The Apostle Paul tells us to have a spiritual mind-set and not to have a carnal mind-set in Romans chapter 8. Why? He says that to have a carnal mind-set means spiritual death. How, then, can a person in a carnal body, living in a carnal world, surrounded by carnal people, live spiritually minded? The answer is quite simple, in order to have a spiritual mind, we must possess a holy attitude.
Let us repeat: A Holy Attitude…
Yes, a holy attitude or an attitude of holiness is the key to stepping into spiritual mindedness. Instead of considering ourselves as sinners, we must see ourselves as saints or we will have a carnal mind. This could be a life-changing lesson for many in the church today.
Let us see if the Apostle Paul is in agreement with this conclusion with his teaching in Romans chapter 8 versus 5 through 9 and verse 13. The scripture reads as follows:
(5)” For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
(6)” For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
(7)” Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
(8)” So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
(9)” But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
(13)” For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
What is Paul telling us here about a carnal mind-set and a spiritual mind-set? He is saying that if we are born again believers in Christ Jesus, we are or should be, at least, living in the Spirit (speaking about the Holy Spirit) and not in the flesh.
Many suggest these passages written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome are just saying that once we have accepted Jesus Christ in our hearts by way of the so-called sinners’ prayer, than that is it; we are considered automatically spiritually minded for life. Yet, this is not what the Apostle Paul is teaching here as we can easily see in verse 6.
In verse 6, he uses the word “minded”, translated from the Greek word, “phronema” which has to do with our thinking. This means that he is teaching us that, to think carnally or worldly is death, and not simply physical death (since we will all have to die physically) but spiritual death. On the other hand, to think spiritually is life, and not only life, but life and peace.
How Does Our Thinking Cause Us To Live In The Flesh?
Our thinking causes us to live in the flesh because our thinking pattern leads to our over-all attitude. Therefore, if we think that we are a holy saint of God, than we will have that same attitude when confronted with temptations to sin. This does not mean that we will be sinless, but it means we will have the attitude of a holy child of God that will seek to resist temptation instead of falling for every temptation. With this attitude, the Holy Spirit will help us and empower us, and lead us out of the temptations that leads to spiritual bondage by the Devil.
Yes, with a holy attitude, we invite the Holy Spirit to empower us with the ability to overcome the sin that so easily besets us with patience (Hebrews 12:1).
What about Our Sin Nature?
The sin nature-focus is a mentality that leads to double-mindedness. The sin nature, as generally taught to the church today, is from on the Doctrine of Original Sin. The doctrine of original sin says, basically, that due to the sin of Adam (the first man); sin is now in our DNA. Therefore, most of the preaching and teaching today focuses, unfortunately, on how we must, should, and ought to sin. On the other hand, they also preach about living holy.
What a contradiction in beliefs!
This is a double-minded contradiction. How can we expect to live holy or not kill, steal, lie, or cheat on the one hand, if we hear constant teaching that we should have the sinner’s defeated mind-set, on the other hand? A sinner’s mind-set leads to a sinner’s attitude, a sinner’s attitude leads to a carnal mind, and a person with a carnal mind is one that lives a defeated life in the flesh, and living in the flesh leads to spiritual death!
That is what the Apostle Paul, by the Holy Ghost, was really teaching us.
We are not suggesting that Believers should lie about sinning. Instead, we are saying as the Apostle Paul taught, that we should face sin, not as a helpless sinner bound to sin, as many teach and most Christians practice, but a victorious saint who has labelled themselves as holy with the attitude empowered by the Holy Ghost to Just Say No to Sin!
- No, sin, I am the temple of the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 6:19).
- Also, no, sin, I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus my Lord (Romans 8:37).
- No, sin, I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
- No, sin, I am in Christ, therefore, I am a New Creature: old things have passed away; behold all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17)!
- I am NEW and I got a NEW attitude, a new way of thinking, a new paradigm!
We have to possess an attitude of holiness filled with the peace and power of God in order to resist sin! In conclusion, we must have what Paul mentions in II Corinthians 2:16,
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Then the Apostle Paul confirms and reaffirms this statement in Philippians 2:5-9 when he says,
(5)”Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
(6)” Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”
(7)” But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”
(8)” And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
(9)” Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”