From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry printing the sermons of Rev Reed A Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher.
The following sermon is the first sermon on the Mind of Christ. I chose to type the second last month and save this for this month because this sermon seems appropriate for Christmas. This sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Church Yale, Ball, Buel Michigan Circuit; Caro, Michigan; and Glendale and W.Hollywood, California. In the notes are two pre-stamped envelopes. They each have 2 cent stamps pre printed on them. One is post dated Saginaw West Side, Michigan, Dec.30, 1930. Return adress is 621 Clinton St. Saginaw West Side Michigan and addressed to Rev Reed Swift Yale, Michigan. The other is of real interest to my family! It is post dated Long Beach, California, 1931. Return address is Mrs. John Swift (his mother) 729 Wheeling Way, Los Angeles, California and addressed to Rev Reed A Swift, 310 Mary St, Yale, Mich. Unfortunately, they donot contain the letters! They have sermon notes on front and back! There's a lot of clippings of poetry etc. in
the notes, but I don't have the means or time to print them in with this sermon.
The long written form of this sermon is hand written on front and back of four sheets of paper. On the top is written, "Yale Michigan Jan. 5, 1930".
The Mind of Christ
Scripture Reading- Philippians 2 Text- Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
Man lost the image of God or the same as that "the Mind of Christ" when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. But the Great Plan of God's Eternal Salvation, in which man can recover the forfeited dignity is successful through Christ. The way is open. Messengers are calling everywhere to take the stamp of Christ's likeness. many are coming, but it is sad that many more are turning away. Nothing is so effectualin bringing them as a faithful exhibition of what they are exhorted to seek: "The Mind of Christ".
True preaching "with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven", is God's principally ordained, and therefore most successful means of saving the world. But in the highest sense, there can be no preaching unless the preacher himself first has "the Mind of Christ". This is a sure foundation.
"The Mind of Christ" is always conspicuous because it is unlike the carnal minds around it. It is convincing and convicting. Men can answer cold intellect but they are dumb in the presence of experience and life. Therefore it is effectual in winning souls to Christ. Example: A farmer who takes his produce to the fair doesn't need a large sign to attract admirers to his good produce. Good produce or beautiful flowers will speak for themselves. Just so will the mind of Christ. You won't need to grit your teeth and say, "I guess I am sanctified" or "I guess I do have the mind of Christ". I doubt it then.
Back of our brains is our mind or spirit which should be changed from worldliness and sensousness and devishness to be like Christ. Then there will be no thoughts, words, or acts that Christ wouldnot think, speak, or do. How this would change professed Christianity in this world.
1. But this is the plain requirement of God for every Christian.
2. It is also the privilege of fallen man to have "the mind of Christ" or "the Spirit of Jesus". This is another name for entire sanctification, his spirit is made to be like that of Jesus. Full Spiritual life! In regeneration, life is implanted; in Santification, inborn depravity is destroyed.
The Spirit of Jesus is purity and love toward God and man, and thus in us makes us finite counterparts of Christ. "I am the vine; ye are the branches."
The world is full of imperfect manifestations of the mind of Christ. Even ministers have been regenerated and are in earnest, but do not have the mind of Christ and cannot lift others above where they themselves stand. The world needs not imperfect manifestations of it but simply, "the Mind of Christ".
Sinners are going to hell because they donot see it. Heathen are perishing because it is scarce in the land. Brother, Sister, have you got it?
Subject- "The Mind of Christ" or "The Spirit of Jesus".
Text- Phil.2:5 "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
I. Christ "Personal Purity" Hebrews 7:26,27-"For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself."
Christ was both human and divine. Christ is the Son of God by eternal generation but consented to tabernacle in a human body and spirit to bring about the salvation of man. Christ was Divine until united with the human nature through the Virgin Mary. After that there are two natures in one person. The personality of Jesus is always that of the Son of God. Christ said, "I and my Father are one." So we are one in Him and yet one person only with His Spirit. Christ is the only seed of Eve who was born without depravity. Luke 1:35 is proof.
This babe was God's "Holy Child", and when He was born in the manger in Bethlehem, angels rejoiced and devils trembled, for the desire of all nations appeared. "He grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him."
At the age of 30 years, He moved out among the people and immediately began to impress Himself upon the public mind. His Holiness, His Purity, His unearthiness attracted attention. In three short years Christ left an impression upon the world of humanity that the luster of the light which shone about Him has baffled all the efforts of hell to extinguish.
Many times Christ is called the appropriate title, "The Holy One". He is the spotless Christ, who is separate from sinners, although their friend. "Holy, harmless, and undefiled" as in Phil.2:9-11.
John says, "As He is, so are we in this world." Humbled unto death yet an overcomer of death, hell, and the grave through Christ. James says, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man." Then whatsoever ye do in word or deed, we do to the glory of God.
James also says that blessing and scolding should not proceed out of the same mouth, but make the fountain or heart pure and the stream or conversation will be pure also. Not suppression but erradication.
Peter was regenerated before pentecost, but his heart was purified at Pentecost. Peter says, "Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind" in reference to Christ's sufferings for us. We will suffer here for the truth. Peter exhorted from experience. He had the "Mind of Christ".
John says, "As He is, so are we." Christ is our model in all things. God and angels expect us to have the "Mind of Christ" and men and devils know we should have. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."
Now the being of sin, the scolding tongue, fretfulness under suffering, and many other things are seen on every hand and among professed followers of Christ. "If you hve not the Spirit of Christ, you are none of His."
There can be seen so much carnal ambition, pride, selfishness among professors.
1. Ambition to be well thought of even if you have to belittle someone else to do it. Ambition is the main push in everything.
2. Pride to appear like the world or the dead professors. You say, "Well she does it." Do you want to be as dead as she is?
3. Selfishness- "I think I am neglected" or "I should have had that", etc.
Why not adorn yourself with good works? The sweetness of having the mind of Christ they donot know. Do you suppose the gentle unassuming Christ, who was "meek and lowly of heart", who "went about doing good" was arrayed in vanity-provoking apparel? christians have a more beautiful dress or attire- Revelation 19:6-8.
"Jesus, Thy blood & righteousness,
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
with joy shall I lift up my head."
It is not the Lord's will that the regenerated retain this depravity in their hearts. It is not His will that they go one hour with it in there, for He says, "Be ye holy." When? Now!
These manifestations of it in the life and uprisings of it in the heart are all contrary to His will, and He can remove the whole at a stroke. He will lay the axe at the root of the tree. Make the tree good and the fruit will be good for a tree is known by its fruit.
Thus Christ would erradicate from the heart all that is contrary to the mind of Christ. The normal condition of a regenerated heart is a hunger created by the Holy Ghost for Heavenly things, and He said, "Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."
Some are never taught this blessed experience. Some draw back and think the price is too great. "Oh, could they only know to be like Him is the unspeakable joy of the soul."
Christ was entirely separated from and dead to the lust of the flesh, the lust of they eyes, and the pride of life and so is the sanctified heart. "Our life is hid with Christ in God", so there is no response when the devil tempts to worldliness. This means a happy victorious life sweet to the soul. (IITimothy 2:8-10 and IPeter 3:3-4) Christ invites all regenerated hearts who are forgiven of their sins to come to the fountain for cleansing. Some recieve it with great eagerness; longing and praying for their cleansing.
"As the heart panteth after the waterbrooks" so their souls are panting for God. They desire Him more than food or sleep. Their heart's cry:
"Before the cross of Him who died,
Behold the prostrate fall;
let every sin be crucified,
Let Christ be all in all,
Let every thought and work and word,
To thee be ever given;
Then life shall be thy service, Lord,
And death the gate of Heaven."
Is this your heart's cry? Then look up and take courage. "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple." He loves the child who obeys as soon as His will is known. It is possible for you, "for ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." The whole armor of God must be put on. Have faith to ask the Lord to cleanse your heart from all unrighteousness and to do it now. Die to sin and recieve the "Spirit and Mind of Christ".
[Points II-XI are not written on the long form. They are listed on the shorter outline form. Points XII and XIII continue on the long form.]
II. Christ- Manual Labor
He earned bread by the sweat of His brow. "Is not this the Carpenter?"
Much dissatisfaction in labor.
III. Jesus in the Pulpit
"Never man spake like this man." "Thou hast a devil", the carnal mind cried. Jesus wept because He was sober. His pulpit was the hill side, etc.
IV. Christ under Ostracicism
"I have trodden the winepress alone." Ostracised by Pharisees.
V. Jesus under Persecution
"He was despised." Why? Because He was holy. Jesus layed down His life for His own enemies. "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you."
VI. Jesus in Poverty
As poor yet making many rich both in body and in soul.
VII. Jesus in Popularity
"All men come to Him." Flattery is dangerous. Keep close to God.
VIII. Jesus as Guest
Eg. Mary and Martha
IX. Jesus as Host
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers. Story of the five loaves and two fishes.
X. Jesus Under Temptation
"He Himself suffered being tempted." In wilderness. Trial of cruel mockings.
XI. Christ as Moved Toward Sin
"He shall break in pieces the oppressor."
XII. Jesus Under Authority
"I dlight to do Thy will, Oh my God." (Psalm 48)
No obedience is as complete as Christ's obedience to His Heavenly Father. There has been only one will operating amon the blessed Holy Trinity from eternity to eternity, that of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which brought a glorious redemption for the human race. If we have the mind of Christ, our all is on the sacrificial altar at His disposal. "My will is the will of my God."
Children, obey your parents. then it is so much easier to yield the will to God even while young in life. Seek a clean heart in youth. "We ought to obey God rather than man." "Whosever therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God."
XIII. The Spirit of Jesus
"Recieve ye the Holy Ghost."
If we would be like Jesus, we must recieve the Holy ghost. He, the Third Person of the Trinity, does the work in the soul of applying the atoning blood of Jesus and purges away the dross, and we recieve the mind of Christ.
You shed many bitter tears until you learn that "the carnal mind, which is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be", must be removed or you will perish. When [God] knows you are going in for the mind of Christ and are determined to have it, you shall have the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus. Then that dark forboding is completely annihilated from your heart, and joy takes its place.
"Ask and ye shall recieve." Don't wait until you grieve God and His Spirit before you ask. You need forgiveness then. Ask now while your record is clear.
"Verily, Verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."
[editors note: Well reader, Do you have "the Mind of Christ"? Do you have the Mind or Spirit of Christ Jesus Who came to this earth as a baby and died to save and sanctify your heart? I can think of no better Christmas gift than that of receiving "the Mind of Christ".
From our home to yours, we pray you have a very Merry Christmas, filled with the Spirit of Jesus, the Reason for the Season.
Richard and Susan Swift,
Jeffra and John Page and their little ones: Jeanette, Dale, and Dustin,
John and Christine Swift and their little ones: David and Elizabeth]