“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:6-7).
Man, being made in the image of God, has the capacity to think as God thinks. As God divides between good and evil so, too, man is able to divide between that which is good and that which is evil.
Man is made up of body and spirit. His body requires nourishment, warmth, rest, and care for its general health and wellbeing. When the body receives in temperate measures those requirements, it is the most likely to remain healthy and active. When the body is denied some of these essentials, it will become weak and ailing. On the other hand, when the body is asked to accept more than it can rightly consume, or when it is asked to receive elements that are not healthy, such as drugs or overwork, it soon loses its dependability. At the best, the body is of temporary existence. It soon becomes old and fades away.
Spirit is just as real as body. Without spirit the body would have little, if any, motivation. Spirit has to do with passions of love, anger, compassion, hate, and devotion. Most of all, the spirit of man has a strong desire to commune with God after whose image it has been made. It has an intense longing to return to its creator.
Both body and spirit have been placed under the jurisdiction of the mind of man. Man’s mind is a free moral agent. It is with this free mind that he makes all of his decisions. So man finds himself in battle. Shall he satisfy the carnal and temporary ambitious desires of the body, or shall he bring to peace the deep inner longings of the spirit? The one is to be carnally minded and the other one is to be spiritually minded.
The thought avenues of the carnal mind are many, and it has its own nature. The carnal mind finds fulfillment in the immediate. The goals that can be reached today are attractive. That which satisfies the ego and promotes pride is fodder for it. The carnal mind has dreams of accomplishments and of power. It seeks honor and prestige. The appearance of the body and the personality is of great importance. Much thought is given to attire and the acceptance by peers. The carnal mind will include God only as it will enhance the prosperity of its enterprises. In its grosser sense, the carnal mind will sink to sensual fantasies. All of this and more is the nature of the carnal mind. It is also the nature of death.
The spiritual mind looks away from self and looks to God. It longs to have a communing relationship with its creator. It will respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It will quickly dispel vanity. It has joy in prayer and devotion. The spiritual mind does not place security in earthly accomplishments, but its hope lies in the eternal mercies of God. The spiritual mind does not emphasize form as a medium to reach God, but rather that form is a result of a spiritual mind. The spiritual mind will have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith.
102 Devotional Sermonettes, used by permission
Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11