Applying the Mind of Christ

1 Peter 4:7–11

Applying the mind of Christ takes us back to review our key thought from verses 1-6: “Christlike thinking is essential for Christlike living. Weaponized thoughts are a prerequisite for a victorious life in this present darkness.” I want to take this thought and build on it today in our study of verses 7-11. 

One key command: “Be self-controlled and sober-minded…” In verses 1-6 Peter supplies us with defensive measures to win our minds and to give the Holy Spirit ownership of the space between our ears. That victory shapes us to go on the offensive with the weapons Peter gives us now in verses 7-11. 

Having properly armed ourselves with the mind of Christ regarding suffering, sin, and salvation, we are, in God’s strength, now able to relate to one another with a Christ-honoring way of life.

It is imperative for Christ to control the airwaves of our minds. We must think like Christ. If we fail there, we fail everywhere. I want to show you from our text today 5 compelling ways to live with the mind of Christ in these last days.  

I. The first way to live with the mind of Christ is to live with an Urgency  to Pray  (7). 

Peter is pressing on us something that we so desperately need today in our cultural context and something that we, by-and-large, are so contrary towards. What is this something? It is an urgent prayerfulness (stillness).

  • “I find that I live in urgency about many things today, but sadly prayer is often not one of them.” What are the most urgent matters that occupy your thinking and priorities? How do they line up with Biblical priorities and how might you begin to make changes wherever necessary? 
  • “We must walk in deep communion with Jesus. That’s what an urgent, sober-minded, and prayerful lifestyle looks like.” List some practical ways you can go deeper in communion with Jesus. Pray over them and share them with someone who will encourage you to follow through. 
  • “Part of our struggle is that often we live as though nothing at all were at stake with how we live our lives now that we know Christ. We have our fire insurance…we’re going to heaven…what else is there to be concerned about?” Is this how you tend to think regarding your salvation? Considering reading through 1 Peter and noting the privileges of being a believer and the call to faithfulness that comes with it. 
  • Consider Matthew 26:36-46 and 69-75. What do you learn about a contemplative prayerful life from Peter’s failure? 

II. The second way to live with the mind of Christ is to live with an Eagerness to love (8).

  • “Do you know that how believer’s love each other is our primary witness to our community (See John 13:34-35)?” Spend time prayerfully assessing your own love for other believers. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Is repentance required? Are relationships in need of mending? 
Proverbs 10:11-14 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense. The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.”
  • The context of 1 Peter deals heavily with reviling and threats as forms of persecution believers will face. What does “hatred” look like in a church setting? What does love look like in relationship to forgiveness of an offending brother or sister in Christ? What does the Bible say?
  • “Love is required to be applied by each one of us to each other in order to cover (veil, tent, canopy) the offenses of others.” How wide do you perceive your canopy of love to be in relationship with others? How can you stretch it?  

III. The third way to live with the mind of Christ is to live with a Joy of Hospitality (9).

  • “Hospitality is a way in which we can demonstrate our obedience to the command to love one another. Hospitality means ‘a kindness paid to strangers.’” Consider Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-47. What do you suppose hospitality looked like in the early church? 

The believers Peter is addressing were living under the reviling and threats of unbelievers in their community and Peter saw a great and vital benefit in them bonding together and doing good (1 Peter 2:1215203:611174:19). In doing good we are living out the gospel. By our good deeds we show unbelievers the worth of Christ (1 Peter 2:12). We put to silence the ignorance of foolish people (1 Peter 2:15). We follow Christ’s steps (1 Peter 2:20).

  • “Opportunities to show hospitality: small group ministry, prayer cottages, hosting missionaries, Sunday Suppers. Create your own opportunities. Hospitality is not a program, it’s a way of life together in community.” What are some ways you might show hospitality to others in the Church? 

IV. The fourth way to live with the mind of Christ is to live with a Stewardship of Grace (10).

  • “You’ve received a gift from God’s variety of grace, so now use it to serve one another. With the gift comes the responsibility to manage the gift for the glory of God and the benefit of others.” What is your spiritual gift? How do you believe it can and does benefit your local church? 

Sealed orders are those orders specifically given to each believer, depending on our giftedness by the Holy Spirit (See Ephesians 2:10). Our sealed orders are meant to give us guidance on where we apply our spiritual giftedness in the body of Christ.

When it comes to discerning our spiritual giftedness, we must discern our gift in order to apply our “yes”, and our “no” to the ministries and opportunities that we encounter in life. This is where we need to recognize our limits. Jesus didn’t minister to everyone the same way, to the same extent. When applying our spiritual gifts, we will disappoint some people while we meet the needs of others.

  • How does your closeness (or lack thereof) with Christ help (or hinder) you in determining how you apply your spiritual giftedness to serve your brothers and sisters in Christ? What needs to change? Who might you look to for help in this area?  

V. The fifth way to live with the mind of Christ is to live with a Means and an End (11).  

  • The means of living out the mind of Christ: do it with the strength God supplies. When God gives gifts, He gives with the gift the strength for us to use it. How does this truth free you to follow Jesus, even into difficult or uncomfortable situations and relationships? 
  • The end of living out the mind of Christ: “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” God supplies the strength we need, and he gives us the purpose for which we are to live with the mind of Christ: his glory. How might your life – in heart, thought, word, and action – make much of the reputation of Jesus in our church and community? 
  • What one practical change is the Holy Spirit calling you to make because of studying this passage?