.' Isaiah's thought is that he whose creative imagination, the seat of plans and ideas, is firmly founded on the eternal Lord, will enjoy shalom in all its implications."
"And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind." (Luke 12:29)
Commentary: Spirit-Filled Life Bible:
"A proper attitude toward material things, based on a simple trust in a caring Father, frees one from a nagging anxiety about the physical necessities of life. Worry is useless because life is in God's hands." (Luke 12:24-26)
"For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?" (Rom 11:34) See also Leviticus 24:12.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Rom 12:2) We are to be transformed by a renewed mind committed to the ideals of the Kingdom of God. See also Ephesians 4:23.
"Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion." (Rom 12:16)
Love is to be the guiding principle in Christian relationships.
WE EACH HAVE A MIND
"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." (Rom 14:5)
See Num 16:28; 24:13; Deut 18:6; 1 Sam 2:35.
"For 'who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor 2:16)
We need to recognize that the natural mind cannot understand or receive from the Holy Spirit. Know that only the spiritually alive can discern spiritual wisdom.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:5) This Scripture is talking about adopting Christ's attitude of unselfishness, servanthood, humility, and obedience.
Some mind attributes/adjectives
Mind of readiness (Acts 17:11)
Mind of humility (Acts 20:19, Col 3:12)
Willing mind (1 Cor 8:12)
Vain mind (Eph 4:17)
Mind of lowliness (Phil 2:3)
Mind of earthly things (Phil 3:19)
Mind of the flesh (Rom 8:5, Col 2:8)
Mind defiled (Titus 1:15)
"But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn." (Job 14:22)
Job plainly expressed the often repeated doctrines of the material and spiritual natures of man. The flesh was upon him and his spirit within him. The body only is material and of dust and will return to dust (Gen 2:7; 3:19; Eccl 3:19-21). The inner man, which is made up of soul and spirit, is spiritual; it was created to live inside the body (Gen 2:7). At death the body dies and the inner man leaves it, going to heaven or hell, depending on the way the individual lived in his/her lifetime, whether he/she accepted God's provision of salvation and conformed to the righteousness taught in the Bible. All souls are fully conscious between death and the resurrection, the righteous souls being conscious in heaven (2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:21-24; Heb 12:22-23; Rev 6:9-11), and the wicked souls in hell (Isa 14:9; Luke 16:19-31; Rev 20:11-15).
See also where the spirit and the soul is distinguished: 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12
References of the soul of man as an individual being: Gen 2:7; 12:5; 46:15-27; Exod 1:5; 12:4; Lev 22:11; Psalm 25:20; Prov 10:3; 11:25, 30; 14-25; 19:15; Ezek 13:18-20; 18:4
Commentary: Dake's Annotated Reference Bible:
"The Hebrew word 'napesh' for soul is used in terms of the soul of man as possessing appetites, and exercising mental facilities, certain feelings, emotions, desires, and passions. Hence, we speak of the soul that feels and the spirit of man that knows (1 Cor 2:11). The soul and the spirit make the inner man with its feelings, will, knowledge, intellect, and other spiritual powers."
Man cannot kill the soul (Matt 10:28)
God has a soul (Matt 12:18; Heb 10:38)
God want both soul and body healthy (3 John 2; 1 Peter 2:24)
God has given man free will and therefore man has the ability to choose . Choice is an activity of the mind that is expressed by particular types of brain activity . The mind, through its capacity for free will, is able to assess influences from the spirit and the body (including the brain) and make rational choices.
- Deuteronomy 30:19, Joshua 24:15; Alfred R. Mele, Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014; Richard Swinburne, Mind, Brain & Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. See also Alvin Plantinga, Knowledge and Christian Belief. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2015; Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom and Evil. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977; Keith Ward, More Than Matter?: Is There More to Life Than Molecules?. Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2010; Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfield, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience. New York: Basic Books, 2013.
- Ibid; Benjamin Libet, “Unconscious Cerebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (1985): 529– 66; John Dylan-Haynes et al., “Unconscious Determinants of Free Decisions in the Human Brain,” Nature Neuroscience 11 (2008): 543– 45.
What we believe about wisdom
"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence."
Wisdom is that which enables men to judge what are the best ends and the best means of attaining them. Prudence is practical wisdom applied in the best time and manner to secure the best ends.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Wisdom derived from the Greek 'Sophia' meaning cleverness, skill, scientific knowledge, wisdom.
"Wisdom is good with an inheritance; and by it there is profit to them that see the sun."
There are many blessings of wisdom:
1. It excels folly (Eccl 2:13)
2. It does not allow one to be discouraged regarding better former days (Eccl 7:10)
3. It is good with an inheritance, for it helps one to know how to use what he has received to the best advantage for the future (Eccl 7:11)
4. It enables man to make a profit
5. It is a defense (Eccl 7:12)
6. It gives life
7. Is better than strength (Eccl 7:19; 9:16)
8. It proves all things (Eccl 7:23)
9. It gives joy and boldness (Eccl 8:1)
10. It delivers in war (Eccl 9:15)
11. It is better than weapons of war (Eccl 9:18)
12. It is profitable to direct (Eccl 10:10)
Wisdom is justified.
"The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."
"Wisdom has seen fit to justify both courses taken by John and Jesus (see Matt 11:18) but you hypocrites condemn them. You would condemn any course taken by a godly man, for you seek to justify your acts of darkness and rejection of truth."
"But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
Nine marks of human wisdom:
1. Bitter envying (v 14,16)
2. Strife in the heart (v 14,16)
3. Glory in profession (v 14)
4. Earthly, having this life only in view (v 15)
5. Sensual, living only to satisfy the animal appetites (v 15)
6. Devilish, inspired by demons (v 15)
7. Confusion (v 16)
8. Every evil work (v 16)
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
Eight characteristics of divine wisdom:
1. Pure -- chaste, holy, and clean (v 17)
2. Peaceable (v 17; Heb 12:14)
3. Gentle -- meek, modest, and kind (v 17)
4. Easily entreated -- not stubborn or obstinate, but yielding to others (v 17)
5. Full of mercy -- always forgiving, and performing acts of kindness ( v 17)
6. Full of good fruits -- (Gal 5:22-23)
7. Without partiality -- having no respect of persons (v 17; James 2:1-10)
8. Without hypocrisy -- open, honest, genuine and true
In the Old Testament, people were filled with the Spirit of wisdom: Exod 28:3; 31:3-6; 35:31; Deut 34:9.
They were given wisdom of the heart (Exod 35:26; 36:2), and received wisdom of an angel (2 Sam 14:20).
The wisdom of God was found in Solomon:
1 Kings 3:28; 4:29-34; 5:12; 7:14; 10:4-24; 11:41; 2 Chr 1:10-12; 9:3-24
The Bible talks about wisdom in the 'inward parts' (Job 38:36).
Wisdom is often equated with 'truth.' Larry Lea, in his book on wisdom, defines wisdom as two parts, one of which is 'what is the truth of everything?' Psalm 51:6 says, "Behold, thou desire at truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."
The notes on the inward part in the Dakes Annotated Reference Bible say that the inward part is the center of all true religion and righteousness if one is saved (2 Cor 5:17-18), and of sin in all unsaved (Mark 7:19-21).
There is also reference of "the wisdom of God made the earth, world and heavens."
(Psalm 136:5; Prov 3:19; Jer 10:12)
Wisdom is the "principal thing" (Prov 4:7)... "therefore get wisdom." This is a command.
Proverbs 4:1-9 gives 14 commands and 14 blessings of wisdom. It tells us to get wisdom at any costs!
"Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
Some other points:
Wisdom is better than rubies (Prov 8:11)
Wisdom is too high for a fool (Prov 24:7)
Wisdom remained with me (Eccl 2:9)
Wisdom excels folly (Eccl 2:13)
Wisdom is good with an inheritance (Eccl 7:11)
Wisdom is a defense (Eccl 7:12)
Wisdom strengthens the wise (Eccl 7:19)
Wisdom is better than strength (Eccl 9:16)
Wisdom is better than weapons (Eccl 9:18)
Wisdom is profitable to direct (Eccl 10:10)
There is wisdom of the world which God made foolish (1 Cor 1:20; 2:6; 3:19).
Notes: "The wisdom of the world is a craft, or subtle trade, which men carry on with others to benefit themselves."
The "fear of the Lord is wisdom." (Job 28:28) This is in harmony with what was said later by Solomon, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Prov 1:7; 9:10; Psalm 111:10). However, it is the beginning, not the end, nor is it wisdom itself. It is the first principle. True wisdom is to justify God and condemn self (Dake's Annotated Reference Bible).
Proverbs 2:2 says to "incline thine ear unto wisdom," because the "Lord giveth wisdom." (Prov 2:6) We see five examples of Biblical characters getting wisdom:
Joseph (Gen 41:38-39)
Moses (Exod 4:12)
Solomon (1 Kings 3:12; 4:29) *
Daniel (Dan 1:17; 2:23)
Stephen (Acts 6:5, 10)
* In terms of the wisdom given to Solomon... "so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days" (1 Kings 3:12), has to be understood in the limited sense of ordinary rulers of the earth. Jesus Christ had even more wisdom and knowledge than Solomon, besides many other gifts of the Holy Spirit which Israel's king did not have. Christ himself said, "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here." (Matt 12:42; Luke 11:31)
The man that finds wisdom is happy! (Prov 3:13) He that gets wisdom loves his own soul (mind) (Prov 19:8). The greater good will come through guarding and obeying wisdom and understanding.
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