Have you LOST your MIND?

We have to change our minds

by Edward Langenback

© January 12, 2001

A popular preacher once said that in order to become a Christian, you have to lose your mind, and while you don't have to lose it in the sense of going insane, you do have to change it. We have to change our minds so that we can become what God wants us to become. Before we are born again, our minds are actually fighting against God.

Romans 8:6, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

Romans 8:7, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

In verse six, God shows us the two kinds of mind, and what results we can expect from having each. The word 'carnally' is translated from the Greek sarx {pronounced sarx} [strongs number 4561] and refers to the sensuous nature of man, The animal nature with cravings which incite to sin. This is the kind of mind that people have who are not followers of and believers in Jesus. These people are not in the least interested in doing or even knowing the will of God for their lives. They are much more interested in their own pleasures and desires. The result of having this kind of mind is death, which is translated from the Greek thanatos {pronounced than'-at-os} [strongs number 2288] and refers to that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended, with the implied idea of future misery in hell.

Clearly, this result is not something that any of us really want. Fortunately God gives us the other side of the coin, a different type of mind, a spiritual mind. The word 'spiritual' is translated from the Greek pneuma {pronounced pnyoo'-mah} [strongs number 4151] The spirit, i.e., the vital principal by which the body is animated. This mind is concerned primarily with the things of the spirit, which is that part of us that is us and continues to exist forever. God tells us in this verse that the result of having this kind of mind is 'life and peace'. The word 'life' is translated from the Greek zoe {pronounced dzo-ay'} [strongs number 2222] and means the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to and originates from God. The word 'peace' is rendered from the Greek eirene {pronounced i-ray'-nay} [strongs number 1515] and means a state of Tranquillity, exemption from the rage and havoc of war. peace between individuals, i.e., harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity.

When you look at the meanings of the words used in the original Greek text, you begin to see that there is a serious difference in the two kinds of mind. The man with a carnal mind is concerned with satisfying his own desires. He's more interested in feeding his face than giving God thanks for having provided what he is eating. He would rather watch football or go out drinking than pray. And when somebody suggests that he should read or (gasp) study the bible, he laughs and considers it to be a moronic suggestion, good only for mental weaklings and little old ladies. He would consult a psychic or a psychiatrist before looking up what God's word has to say about what to do in any given type of situation.

On the other hand, the man with the spiritual mind knows that if God didn't provide his food, that he wouldn't eat. He knows that God, and not his alarm clock is truly what awakens him in the morning. He is willing to skip that meal, or miss that football game, or give up anything else to spend time in prayer, talking to and listening to God and interceding for others. He reads the bible, studying it intently, and desires to know God's will in everything he does. The spiritually minded person is not given to excess in any form, is instantly ready to forgive, and truly loves others as he loves himself. Such people do not need the law to tell them what to do, because God's law is engraved in their hearts, and it has become their nature to follow it without hesitation.

The carnally minded are always worried about something. These poor folks are never really sure from one day to the next if they are going to have a job, or that their car is going to break down. They're always unsure about what the next day will bring, and if you ask them if they think that they are going to heaven they answer things like 'I think so.' And 'Yes, I've been a really good person.' Or just 'I don't know.' Still more of them doubt that heaven is real, or that God exists and has any interest in their eternal destiny whatsoever.

The spiritually minded have confidence that God will supply all of their needs. No possible lack of anything concerns them because they know God loves them and is taking care of them. They do not worry about what the next day has in store for them. They live one day at a time, leaving the next days' troubles and concerns until the next day. And when asked, they can confidently assure you that they have a home in heaven, and that their right to be there was purchased by Jesus on the cross.

When you accept Jesus and are born again, you are given the ability and command to change your mind.

1 Peter 4:1, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;"

God is telling us that we are to have the same mind as Jesus. Lets think for a minute what kind of mind Jesus has. When He drove the moneychangers out of the temple were His thoughts those of a carnal mind or a spiritual mind? What he said at the time tells us that He was thinking with a spiritual mind:

Matthew 21:13, "And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."

A carnally minded person would not have been concerned that the temple is supposed to be a place of prayer, not commerce. And when the leper came to him for healing, He didn't react as a carnally minded person would have, by staying as far away from him as possible to avoid catching the disease or being made unclean by coming in contact with him. Instead, He did not hesitate to touch him and heal him (Matthew 8:2-3)

When confronted by people who were possessed by demons, He was not afraid of them, nor did he bargain with them or beg them to come out. He simply ordered them to shut up and get out (Mark 1:23-26)

When a large multitude that had followed Him out into the countryside became hungry, He did not fuss and worry where enough food was going to be gotten, nor did He try to send them into town to eat. Instead He not only fed five thousand people with a two-piece fish dinner, but had twelve baskets of leftovers. (Luke 9:12-17)

What we have to do is to make a conscious decision to obey what God commands us to do:

Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

We have to renew, or change completely, our minds. We have to transform ourselves by exchanging the old carnal mind with it's lusts and fears, for a spiritual mind, and the ability and willingness to learn and follow God's will that this gives us. Then and only then, are we able to live our lives in confidence, trusting God in everything.