Battle of the flesh and mind…

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Romans 6:5–14 (NRSV): 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

In our passage Paul seems to connect the “body” with “sin”, especially v.13-14. The “members” he mentions refers to members of the body. There’s no question there are appetites of the flesh that can lead us astray. That said, speaking for myself at least, it is the battle of the mind that can lead me astray much more quickly than the battle of the flesh.

Bodily appetites are frequent enough, but the battle of the mind seems to be continuous. It. Never. Stops. I suspect Paul understood this kind of mental temptation, which is perhaps why he wrote the following:

Philippians 4:8 (NRSV): 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Lord you know me inside and out. You know how I struggle in the battle of the mind. Give me grace to dwell on nobler things, such as those named in the verse above. As you know, the struggle is real. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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