Mortifying or Fortifying the Carnal Mind?

The Holy Spirit

When we received the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized in water in His name, we received the spirit which is of God and not of the world (1 Cor. 2:12).

Renewing of the mind

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12: 2)

The above verse contains three very important parts:

Renewing of the mind
Transformation
Proving the good, acceptable and perfect will of God

I believe most of us grew up being conformed to the world, that is, having carnal minds. The carnal mind is that which is worldly or earthly, adhering to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). But when we receive the Holy Spirit, there is now a renewing of the mind from ALL that we’ve embraced and grown accustomed to to things of God. That is, spiritual things. A transformation happens in us as our minds are renewed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and by the knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word. Only when we are transformed can we know what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. And with this knowledge, we begin to walk according to His will.

Mortifying the carnal mind

To continue to grow spiritually, there is a need to mortify those members of our being, specifically the carnal mind, which adhere to sin.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Col. 3:5 NIV)

Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (Rom. 6:13 NIV)

Schism in the Mind

Having received the Holy Spirit, yet from time to time, the mind yields to following the things of the flesh – there will be no perfect peace. For a carnal mind can never be reconciled to a spiritual mind, for what harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Rom. 8:7)

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:6)

He/she who fortifies the carnal mind has not so learned Christ

I have chosen this topic today because of something I read on FB. It is about this trilogy of books (can grey have too many shades, even fifty?) that’s deluging America and the hearts of many around the world, mostly women, young and old, single or married (that is, from what I’ve gathered reading the comments). Although I knew I wouldn’t want to read it, I went to Amazon to know what’s the rave all about. I read negative reviews about the book (honestly, I always find negative reviews helpful), and there are lots of them. Even when I wasn’t yet a born-again Christian, erotica wasn’t my kind of a good read. And I had given up chick lit even before I graduated from college.

How could one profess to praise and worship God yet drinks in fifty shades of sexual fantasies to the full, filling the mind and  mouth to overflowing?

I wouldn’t touch this book, and anyone who does who has received the Holy Spirit is a fool. He/she is fortifying the carnal mind.

Called to Be Holy

For the true Christian has received the Holy Spirit and walks after Him; her mind has been renewed; her life has been transformed; her sinful nature has been put to death; she knows the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God and walks accordingly. She is in one mind, a spiritual mind.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, and Rom. 6:22 (there are still other verses) speak of the pursuit of holiness:

…let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

******

My weekly gratitude list ~ thankful to the Lord for:

  • amazing testimonies I heard today in the worship service that filled my mind and nourished my soul.
  • the magnificent display of His mighty power in Jesus Miracle Crusade Intl. Min. crusades held this summer throughout the country: salvation of souls, healing of diseased bodies, deliverance from vices and addictions.
  • the singing of The King is Coming by the Finest Choir which lifted my spirit to glorious heights and as my hands were raised and my eyes were tightly closed, I felt the King’s sweet holy presence and I sobbed in gratitude and joy!
  • for blessed days of writing with God’s wisdom and anointing, and cooking and baking for family – happiness!
  • for these sticky rice cakes wrapped in banana leaf lovingly made by a sister in Christ just for us. The Lord’s love is sweet beyond words.

Linked to Sharing His Beauty, Multitudes on Mondays, Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Encourage My Heart, Teach Me Tuesday, State of the Heart, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Teaching What is Good, Better Mom Mondays, Women Living Well, Raising Homemakers, Women in the Word Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual SundaysProverbs 31 Thursdays

 

Comments

  1. I have heard about this book too! I am so glad you have taken as stand against Christians reading this book… I stand with you! I cannot fathom WHY any professing Christian woman (or man) would entertain such.

  2. Betty says:

    I am behind in what the latest “must” reads are these days. Glad to know what this is about!
    I love to read but, I do not want anything I take into my mind to offend the Lord.

  3. I whole heartedly agree with you.

  4. Rina–I have not heard about this trilogy and did some reading about it. The people who like it overwhelmingly like the emotions the books produce in them. Other reviewers talk about their worthiness in describing the darker side of deviant sexuality as though this were something we needed to understand for our benefit. I know that those of us called to minister to or to love people who live this lifestyle may need to know this, but honestly, I don’t know that I do, at least not in that depth, for exactly the reasons you describe.

    I am not a Christian who wants to run and hide from the world’s uglier side, but on the other hand, we are fools if we think we can delve into it under the guise of entertainment or simply general knowledge and not be affected.

    I, too, take seriously God’s call to holiness and try to look at everything I embrace in its light. Thank you for holding up a high standard.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Mrs. P., I left a comment under their post as they talk about the book on FB, but nothing could dampen their excitement. I believe now more than ever, that not all who call themselves Christians are true Christians, but only those who have been born in the Spirit and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. For it is the Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth and holiness.

      But I know that there is no giving up on them, as the Lord had commissioned us. As one apostolic pastor said to this effect: “We will continue to preach the Gospel of salvation even if it meant wrapping our arms around their legs just to stop them from jumping into hell.”

  5. Rina, excellent post! I have so much sin in my own heart that I’m working to toss out…I certainly don’t need to add any more! Our flesh screams so loudly some times, but learning to mortify it is such a blessing in the long run!! I don’t want anything controlling my heart and mind other than the Spirit of God!

    Thank you for this wonderful and very needed post today!!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Exactly, Kate. To let the devil have a free rein, again, in our hearts and minds, is like what Apostle Peter had warned us about: “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Pet. 2:22)

  6. Rachel says:

    I have read the free sample of this book on the kindle. Just so you know, regardless of the sexual content, it seems to be really poorly written/edited. The sample never got to the dirty parts, which after reading the reviews I am REALLY glad about. I tend to skim over the dirty parts of romance novels, to get back to the story, but apparently this book is about 70% sex scenes. Also I didn’t realize until reading the review that it wasn’t “normal” sex, but BDSM. I am so happy I didn’t read it, as I am sure there are things in the book you could never forget, no matter how much you wanted to.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Yes, Rachel, when I read the negative reviews in Amazon, there were many who said that it is poorly written, in language and in content (poor knowledge in geography, etc.) that some of the reviewers thought the author is a 16-year old. True, it is really hard to shake off something filthy that we have fed our minds with because it is the work of the devil.

  7. D. Lynn says:

    I am going to be sharing this post on facebook. I have a lot of friends who are dying to read that book (I was too until I was informed about the content.). Thanks so much for sharing the truth and your heart.

  8. I’ve read many comments from Christian’s concerning this book. I have no desire to read it.

  9. Charlotte says:

    I had not heard of this book but it definitely is a no no. I will definitely not be reading it. Thanks for the heads up on it.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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