Sermon 39 – The CARNAL MIND vs. the MIND of CHRIST

06 Nov

The carnal mind is enmity against God because it is not subject to the law of God, and can never be  Romans 8:7

Actually, the carnal mind is so elevated in itself that it’s conned itself into believing that it

has the law of God in its heart so it doesn’t have to keep it. The carnal mind plays with coveting, plays with immorality, plays with compromising the Sabbath, plays with worldliness. The mind of Christ can see that that’s all a contradiction. If the law of God is in your heart then it means you have made a full commitment to keep them from your heart.

The carnal mind thinks primarily on the things of the world and on one’s own personal needs. The mind of Christ thinks primarily on the things of God, Romans 8:5.

The carnal mind is always trying to feel good, always ready to blame, carries zero responsibility until it’s caught-out, expects others to do what suits them, and only trusts their own feelings. It’s all one-way niceness towards myself, and even if it acts caring towards others, it’s really doing it to make itself feel good. The carnal mind believes friends are there to make me feel of value, and if they don’t they’re not true friends, or else the carnal mind acts friendly to get value. That is, it uses people and opportunities for its own purpose and self-value.

The carnal mind has fallen for the con that you have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else. The mind of Christ is only interested in loving the Father.

You can tell whether someone’s in the carnal mind when you don’t do for them what they want or expect. It has a mood, either exposed or internalised.

The carnal mind believes …

This is my truth, this is my understanding, and these are my feelings

Therefore, based on these …

I’ll judge, I’ll tell you how to behave towards me, & I’ll decide what’s right and wrong

Basically, what this all means is that …

I am the boss of me and no one’s going to tell me what to do unless I say so.

Q. How does the carnal mind think?

Some common examples are …

  1. If I’m hurting it’s your job to fix me up … but this is not how Jesus spoke to His Father, or how David spoke to his father-in-law.
  2. You made me hurt, so it’s your fault … but this is not how Jesus responded to being crucified
  3. If I apologise it’s your responsibility to forgive me and reconcile with me … but David didn’t do that with his father-in-law
  4. I’m not responsible if I don’t mean to do it … but this is not what it says in Leviticus 5:17
  5. If I don’t understand I can’t accept it … but this is not how Jesus called His 12 disciples to serve Him, & this is not how Adam & Eve were told about the tree, and if you wait till you understand heaven you’ll never arrive.
  6. Surely I have the right to work it out for myself … but the mind of Christ doesn’t lose that right it just doesn’t lean on its own understanding.
  7. If you don’t understand how I feel then you’re not loving … but agape love doesn’t submit to the demand of your feelings.
  8. If you’re nasty to me then I have the right to be nasty to you … but this is the opposite to Matthew 5:44 & 7:12
  9. God’s responsible to show me my sin, so I’ll wait, and I’m not responsible till He does … but this is not what the Word says in Leviticus 5:17 & Romans 3:23.
  10. I’m good. If you correct me, you’re bad … but the Word says in Hebrews 12:8 that if you are without correction you can’t be a member of God’s kingdom.
  11. If you are going to correct me then you must do it nicely … but this is not what God says in Hebrews 12:11, Ephesians 5:11 & 1Timothy 5:20, and it’s not how Jesus addressed Peter or the Pharisees.
  12. If you won’t listen to me, then you’re not nice … is obviously a selfish reaction.

The carnal mind’s objective is ‘no problems’ … ‘no hassles’

The carnal mind thinks that the parents, the authority and the government are the ones that are responsible to solve their problems, and to protect them from problems, and thus blames the authority whenever it suffers a problem, and it sees correction as the authority’s fault for creating their problem. It refuses to take responsibility for its own problems.

But, the mind of Christ knows that … ‘all that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution’, 2Timothy 3:12 & if you love Jesus … ‘you shall be hated of all men for His name’s sake’, Mark 13:3. Thus, the carnal mind can never find salvation because it insists on the easy way to heaven, and thus, the prosperity doctrine of ‘you can have whatever you ask for if you have faith’, is an easy sell to the carnal mind.

The carnal mind hates correction; it makes one feel inferior; so it either rebels against it or tries to get its act together so it always looks good so it never gets into trouble. But the mind of Christ knows that one needs a heart change, not a skin change.

The carnal mind created the concept of unconditional love so that it could get away with whatever behaviour it felt like and you would still have to love me. It propagates the popular theory of ‘once saved always saved’. But, the mind of Christ knows that God’s love is conditional … if I don’t forgive, He won’t forgive me (Matthew 6:15) ; if I don’t take responsibility for my sin and repent, there is no salvation from sin; and if I rebel against His commandments I can be cut-off from the vine (Romans 11:22, John 15:2). The carnal mind can’t keep the laws of God; in fact, the carnal mind passes them off as out-moded; but, the mind of Christ knows that the Ten Commandments have always been the light for the pathway to heaven, Matthew 5:17-19.

One of the key signs of the carnal mind is ‘blame‘. ‘Blame’ started in the Garden of Eden and every time we fall to our old nature we go directly to ‘blame’. The mind of Christ never blames others for its predicaments it turns to the Father and trusts His plan.

The carnal mind stands on its rights and stands up for its rights (either vocally or silently inwardly), but the mind of Christ leaves its defence to the righteous judgment of the Father.

The carnal mind contends with the authority about making such a fuss about its sin.

The carnal mind often puts % on its sin, and dismisses sin as ‘not that bad,’ but the mind of Christ knows that all selfishness is sin. Thus the carnal mind can never find ‘metanoeo’ genuine repentance because it never fully owns its sin and seeks to blames others for making it sin.

The thinking of the carnal mind is always contrary to the spirit of truth even though it often supports its case with the truth. The Bible calls this … “holding the truth in unrighteousness” Romans 1:18.

The final consequence of the carnal mind is eternal death, and you can’t avoid it by pretending to be spiritual. In 1Kings 2:36 Shimei, the man who had cursed king David, made an agreement with Solomon (David’s son) that he would not leave the boundaries of Jerusalem on punishment of death, as evidence that he had really changed his heart when he repented of his arrogant disrespect to David. For three years he acted as if he was genuine. Then one day he compromised the agreement by chasing after some run-away servants. To his carnal mind what was the big hassle? But to the mind of Solomon it confirmed the true wickedness he was privy to in his heart (v.44). This is not just a historical story, it’s a spiritual perspective of how the God the Father deals with a defiant mind.

We’re all subject to the carnal mind, but a genuine Christian deliberately trains himself to contend with his own mind so he can submit to the mind of Christ.

The person who functions under the mind of Christ exhibits these following characteristics…

  1. Doesn’t have to see before it believes
  2. Doesn’t have to understand before it accepts
  3. Doesn’t have to know the truth
  4. Doesn’t have to be right
  5. Doesn’t have to win
  6. Doesn’t worry about fairness
  7. Doesn’t trust my own human understanding
  8. Doesn’t surrender to human feelings, but analyses by faith using my feelings
  9. Accepts correction without murmuring
  10. Waits on God without expectation or demand
  11. Takes responsibility and repents
  12. Changes its mind to God’s truth whether it understands it or not
  13. Unconditionally surrenders to God’s laws & God’s will & God’s plan
  14. Daily dies to the mind of self

The carnal mind mocks these qualities as being vulnerable to mind manipulation and incapable of making one’s own decisions, and needing a crutch; but the person who has surrendered to the mind of Christ knows in their heart that these allegations are born out of stubbornness to submit, envy of my relationship with the Father, resistance to authority, and defiance against the mind of Christ. No wonder the carnal mind is enmity against God; it’s the mind of Satan.

The carnal mind is not easily entreated, partial in its decisions, and hypocritical in its judgments (James 3:17).

You can know the mind of Christ if you want to, but few do, either because they don’t want the way of pain, or they’re too proud to think they wouldn’t already have it.

May God stir your spirit to surrender to the mind of Christ.

Pastor Richard Lyonnes

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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Mind


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