We often look down on people who look down on people. We often cry out that Jesus died for the the sinners, prostitutes, and tax collectors! Very rarely do we have compassion on the self righteous, the Pharisees, and the legalists. Remember- we were once lost like them. They need the gospel just like everyone else (Romans 2).
Taking Every Thought Captive
According to the Stanford Research Institute, a person has between 90,000 and 150,000 thoughts per day. Too many times we direct our thoughts towards how we feel or what we desire instead of directing them to what the Word of God says.
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ- 2 Corinthians 10:5
Def: captive- Kept under restraint or control; confined; Taken and held prisoner, as in war.
“Taken captive” is a military metaphor that means that you have to demolish sin. Thoughts range from paganism, anxiety, sin, lust but we are called to subject them to Christ. The analogy pictured here is that we are in a war. We are called to be soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3) and a solider obeys his commanding officer (Christ). We have to conquer and control our thoughts because naturally our flesh wants to dwell on our sinful desires.
So we must take every thought captive. The frightening thing is that no one knows the thoughts in our head but us and God so it’s easy to hide. As J.C. Ryle says, “You and your sin must quarrel if you and God are to be friends.” We are commanded to practice self control. You have lost self control when you let your emotions, thoughts, and feelings control you. Christians are ordered to control our emotions (Galatians 5:22). The fruit of the Spirit is characterized by self control. This is so important because it says that “Out of the abundance of the mouth, the heart speaks” (Luke 6:45) and “Out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts.” (Mark 7:20) So we must not dwell on earthly things but set our minds on heavenly things (Colossians 3:2)
“Some people assume worry (___) is the result of too much thinking. But in reality it’s the result of too little thinking in the right direction” - John MacArthur
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things- Philippians 4:8
The Bible makes this very clear. These are commands and not suggestions. We must fill our minds with thoughts that worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). We should cultivate these thoughts so that they are good and pleasing to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Falsehood, sin, deceit, lying, dishonesty- >True- maintaing the truth about God,
- Injustice, violence, oppression, impiety -> Just- justice, honesty, inegrity, righteous, respect
- Filthiness, unclean, sinful, lust-> Pure- chaste in thought, pure in heart
- Strife, wrath, hatred, anger, worry, anxiety-> Lovely- dear, pleasing, amiable, agreeable
- Vice, malice, hypocrisy -> Virtue- praiseworthy,good, charitable
- Vulgar, contention, blasphemy, gossip, slander-> Commendable- kindness, courtesy, love, thankfulness
“Think on these things - Let them be the object of your careful attention and study, so as to practice them. Think what they are; think on the obligation to observe them; think on the influence which they would have on the world around you.”