A double minded man

by | Jul 24, 2023 | July 2023 | 0 comments

… For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
Romans 7:18 (NIV)

Peter Mill

Paul’s famous struggle laid bare in chapter 7 of Romans has been described as spiritual schizophrenia – a battle of two minds – the mind of the flesh and the mind of the spirit. 

Paul might be more honest than most in sharing his problem, but he is far from being the only person to suffer from the condition. Many of the heroes of the Bible were double minded. Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife. Moses murdered an Egyptian with his bare hands. David had Uriah killed to cover his adultery with Bathsheba. Yet all were commended for their righteousness in Hebrews 11, the aptly named faith chapter.

In publicly declaring himself a spiritual schizophrenic, Paul was sharing a problem that, if we are honest, all Christians have to deal with – the struggle between knowing what is right and doing what is right. After wrestling with the conundrum for most of the chapter, Paul finally comes to the conclusion that, no matter how much he tries, he cannot not sin. In desperation, he cries out, ‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?’ (Romans 7:24). The answer, of course, is that deliverance comes from Jesus Christ, who paid the most costly price to set us free from all our transgressions.

Later, Paul tells of an antidote to spiritual schizophrenia in his letter to the church in Philippi: ‘Let this mind be in you’ he writes, ‘which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:5 NKJV).

Through communing with God in prayer, studying God’s word: the Holy Bible, and listening to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit, our old minds will slowly and steadily be transformed into new minds, as we become new creations in Christ.

In the meantime, be encouraged by some more of Paul’s words, this time from 2 Corinthians: ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). I love the way he talks here as if it has already happened! 

Let’s be single minded in our conviction that Jesus will finish the work he has started within us.

Heavenly Father, in the words of Jesus, “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”  From our fleshly standpoint, salvation seems impossible but help us to be mindful that with God all things are possible. And they are made possible in and through Jesus Christ. We pray this then, in his name. Amen.


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