Carnal Mind??? What???

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

BEWARE!


There is a DOCTRINAL STUMBLING-BLOCK going around that teaches that the Saints have a “carnal mind”. This is resulting in many Saints living in an internal and never-ending battle with themselves and wanting to by-pass their “mind” [the very thing that God created and said it was good], and live from the “heart”.

This is the same as saying that you would like to breathe not by use of your lungs [that is designed to provide your with air to breathe] but directly from your heart (i.e the organ). This is mechanically impossible and any attempt to do so would result in catastrophe.


The doctrinal stumbling-block is usually taken from a uncontextual approach to Paul’s letter to the Romans.


It reads: Romans 8:5-8For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose].

6 Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever];

7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot,


8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

Many read this excerpt and somehow interpret the use of the word mind to mean some physical construct that must be abandoned or by-passed. Due to that allusion, verse 7 is read in a context that is not intended. It is erroneously interpreted to mean that there is an aspect of this “(physical) mental component” that does not please God, and cannot submit to God’s law.


I would like to emphatically state that this is not the context of Paul’s letter. The use of the word mind in this excerpt is NOT referring to the mind as some physical construct that needs to be by-passed in order to walk in the Spirit.


The context of the use of the word mind is actually along the lines of the word “mindset”. i.e A WAY OF THINKING. The foundation of what we refer to as PERSPECTIVE.


Definition of mind-set


1 : a mental attitude or inclination


2 : a fixed state of mind


The mind, as all other creations was created by God. If we take the narrative of Genesis into consideration, we would see that there is nothing that God created that was not affirmed as “GOOD”. Even the psalmists state plainly that His works are perfect. Therefore, it would be outrageously erroneous to look at the mind in itself as anything evil. How we use God’s creation (in this case, the mind) however, is what would be categorized as “good” or “evil” or to be more pertinent to God’s perspective “in light or in darkness”. This is what is known as MIND-SET.


The Apostle Paul is his letter to the Ephesians says in Chapter 4:23, and I quote, “ be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind”. WHAT?? The Spirit of the mind? Does the mind have a spirit?


The word spirit as is known in the popular church doctrines represents some ethereal entity that walks around or travels from one place to another entering other entities. Do you know that this understanding is NOT the Scriptural context?? (But that is a topic to be discussed in a separate article.) Apart from the context of a spirit as an entity, there is another.


Spirit: gr. pneuma pnyoo’-maha current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition.


MENTAL DISPOSITION!


In other words, what the Apostle Paul was saying in our modern day English is: CHANGE YOUR MENTAL DISPOSITION. RENEW IT!

Do you know that this is what the two Trees that existed in the very center of the Garden of Eden was referring to?


Yes, that’s right. MENTAL DISPOSITION.


Definition of disposition

  1. : prevailing tendency, mood, or inclination

  2. : temperamental makeup

  3. :the tendency of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances


The Tree of Life: the mental inclination or tendency to use Life (God) as the paradigmatic reference point for living.


The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: the mental inclination or tendency to use anything BUT GOD as the paradigmatic reference point for living.


Hence, the metaphoric title, “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. (i.e The Tree of ONE’S SUBJECTIVE Knowledge of what is Good and Evil)


MINDSET!


Therefore, the mind that you possess is not evil. As a matter of fact the very said Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians said that we have “the mind of Christ”. You DO NOT have a carnal mind. However, what you are very capable of having is a carnal MINDSET.


In light of this clarity, the same excerpt of Romans should read:


Romans 8:5-8


For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose].
6 Now the mindSET of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mindSET of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever];
7 the mindSET of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot,
8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.


CHANGE YOUR MENTAL DISPOSITION!

You have the mind of Christ!

Your mind is HOLY!

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