The Mind

1st. Study: ‘The Mind’

This is a study I have made on the use of the word ‘Mind’ (starting with ‘Nous’- G3568) in scripture, having started it some time ago.

First of all there are several Greek words translated ‘mind’ -
The one that I am starting with is 'Nous' (Strongs No. G3563)
Definition:' That, which perceives, thinks, wills etc., the mind, or intellect.'

* I began with Luke 24:45 (the 1st reference in the NT)

Then opened He (Christ) their understanding,
that they might understand the scriptures.”

What a good place to start a study, at the acknowledgement that without the operation of the Holy Spirit in enlightening our minds we would have no understanding of the things of God at all. Here on the road to Emmaus, after the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, He met with two disciples and opened their understanding that they may recognize in the law and the prophets those scriptures which spoke of Himself. Only He could do this for them, and it was necessary, because the natural man cannot understand the things of God.

* The second reference is Romans 1:28 - this is a contrast to the previous one, yet also a good verse with which to begin this study, because we see 'the rock from whence we were hewn'(Isa. 51:1)., and acknowledge what we have been saved from by the grace of God - 'a reprobate mind.'

'And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,
God gave them over to a reprobate mind,
to do those things which are not convenient
(not seemly);'

How solemn this is! The word reprobate (G96 - adokimos = means, failing to pass the test ie., rejected, worthless, castaway). These are the references where it is used elsewhere:-

gave them over to a reprobate mind’ - Rom 1:28
'I myself should be a castaway' - 1 Cor. 9:27
'Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?' - 2 Cor.13:5-7
That ye be not reprobates' - 2 Cor.13:5-7
Though we be as reprobates' - 2 Cor.13:5-7
' Reprobate concerning the faith' - 2 Timothy 3:8
'Unto every good work reprobates' - Titus1:16
bearing thorns and briars (is) rejected.' - Hebrews 6:8

In the first one (our initial verse) we are told that those whom God gave up to a reprobate mind did not want to retain God in their knowledge, it was as simple as that - although creation shouted loudly of the existence of God, they did not want to acknowledge Him. Sounds familiar doesn't it? That spirit is all around us in this day. and we see the outcome of that reprobate mind working out in peoples lives, as the symptoms there in Romans are manifested about us and even evidenced within us in the old man, whom we have to reckon as having died with Christ, in order to walk in newness of spirit before the Father.

This is an interesting list of references which would profit us to follow through, but it will take me away from the subject in hand, I will leave them with you.

* This next verse in the concordance is Romans 7:23,
'But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.'

This links up with what was said concerning the previous verse doesn't it? Here we see the conflict between the old nature and the new, which God gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord. The old nature which we inherited from Adam seeks always to take captive the law of the mind (the new nature) which operates within us. But praise God we are no longer under the dominion of the law of sin and death, and have the choice now to walk in newness of life and reckon as dead the old nature in Adam. There is a new law operating within us - the law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus. We have a renewed mind. What an encouragement it is to us, once we understand what is happening. This is something only a believer can experience, something which cannot be counterfeited - the conflict between the two natures. Praise God for it - We are alive in Christ!!

* Romans 11:34
"For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or Who hath been His councillor?"

The word 'mind' here has the meaning of 'council or purpose'. Looking at the context in which this verse comes, in chapter eleven, we see the wisdom of God revealed, showing how He in His mercy has laid aside Israel in unbelief - that we, as Gentiles, may find grace and salvation. In so doing they too have found mercy through the grace of God, even as we, as we see in verse 32,

"For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all."

We can cry, like Paul did in v.33
"Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!"

How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out. For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things! To whom be glory for ever. Amen.

But, I am going away from my purpose in my enthusiasm here, but the next verse in the list brings us back to the point, for in *Romans 12:2, we come to His council and purpose again.

"And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind
(council and purpose),
that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God".

The idea of 'council and purpose' in the 'renewing of your mind' has helped me to see more clearly how this is achieved. For what is being transformed is the 'council and purpose' by which our actions are governed. We walk at the impulse of His will rather than of our own. We have his 'council and purpose' in the written Word, and as we read 'His Council' our minds become renewed in 'Purpose'. This leads to the following,

"I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,"

Praise God!

In Christ Jesus
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2nd Study: ‘The Mind’

Continuing with the study on 'The Mind' (Nous) The next verse is Romans 14:5,

“One man esteemeth one day above another:
another esteemeth every day alike.
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

This is in regard to the observing of days, etc., and brings everything down to the individual believer before God, ’Let every man be fully persuaded IN HIS OWN MIND.”

It is with the mind that we serve God. It is a hidden work; it is between ourselves and the Lord. We need to be fully persuaded, so that we are stable and not blown about with every wind of doctrine, or double minded therefore unstable in all our ways.

This chapter has much to say about judging other believers, and I think of what the Lord said in Matthew 7:1-6 ; “... why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam is in thine own eye. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye’. I read concerning the ‘mote’ and ‘beam’, that they refer by implication to ‘anything that perverts the vision‘. I find that a very meaningful thought, don’t you? Anything ‘that perverts the vision.’ We know that un-dispensational practices or notions can have this effect, can blind and distort our understanding for example.

The next verse is 1 Corinthians 1:10,

‘Now I beseech you, brethren,
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that ye all speak the same thing,
and that there be no divisions among you;
but that ye be perfectly joined together
in the same mind and in the same judgment.’

Looking through (1 Cor. ch.1) the final verses show the error of division, controversy, and the error of striving one against another over anything. Verse 30 says,

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus,
Who of God is made unto us wisdom,
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
That according as it is written, -
He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.’

Notice Paul says ‘Now I beseech you brethren’ - the word for ‘beseech’ is ‘to call to one’s side’. (Gr. parakaleo)

‘In the same 'mind’ and ‘in the same judgement’ - in this day when division within Christendom is the norm. this ‘call’, this ‘beseeching’ of Paul’s to be of the same mind and same judgment is still calling, and though the voice is heeded by many the effort to be of ‘one mind’ is bringing about a unity of man’s making where peace at all costs is in danger of being the common mind.

What is the mind that should be in each of us, what is the judgment which should govern us? - “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

In the context of 1 Cor. 1:10, prior to this verse it says, “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything you are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord that these Corinthians were called, and likewise we too who are members of the Body of Christ have fellowship with the Father and the Son as our prime objective, fellowship with others is a blessed by-product of that communion - when members meet together and share the overflow of their own heart, wherein is the rich deposit of truth indwelling through studying the Word rightly divided.

In Christ Jesus
The 3rd Study

In 1 Corinthians 2:16, we have the question asked again, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Here we have the word twice, both referring to the thoughts, council and purpose of God (see Rom. 11:34)

This is a lovely chapter - Paul says to the Corinthians in verse 1, that he came not to them with excellence of speech or of wisdom, when he declared unto them the testimony of God, for he determined to know nothing among them save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. He was with them “in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” His speech and preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom but, in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’ That their faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. He speaks of a wisdom that was spoken among those who had become mature yet not the wisdom of this world, or of the rulers of this world (which comes to nought). He quotes from Isaiah 64:4 “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.

But, says Paul, “God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Verses 10-15 are so lovely too, to think that we share in this - verse 16, the verse under consideration is partially quoted from Isaiah 40:14 (wonderful chapter) a chapter which puts into perspective all the unrest in the world today and makes one say “What a wonderful Lord we have.”

Yet this verse tells us that we know His council and purpose - for it is all met and summed up in Christ our Lord. We have the ’Mind’ (the council and purpose) of Christ.

The next verse is also found here in 1 Cor. 2:16, which I have already considered, yet further light will come on this in the rest of the study.

In (1 Cor. 14:14) it concerns the speaking in another tongue. “My understanding is unfruitful,” says Paul. His chief concern was edification, mutual edification, and speaking in another tongue, praying or singing in another tongue, unless as at Pentecost, where all heard the message being given ‘in his own tongue’, if the hearers could not understand what was spoken in the ’other tongue’ then it would not ’bear fruit’ in their understanding. (verses 15,19) continue this thought.

This teaching applies to another dispensation, I know, but there is still much to be learned from it, for mutual edification should be our concern as it was Paul’s, and the ‘bearing of fruit’ in our understanding.

In Christ Jesus
4th Study ‘The Mind’

Continuing with this theme of ‘The Mind’ the next verse is Ephesians 4:17,

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord,
that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk,
in the vanity (emptiness) of their mind,

(Eph 4:17)

We who have the knowledge of the ‘council and purpose’ of God, who are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, are counseled here ’not walk as other Gentiles walk,’ for, in God‘s estimation even the thoughts of the wise are vain, (1 Corinthians 3:20). Their understanding being darkened, who are ‘alien from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them,‘ why? ’because of the blindness of their heart:’

Oh! How much we have to be grateful to God for, that He has rescued us from that.

This brings to mind the second verse in the list (Rom.1:28), for we are told that creation was made subject to vanity. What a tragedy this seems. Even we ourselves, ’groan with ourselves.’ (Rom.8:23; 2 Cor.5:2; 2 Cor.5:4) and look forward to the time when this ‘Body of death (humiliation)’ will be laid aside, and we have our resurrection body - no more conflict.

(The word ‘vain’ would be a good word study to follow through)

In the next verse Ephesians 4:23,

'And be renewed in the spirit of your mind' (your council and purpose);

No longer being led by the vain thinking of the old man, but directed and motivated by the Holy Spirit by means of a mind that is renewed in council and purpose.

This verse is sandwiched between the putting off of the old man, and the putting on of the new man in this section, and no wonder, for without the renewing of ‘the council and purpose’ of the mind, that ‘new man’ which is created, after God in true righteousness and holiness, would be impossible to ’put on’. For we are told in verse 25, to ‘put away lying’ (the lie) and speak truth with our neighbors, for we are members one of another. This is ‘Truth-ing’ speaking ‘THE Truth’, talking of those things which pertain to life, which in Christ is common to us all. That can’t be done without the ‘renewed mind’. For the natural ‘mind’ cannot perceive or understand the things of the new man in Christ Jesus, only the lie.

Philippians 4:7 comes next:

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’

This is our portion, ‘the peace which passeth all understanding’, I read this recently after hearing news of a serious illness having been diagnosed for someone within my family, and praised God for his kindness in referring me to this verse, for we need be ‘careful for nothing’; ‘but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known unto God,’- ’and the peace of God, ---- , SHALL keep your hearts and minds THROUGH Christ Jesus.

This is spoken by Paul, who suffered so much, and encountered situations which we shall never be called upon to endure, yet He could say with complete assurance that the peace of God SHALL KEEP our hearts and minds. This makes me think of another verse, Isaiah 26:3,

'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in Thee.
(Isa 26:3)

This verse under consideration, Philippians 4:7, as with every other, cannot be isolated from its context, but just at first I shall concentrate on the wording in this one verse.

“And the peace of God, which passed all understanding (knowledge - which surpasses every mind and thought) - (CB margin: compare chapter 3:8; Romans 13:1 and cp. 3:20)

‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,’
(Php 3:8)

‘Let every soul be subject unto the ‘higher’ powers.
For there is no power but of God:
the powers that be are ordained of God.’
(Rom 13:1)

'For our conversation (manner of life) is in heaven;
from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:'
(Php 3:20)

Paul counted all things but loss for the ‘excellency’ of the knowledge of Christ Jesus His Lord, (what a wonderful section this is) - Phil.3:8

In Romans 13:1 ‘Hypericoo’ ‘Which passeth knowledge ‘ has been translated ‘higher’ = ‘supreme’ here”

The peace of God that is our portion, ‘passeth knowledge’, excels, is ‘higher’ than anything that we ,with our finite minds, can conceive. Yet we can experience it in Christ Jesus, by God’s grace - how wonderful this is!

Looking at Phil. 3:20 I could not at first see the relevance in relation to Phil 4:7, -

“For our conversation is in heaven; ... "
(found only here ‘polieuema’ - means the seat of government of which we are citizens [Gr. polites]
and of which we have both rights and responsibilities)​
"from whence also we look for the Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ;
Who shall change our vile body,
that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body,
according to the working whereby -
He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.

- but it does have relevance especially when coupled with the verse which follows (above)

For our peace rests on One who ‘is able to subdue all things unto Himself.

Looking at the final words of Phil.4:7;” ‘shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” - ‘Shall Keep’ means to garrison (as with soldiers) ‘Our hearts and minds’ (council and purpose - thoughts and intents - and affections) ‘through Christ Jesus.”

I am reminded of David in His psalm, saying,

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
(Psa 139:6)

What Confidence We Should Have!!!!
Study 5: ‘The Mind’

In the next verse Colossians 2:18, we read of a ‘fleshly mind’

“Let no man beguile you of your reward
in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels,
intruding into those things which he hath not seen,
vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”

‘Beguile you of your reward’ - or (defraud you of your prize)

‘Voluntary humility’ - or (willingly being a devotee to - humility of mind - in the flesh)

‘Worshipping of angels’ - (intruding into those things which he hath not seen, puffed up by his fleshly mind) - this is what religion does, it produces a voluntary humility which masks self righteousness and pride. The context of this verse shows the horrible sham that religion (in the flesh) is.

In 2 Thess.2:2 we have ‘shaken in mind’

“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,
neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us,
as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

The story that surrounds this verse is well known, and it’s meaning is clear so I will not look further into this one at the moment.

In 2 Timothy 6:5 speaks of ‘men of corrupt minds’.

‘Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds,
and destitute of the truth,
supposing that gain is godliness:
from such withdraw thyself.’
(1Ti 6:5)

In this case these ‘persons’ consider that ‘gain is godliness’, BUT says Paul,

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Such dote about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, perverse disputing. - ’FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF’ says the Holy Spirit through Paul.

Looking at the context, Paul in verses 1-5 gives council to those who are servants, under a yoke, not free. He tells them to count their own masters worthy of all honour, (why?) - THAT THE NAME OF GOD BE NOT BLASPHEMED. How important this is, similarly those having ‘believing’ masters are told not to despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit.

In Titus 1:15 we have “Even their mind and conscience is defiled” - Horrible thought.

Titus 1: 13-16
“ ... Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Not giving heed to Jewish fables,
and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Unto the pure all things are pure:
but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure;
but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him,
being abominable, and disobedient,
and unto every good work reprobate.”

What a horrible picture this portrays, but the message is clear, and needs no elaboration.

The last two verses containing the word ‘Nous’ is in Revelation 13:18; and 17:9

And him that hath understanding’
‘And here is the mind which hath wisdom.’

Both connected with understanding the symbolism of the events in the day of the Lord. The first to know the name of the beast, the latter to the ten kingdoms who with one mind serve the beast and make war with the Lamb.

That is the end of the study of ‘nous‘, hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.

Yours in Christ