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The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, Romans 8:6 - BSB

What is the mind of the flesh and the mind of the Spirit described in the verse? What are the differences between one another?

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The mind of the Spirit is the mind of Christ [1 Cor 2:16], the mind renewed and reborn with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, gifted with faith to believe, and by which understand the deep things of God, even to have intimate and constant fellowship with the living Christ.

The mind without the baptism is the mind of flesh, without the gift of faith, without the assurance of the truths unseen in God, and thus unable to understand spiritual things, nor truly believe. It can by the its own power of fleshy will, believe—or so it deludes itself—but its faithlessness will be betrayed in its life and acts, in its fruits, by hypocrisy, shamelessness, and a blindness to its own delusion and lies, not unlike the proverbial man who looked into the mirror without seeing himself. We see this all around us today, from MAGA to the megachurches to prosperity gospels and false prophets, etc etc.

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    I enjoyed this answer (apart from the megachurches and prosperity ending, it was unecessary to the answer). I wish you would have quoted from Ephesians though, how we were completely dead in our trespasses and sins, following the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air and living in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, and how God being rich in mercy made us alive in Christ Jesus, raising us up by grace and by His gift, being brought by the blood of Christ we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
    – user35803
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 2:04
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    The MAGA examples were to give concrete illustrations and reality to the words, which can be rather hackneyed, from much churchy use. For me its the "mind of Christ", something I constantly pursue, always comparing what I know now from what I knew, and always amazed at the constant reality and unsearchable wisdom and love of the living Christ.
    – Ylzm Ma
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 2:14
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    Agree, a good comment. But while criticizing MAGA, why not also to criticize even more abominable movements, like BLM, CRT in schools, Cancel culture, Political Correctness fetishism, radical feminism, LGBTQ+God only knows what letter of alphabet idolatry - their name is legion, for evil creativity of radical left has no limit. Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 15:19
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The mind of the flesh is always trying to prove it is acceptable to God based on what it does or doesn't do. It a mind living under the law and believing in ones own self-righteousness. One that has not submitted itself to the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

The mind of the spirit is one that has and accepted the righteousness of God that comes by the faith of Christ Jesus… This mind is continually focused on what Christ has done and learning to focus more on things above where Christ is seated.

It's at peace because it's based on God work and not mans.

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    Snoopy, You had asked me to give you a few scripture references. The apostle Paul is educating the believers on what has happened since the cross buried the old man and a new man has risen now in Christ… The old man is always associated with a mind that is a slave under the law, to the law of sin and death. The new man has its mind on the new life that's now in Christ… Of course this is all a walk of faith at this time. Romans 10.3 Romans 8.7 Colossians 3:2 Romans 7:4-6 Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law by the faith of Jesus
    – Sherrie
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 2:12
  • Thanks Sherrie! I deleted it because it was no longer necessary. You have provided a very good answer that has greatly helped me.
    – user35803
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 2:16
  • Snoopy, Thank you for your comment and I'm so glad that helped.
    – Sherrie
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 13:57
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The distinction observed in the OP's question is a regular theme in the NT.

The Holy Spirit is given to strengthen Christians' daily walk, and to live the Christian ideals, Eph 3:16, 17, Heb 2:4, and maintain unity in the Christian community (Eph 4:3-6). The Christian must be born of the Spirit (John 3:5) by receiving the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38) and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:25, John 6:63, Phil 3:3, John 4:24).

In fact the whole life of Christian is to put aside the “psychical” mind and live by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14, 1 Cor 15:44-46, Gal 5:17, Jude 19, John 6:63, 1 Peter 3:18). In short, the Holy Spirit is the only way we can know God, 1 Cor 2:10, 11, 14, John 16:13.

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The word translated as "mind" in Romans 8:6 is φρόνημα (Strong's G5427 - phronēma). As can be seen, it is a word only used by Paul, in the NT, only in Romans and only in chapter 8. In fact, Rom 8:7 helps the understanding of the expression "mind of the flesh", and Rom 8:27 helps the understanding of the expression "mind of the spirit".

As the Thayer's Lexicon suggests, the main meaning of φρόνημα is "what one has in the mind, the thoughts and purposes".

I suggest that Romans 8:6 can be "unpacked" this way:

"Following carnal purposes leads to death, following the way of the spirit leads to life and peace".

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One of Paul's clearest examples is his comparison of Ismael to Isaac in Gal. 4.

 But the son of the slave [Ismael] was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman [Isaac to Sarah] was born through promise. (Gal. 4:23, ESV)

But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh [Ismael] persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit [Isaac], so also it is now. (Gal. 4:29, ESV)

Mind of the Flesh - Abraham and Sarah consider the impossibility of Sarah giving birth to a child. So rather than waiting on God's promise, they decided help God out with the normal way for their culture. Abraham had a son through Sarah's servant Hagar. Paul used this to illustrate those seeking to gain righteousness by keeping the Mosaic Law.

Mind of the Spirit: Afterward Sarah miraculously bore a son, Isaac, the son of promise. Paul used this to illustrate those who gained righteousness through Christ's sacrifice.

In Galatians as well as Romans the mind of the Spirit also involves the Spirit living in us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Gal. 5:22–26, ESV)

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What are you focusing on? Your flesh/body or the spirit the dwells in and around it, like a subtle energy that moves and interacts with your body and mind. You can focus on either but I guess when you focus on your flesh the Bible says it brings death/destruction and when you're focused on what the spirit is doing it brings peace and life

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    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 15:38
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In response to the discussion around the term phroneo (and its cognates), it is employed 30 times in the NT, 27 of them by Paul. It is also used close to 60 times in the Septuagint. The mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16, Phil 2:5)/mind of the Spirit (Isa 11) is a canonical goal for God's people in a clarion call to think like Jesus.

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Fleshly mind thinks of and is stuck to earthly/transient things, while Spirit-led mind thinks about heavenly/lasting things. Fleshly mind thinks of the Lord Jesus Christ as the earthly king who will restore a Jewish Kingdom in the same glory as during times of David and Solomon (cf. John 6:15; and even His disciples, until they got enlightened by Spirit, held this crude idea about Him /Mark 10:37/), while Spirit-guided mind, sees Him as supra-political King, who will destroy the dominion of sin within human hearts and with sin also destroy dominion of death, for death has sin as its foundation (Romans 5:12), and when foundation is destroyed, that which stands on it - death - is also co-destroyed.

Earthly mind will eventually, by the very logic of its earthliness, kill the Lord Jesus Christ not seeing in Him the Incarnate God, but rather see in Him a danger of cancellation of their grand political-national expectations; on the contrary, the Spirit-led mind will necessarily, by the very logic of its being led by the Holy Spirit, will acknowledge Godhead of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:3) and therefore honor Him on equal terms with the Father (John 5:23).

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    What does "Earthly mind will eventually, by the very logic of its earthliness, kill the Lord Jesus Christ not seeing in Him the Incarnate God" has to do with the Q? Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 6:51
  • @AlexBalilo Everything! For I describe the earthly mind and the very description leads to see it in its dynamic, purpose-oriented way: when one follows earthly mind, one puts temporal values over the eternal ones, but since it is impossible during human earthly life not to encounter a dilemma between those two, then either-or situation arises necessarily. The most acute instance of this "either.. or.. " is either to kill Christ or to die with Him, tertium non datur. Most of us choose the first for most humans bear fleshly mind. That is a sad reality. But if not humanity, each of us can change. Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 8:24

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