Cled E. Wallace
The doctrine that Paul preached was startling and far reaching in its consequences. It was so incredible, measured by all the standards of the time, that both Jews and Gen- tiles were inclined to reject it. It was at once a stumbling block to the one and foolishness to the other. It dealt with matters that no one could know otherwise than through direct revelation. It was admitted that redemption had to do with the things of God that no one could know but the Spirit of God and he to whom the Spirit willed to reveal them. Paul did not preach a theory merely to be judged by its merits.
In the fullness of the times God sent His Son to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. The Son had the mind of the Father, came to do His Father’s will, and in so doing He became the author of salvation to all who obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9). The mind of Christ, then, is the will of the Father.
Paul made high claims when he wrote, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). He did not write or preach as a “natural man” (1 Cor. 2:14). He dealt authoritatively with matters that no eye could see, nor ear could hear, and no heart could even imagine. The things of God that none could know save the Spirit of God were made known to him by inspiration of this same Spirit of God. He could not otherwise know them, and the only way the world could know them is through the writings of such inspired men.
It is difficult, even impossible, to see how there could be any divine authority in religion, or that there could be any such as a walk of faith apart from this inspiration “in words which the Holy Spirit teacheth” (1 Cor. 2:13). Further, a claim to such inspiration could not be accepted without an adequate demonstration of the fact. This was exhibited in the power to work miracles. Any charlatan can make the claim of inspiration, but proving it by miracles is another matter. When the need for inspiration ceased, the need for miracles was over. Were it otherwise, every man could do that which was right in his own eyes and justify himself by claims of inspiration, and endless confusion would exist.
On the other hand, what a blessed state of unity would follow a general recognition of this simple truth! Paul exhorted the brethren to, “have this mind in you which was in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). They were invited to imitate him as he imitated Chris. We can know the mind of Christ only as we are acquainted with His life and teaching. This is revealed in the New Testament. Any manner or philosophy of life not based on New Testament teaching has a shallow foundation and cannot be a life of true faith.
The great need of the world is an abundance of plain New Testament teaching. No scheme or novelty can take the place of it. In that way alone can men know the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is the standard by which the claims of all must be judged. “Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard of me,” Paul wrote in Second Timothy 1:13. Here is the mind of Christ. Unsound words point to an unsound mind. The mind of Christ has been put in a pattern of words. The mind of man must be changed to fit this pattern before it can be truthfully said that he has the mind of Christ. This is why the gospel was preached “for obedience of faith.”