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  • Sam Matthews. K

189. Mind controlled by the Spirit.

In the previous write up, it was stated that the 'law of sin and death' and the 'law of the Spirit of life' are mutually opposed to each other. The effects of one are reversed by the other, depending upon whether we live according to the sinful nature or according to the Spirit. 'Those who live according to the sinful nature (or the flesh) have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.' ( Romans 8:5) 'For the sinful nature (or the flesh) desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit desires what is contrary to the sinful nature ( or the flesh). They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.' (Galatians 5:17) This conflict of desires within us has disheartened many well-meaning Christans because all their genuine efforts to overcome their nagging sins has been futile without the Spirit. Paul himself wrote about his inner struggles with sin before he became a Christian and the ultimate victory through the Spirit of Christ. 'So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in "God's law" ( meaning the Word of God), but I see another law ( i.e. the law of sin) at work in the members of my body, waging war against the "law of my mind" and making me a prisoner of the "law of sin" at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!' ( Romans 7:21-25) In this passage, Paul mentions two other laws i.e. the 'Word of God' and the 'law of the mind', which together with the other two laws mentioned earlier, constitute the 'four laws', set by God to govern us, just as a government governs its citizens by the various laws set in the Constitution of their nation.

The 'law of the mind' can be stated in similar terms as it is stated in Scriptures about our hearts (meaning the inner man consisting of our spirit and soul which is the seat of our mind, will and emotions). Hence it can also be said: 'As a man thinketh in his mind, so is he.' (Proverbs 23:7) Since the mind controls our actions, it therefore matters who or what controls our mind. There is a battle being waged between our spirit and our flesh for control over our mind. Our minds are caught in between our spirit and flesh, torn between the two, because it wants to go both ways! That explains why many Christians live worldly lives because they want the 'best of both worlds'! But we are either godly Christians or worldly Christians! ( 1 Corinthians 3:1-3) There is no ground inbetween! 'Do not love the world or anything in the world ... For everything in the world ... comes not from the Father but from the world.' ( 1 John 2:15-17) 'Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.' (James 4:4) The mind is swayed either by the 'word' or by the 'world'. (That explains why God has commanded us to meditate on his word day and night while the devil is working day and night to control our minds through the media of the world.) A mind controlled by the flesh is unholy and lacks integrity whereas a mind controlled by the Spirit is holy and has the resolve to do good. 'The mind of sinful man ( or mind set on the flesh) is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind ( or the mind set on the flesh) is hostile to God. It does not submit to "God's law" (meaning the Word of God), nor can it do so ... You, however are controlled not by the sinful nature (or the flesh) but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.' (Romans 8:6-9) The Spirit bypassed our hostile minds to come directly into our hearts to take control of our minds. Once we had many unanswered questions but now we seem to have found the answers because we have the Spirit in us. 'And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.' ( Vs 9) But 'those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature ( or the flesh) with its passions and desires.' (Galatians 5:24) Since the Spirit has taken control of our minds, 'we have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature to live according to it ... but if by the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body, we will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.' (Romans 8:12- 13) Amen.

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