“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free… from the law of sin and death… For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you… If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:1-2,5-11
“He rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.’” Mark 8:33
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
“If… you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2
The mind is easily impressionable, and many forces in this world pander and cajole to make their mark. Religious beliefs, prejudices, scientific hypotheses, academic studies, popular opinion, social media, all have offerings that entice and take up mental room, that shape and dictate how we process information and make decisions. So what is a Christian to do? How does an image-bearer of God determine the mind of Christ in a godless culture? By fostering the mind of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
We are not born with a mind of life and peace. We are anything but righteous, and our mere flesh has stained our thinking through and through. But when we are born again, and have been raised with Christ into new life, and His Spirit dwells in us, we are no longer hostile to the mind of the Spirit. We warm to the things of God, and seek out spiritual truth as daily food. Our deepest hunger may be slow to transform, but holy desire is awakened, and by practice we begin to seek what is above, and recount what is true, noble, right, and pure. By discipline of our will, we set our minds on things of God, and camp there.
What old cravings of the flesh, and habits of self-loathing and condemnation, need to fade? When we recognize rebellion’s poke, do we ignore its come-on by submitting to the Spirit instead? How are we nurturing a mind of the Spirit?
Lord, infuse and shape my mindset with Your Holy Spirit. May I daily reckon myself dead to the flesh, and fully alive to You. (Romans 6:7-11)