Trying to understand this verse without the revelation of the Holy Spirit will undermine the essence of what’s being beautifully portrayed here. Religion has used this verse to teach that to be carnally minded is to be full of sins in the flesh while spiritually minded is to be living holy, pleasing God. Living a life that’s pleasing to God is important but without the knowledge of the truth, trying to please God will result in condemnation and defeat. Just zeal without knowledge of the truth produces religion and that’s where most believers are camped in, for ages.
So, what then is to be carnally minded? If it just meant sins of the flesh, then Jesus’ finished work has to be negated, because He received the wages of sin, which is death, on our behalf. It cannot mean sins of the flesh. The answer lies in the letter of 2 Corinthians, where Paul speaks about the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones. The law was written and engraved on stones and Paul calls it the ministry of death. I submit to you, to be carnally minded is to be mindful of the law. Naturally, being mindful of the law produces self righteousness. The moment one is self righteous, he ends up in sin consciousness. To be law conscious is to be sin conscious and it strengthens sin while producing condemnation and death.
Having seen the pitfalls of being carnally minded, let’s look at what’s being spiritually minded is. As a believer in Christ, every saint is equipped to enjoy this life and peace. But until a believer chooses to receive them, he cannot enjoy them. To receive the grace of Jesus is to receive this life and peace and rest in His finished work for our life is to be spiritually minded. It’s a simple truth that can literally set believers free from the bondage of sin, guilt and condemnation. Yet this freedom that comes about by grace is shown as scandalous and dangerous. Believers that enjoy the rest of Christ are ridiculed for living in grace while that’s exactly the realm, Jesus wants us to live in!
Isn’t it like the devil to hoodwink believers into believing a lie and forsake the truth? Freedom in Christ is portrayed as scandalous and dangerous, while being in submission to the 10 commandments is portrayed as being holy and pleasing to God. Believers don’t see the life and peace of Christ manifest in their lives because they are being carnally minded (trying to be justified by the law). Grace is not man’s invention, but God’s provision to save, heal, protect and make man one with God. The law is a barrier while grace is the bridge. Which one would you choose? A barrier or a bridge? I pray you shun the lie and receive the truth in Jesus name!