Developing a Christian Mind – part 2: Scripture
2. The Christian mind seeks truth in God’s Word
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:25)
In the previous post we acknowledged that God’s ways cannot be fully understood by the limited human mind. This is not, however, to say that nothing can be known about God and His ways. We can know whatever God has communicated to us of Himself and His purposes and God has, indeed, revealed Himself in Scripture.
In Romans 7, Paul describes how his mind was surrendered to God’s Law, meaning the Old Testament Scriptures and the truths recorded in them. Through reading it He recognised what was true and what was false. Of course, this was not enough on its own – he found that he did not have the power to keep the Law as his sinful nature was in slavery to sin and this caused him great internal anguish. Without the written Word of God there could, however, be no knowledge of ultimate truths. There are many other resources that will help us to develop Christian minds, including good Christian books, and we should avail of these, but there is no substitute for the Bible. It alone is the authoritative World of God and other sources will be useful when they help us to understand and apply it faithfully, while all other sources must be tested against it.
In my time teaching the Bible and lecturing in a Bible College I have noticed that there is a severe problem with biblical illiteracy among Christians. We often have our favourite verses, which have spoken to us at specific points in our lives, but we don’t know how these ‘gems’ relate to the context they are set in. We may have favourite stories, often remembered from Sunday School days, but we struggle to describe the grand story that holds the Bible together. I am convinced that our lack of grounding in Scripture is a major cause of lack of confidence in sharing our faith and internal struggles in our Christian walk. We need to become Bible people, whose minds are shaped by the values of Scripture.
If we want to develop a Christian mind we must saturate our minds in the Scriptures. We must dedicate ourselves to reading, meditating upon, studying and obeying God’s truth as revealed in the Bible.