01. A Winsome Warrior
This battle of choosing life or death manifests itself in the following deeds:
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:19–23)
The fruit of the Spirit mentioned here is the best summary of what the life of Jesus Christ was like. As the perfect God-man, he manifested the fruits of the Spirit as he battled temptation during His time on earth. Likewise, we ought to follow His example and pray that our lives might look more like His. The more we are conformed to His image, the more we will bear these fruits instead of doing the deeds of the world.
Imagine someone you know walking by the Spirit and manifesting these fruits. That person is both winsome and has warrior mindset—they bear witness to abundant life in Christ by setting their minds on Him. This does not mean they are perfect, but that Christ has done a work in them and is giving them victory.
02. Setting Your Mind on Christ
Part of setting your mind on Christ is listening to the direction of the Spirit and developing a warrior mindset. Those who are in the flesh—who do not know Christ—cannot listen to the Spirit. But those of us who have been covered by the blood of Christ and have come to a saving knowledge of and faith in Him can listen to the Spirit (Romans 6). It requires training to hear His voice, but the more we listen, the more we will hear.
Setting your mind on Christ also involves renewing your mind and reckoning yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ (Colossians 3:1–5). No longer are you a slave to sin, but you have been set free in Christ. This means that you do have a choice how you behave. You can choose to succumb to the flesh, or you can choose to set your mind on Christ and walk by the Spirit. When you have the Spirit, the Spirit aids you in the war against sin.
Note that everyone’s battle is different—we all have areas that tempt us more than other areas. But by setting your mind on Christ, He will work in the unique prism of your personality to conform you to His image and bear witness to His glory.
Ken Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a BS from Case Institute of Technology, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, a PhD from New York University, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford in England. He leads three weekly Bible studies in the Atlanta area, including two men’s fellowships and one at Christ Church of Atlanta. Dr. Boa is the president of Reflections Ministries, Trinity House Publishers, and Omnibus Media Ministries.
The purpose of Reflections Ministries is to encourage, teach, and equip people to know Christ, follow Him, become progressively conformed to His image, and reproduce His life in others.