The real issue of Christianity is not good versus evil, but rather, life versus death. He that
hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The good & evil of your carnal mind must both pass away. To leave your state of death and find life, you must put on the Mind of Christ. Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
This change of mind is embodied in the English word, repent. In the Bible, repent is translated from the Greek noun, metanoia, which means, “a change of mind.” Metanoia is also the basis for the English word, metamorphosis, which means, “a transformation of substance; a complete change of character.”
Repentance is not a momentary thing; it is a metamorphosis. Repentance is a complete change of mind, substance, and character. It is the process by which God will destroy your carnal mind and birth in you the Mind of Christ. This change of mind is instigated by suffering, which will be applied with surgical precision at the sovereign direction of God.
Repentance begins when God brings suffering to your life. Because God loves you he chastens you, and in accordance with his schedule you “repent” of your evil activities. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. This first repentance begins the transformation of your thinking and modifies your behavior. That ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, what fear, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal. With this initial change of mind you learn to shun “evil” and to seek after “good.” Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
Suffering for this first change of mind also brings the revelation of Jesus Christ, and opens your ears to the Holy Spirit. Your sins are forgiven unconditionally and you are readied for the next step. Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Every facet of God’s revelation and every “change of mind” is accompanied by suffering. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.
The next step in your repentance is to set aside earthly “good” and to seek after life. This time you are to experience a true “metanoia,” a complete change of mind and transformation of character. Your unprofitable carnal mind of death is to be totally discarded and you are to put on the Mind of Christ. With the acquisition of this new mind you will enter into a new relationship to your Heavenly Father.
Now you must put on the same mind that Jesus Christ had. That is, you must change your thoughts and desires, so that your thinking models that of the firstborn Son. This is not a random or accidental process. This metamorphosis is achieved by a very specific formula. Philippians 2:5-15 describes the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and you are to follow his example, exactly. Consider these three essential steps:
1. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who … made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
Before you can possess the Mind of Christ, you must first take upon yourself the form of a servant and be born as the offspring of Adam upon planet earth. You have already completed this first step.
2. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Now that you have become a human being, you are commanded to humble yourself and make yourself obedient unto death. This does not require a physical death, but rather, a death to self– your carnality must die. If you want the Mind of Christ, then you must suffer the death of good & evil. Every carnal glory must go. This requires that earthly ambition, pride, and the possessions of men, be set aside as worthless dross. 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.
When Eve partook of the Tree of Good & Evil she called the experience “good,” “pleasant,” and “to be desired.” Since you are to get off this tree, you must reverse her assessment. You must call the earthly realm, “vain, unpleasant, and undesirable.” These are the opposites of Eve’s responses. By this formula you can reverse her actions and be separated from your carnality.
This is “metanoia,” a change of mind, and this change is initiated by suffering. Without suffering this change would be impossible. Only suffering can desecrate the earthly realm, and only then will you be empowered to call it vain and unprofitable.
The suffering that comes to your life will be prescribed by divine wisdom to kill your carnal mind. This suffering will end your affection for the earthly realm. Those things that you loved and enjoyed will become wearisome and unsatisfying. By this process your carnality will die and the Mind of Christ will be birthed in you.
When God is ready for this change to be wrought in you, you will encounter the devastation of sin against you. This will be a situation of unwarranted suffering. It will arrive at your doorstep directly from God’s hand. You cannot initiate it, nor can you avoid it. For as much then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.
When this occurs, your only input will be to humble yourself and become obedient to the process. When terrible things intrude upon your peace, humble yourself, and never another. Suffer the death of your own will, while preferring the will of your Heavenly Father. Abhor yourself, and never another. Abhor your own lack of understanding and your failure to see God’s purpose in the trials that have consumed you.
This situation will be agonizing and traumatic. It will drag you to a battlefield that you have never known before. Like Joseph your heart will break. You will groan with tears as your brothers betray you. The familiar things of your life will rise up and drift away, as you watch in helpless grief. You will be sold into a servitude that you do not want, and the life that you knew will amble slowly beyond the horizon and be lost forever.
As with Job, chest pains and nausea will become your daily fare. As with Jesus, you will sweat your own blood. In this confusing darkness you will surrender to the overwhelming will of Almighty God. There you will learn obedience. This is the mind that was in Christ Jesus. Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
3. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
The suffering of “metanoia” will produce the Mind of Christ in you, and this will absolutely and irrevocably lead to exalted resurrection. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.
When your change is complete, you will receive a name that is above every name in the created realm. You will be permanently joined to immortality. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name. When the Mind of Christ has been formed in you, you will be filled with all the fullness of God.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Do you want the Mind of Christ? You must be born as an Adamite, humble yourself unto death, and fix your hope on resurrection. Without suffering, this mind will never exist in you. If there is any part of you that can glory in tribulation, this is the eternal Mind of Christ, being born in your midst.