Mind the Gap
Anyone who has journeyed to Britain knows the tube sign that warns train travelers to watch for the gap between the train and platform. It is painted at their feet, “Mind the Gap.” With a slight twist of terms, we might say there is a gap in the minds of men. The distance and danger in the gap is worthy of our consideration as we isolate Paul’s warning to the church at Corinth regarding the mind and the gap.
The first mind gap belongs to the Jew, who misses Jesus as Messiah. Paul compared the glory of Moses to Jesus as he contrasted the glory of the law to the glory of the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 3. Moses’ glory was fading so his face was veiled from the Israelites. The cover up: But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ (2 Cor 3:14). In context, we learn from Paul that the Holy Spirit is the essential agent for a man to turn to Christ, and when he does, the gap is closed as the veil on his mind is removed.
The second mind gap belongs to dead men walking, or we might call them the deceived. Paul again classifies them for us in 2 Cor 4:3–4, And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. This category has far more universal implications than just for those attempting compliance to the Mosaic Law. Paul revealed Satan as the cause of this gap, especially among Gentiles, who walk in the futility of their minds (Eph. 4:17). Using every mode of distraction as deception, the unbeliever is prevented from seeing the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
The third mind gap in 2 Corinthians is found in Satan’s endeavor to deceive the Christian mind from simplicity and pure devotion to Christ. This we might call the diluted, if not deluded version of Christ, the Gospel, and God Himself. In 2 Corinthians 11:3–4, we see Christians sadly deceived into wrong ideas about the identity and work of Jesus, through following a different spirit and a different gospel.
The third mind gap is the most insidious for Christians because it becomes an internal assault fueling a civil war within the body of Christ. Deception leads to lesbian bishops in the Episcopal Church, pedophiles in the Roman Catholic church, social gospel in the Baptist church, liberal theology in the Methodist church, war over property ownership in the Presbyterian church, prosperity theology in the Pentecostal church, etc. In the human body, when in rebellion, human cells deviate and multiply. We call it cancer. If the cancer is not addressed to remove it completely, the rogue cells will eventually devour the body that gives them life. It is internal suicide for a church to allow sin to go unaddressed. Sin weakens and destroys the church, aided by the deceived mind that permits sin to fester.
A church thrives in being like-minded (2 Cor 11:11), sharing the mind of Christ made available in the Scriptures. In this is the promise that the church will be made complete with the same mind and without divisions (1 Cor 1:10). It is imperative for Christians to be renewed in the spirit of their mind (Eph 4:23), and then we are transformed from conformity to this world (Rom 12:2) and the empty philosophies that so easily encompass the church. Therefore, let us forsake the mind gap set on the things of the flesh, which are hostile to God; and set our minds on the Spirit, which is life and peace (Rom 8:5–6).
July 9, 2021