The Carnal Mind Is Enmity Against God | Bible Truth

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Most Christians have heard the term carnal or the flesh. Some Christians have an understanding of those terms as well. However, there are still a lot of believers who don’t truly understand what the carnal mind is and how it operates. So what exactly is the carnal mind?

The carnal mind is enmity against God and not subject to the law of God. It’s a mindset that will constantly war against what God said to prevent people from knowing the truth. To be carnally minded is death according to God. When someone is born again they are no longer suppose to listen to the stranger’s voice because God has given the believer the mind of Christ and tells them to be spiritually minded! (Romans 8:5-7, 1 Corinthians 2:16 )

It’s very important for a believer to understand what the carnal mind is so they are no longer fooled by the stranger’s voice. If you want to learn more about this truth, keep listening.

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The Carnal Mind Opened

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The carnal mind was not always around. When God first created man, Adam/Eve they had the mind of Christ. They had no understanding of what good or evil was. All they knew was God’s word and lived according to what God said. This all changed after the serpent tricked them.

  • Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV)  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
  • Genesis 2:17 (KJV)  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Before Adam/Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they thought differently. They had no understanding of good or evil. Again they only knew what God said and His word. They only thought and lived according to God’s word. Until the stranger’s voice appeared and spoke to them something different than what God said. This is the first time a thought came opposing what God had already said.

  • Genesis 3:1-7 (KJV)  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

This is a shifting point for Adam/Eve. They now encountered a voice from the serpent which opposed what God said and they believed the lie. That moment when they ate their eyes opened. This was not referring to physical eyes because before they could see things physically. So something else opened.

Notice it says that they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together. Let’s look at their next response.

  • Genesis 3:8-13 (KJV)  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  9  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  10  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  11  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  12  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.  13  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

For the first time ever Adam/Eve was afraid of God. They knew they were naked. They now had knowledge of good and evil. They had fear which immediately tried to separate them from God. This is when the carnal mind way of thinking opened for Adam/Eve.

This would now change the course of mankind from that day forward for everyone else.

Born With The Carnal Mind

Since Adam/Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This will now effect everyone else. A seed can only bear after it’s own kind.

  • Genesis 1:11-12 (KJV)  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  12  And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

These verses are referring to tree’s growing but this carries also a spiritual interpretation as well. People will now be birthed with the sin nature in a fallen state with the carnal mind. Look what God says.

Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV)  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Notice God put enmity between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. There are multiple things this verse is referring to. One of the things this is referring to is that people now will be born in the same state as Adam/Eve. People were now born with the sin nature and carnal mind. The only exception to this is Jesus. He was the only one born without the sin nature.

The Carnal Mind Is Enmity Towards God

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When Adam/Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil the carnal mind opened. That’s why Adam/Eve hid from the presence of God.

The carnal mind is enmity towards God. The carnal mind will always try to alienate people from the presence of God. This is because Jesus is the truth that sets people free.

  • Romans 8:7 (KJV)  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
  • Genesis 3:8-10 (KJV)  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  9  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  10  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

This carnal mindset will always try to run from the truth of what God says. It will always run away from God. It will come up with something to war against God. However, the good news is God came looking for Adam/Eve. Just like how Jesus came looking for us on earth.

Before the carnal mind opened Adam/Eve spoke to God on a spiritual level. They didn’t communicate according to our language today. They spoke by Spirit and truth. They would never have thought anything hostile about God. They would never have had enmity, which tried to make them separate themself from God. However, now they thought differently. God knew this and now had to speak to them in an earthly fashion. He had to speak spiritual things from an earthly standpoint. Kind of like how Jesus had to explain to people spiritual concepts using natural illustrations.

  • John 3:12 (KJV)  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Now, remember God put enmity between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. Let’s take a look at some scriptures about the carnal mind.

  • Genesis 3:15 (KJV)  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
  • Romans 8:5-8 (KJV)  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Scripture states that the carnal mind is enmity toward God. The carnal mind is also not subject to the law of God and it can’t be.

The word subject in the greek is hupotasso G5293.

  • Strong’s Definition: From G5259 and G5021; to subordinate; reflexively to obey: – be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

In other words, the carnal mind does not obey God. It will do whatever it takes to oppose God. Here are some examples of that.

  • Ignoring God
  • Running away from God
  • Being hostile towards God
  • Twisting what God said to benefit the carnal lifestyle
  • Anything opposing God in any way shape or form

God even states to be carnally minded is death. Sound familiar? He also told Adam/Eve that the day they eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the day they die.

The reality is carnal thoughts come and try to make us believe a lie. The world thinks from this carnal perspective and lives from that place.

The good news is Jesus came to separate us from that old man and old way of thinking carnally. We no longer have to listen to the stranger’s voice.

Old Carnal Mind | New Mind Of Christ | Renewing The Mind

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Jesus came to set us free from sin. He came to restore us back to life as if we never ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He came to expose the stranger’s voice, to speak spirit and truth. God’s voice exposes the lie.

Once someone gets born again through Jesus Christ, God removes the middle wall of partition between us and Him. Jesus abolished in His flesh the enmity between us and made one new man. We were once alienated and enemies in our mind with God but now have been reconciled through Jesus Christ. Believers now have life and peace because of Jesus. They now think spiritually.

  • Ephesians 2:13-17 (KJV)  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
  • Colossians 1:20-21 (KJV)  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  21  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
  • Romans 8:6 (KJV)  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
  • Romans 8:9-11 (KJV)  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

We are now no longer tied to the old carnal way of thinking. Those carnal thoughts are no longer a born again believer’s thoughts. It’s an outside stranger’s voice trying to move back in. The believer now thinks spiritually because they are a new person in Christ Jesus. We now have the mind of Christ. So God can teach and instruct us!

  • 1 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV)  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
  • Romans 15:6 (KJV)  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Just because we now have the mind of Christ does not mean carnal thoughts stop coming. It just means those carnal thoughts are no longer ours. If that was the case about carnal thoughts not coming at all, then God wouldn’t have told us to renew our minds.

For example, if I asked you whats your favorite food, a thought popped in your mind. However, in this case, I spoke to you. I said something which triggered you to think a certain way.

Thats why we must renew our mind from the old carnal way of thinking to the new way of thinking according to God’s word.

  • Romans 12:2 (KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God does not want people to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by renewing their mind. The only way to renew your mind is through the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This is the only way you can discern between God’s voice and the stranger’s voice. The word of God is a discerner of your thoughts. It separates the carnal thoughts from spiritual thoughts. It exposes the carnal thoughts that wars against God in all areas. If it doesn’t line up with scripture then it isn’t God.

The stranger will speak carnal things to try to make you think it’s your thoughts. He tries to get you to believe the lying thought that opposes what God said. That’s the carnal mind. However, God says those thoughts are no longer yours so don’t accept them as if it is.

On the other hand, if a thought comes and it lines up with scripture then you know with no hesitation that it’s 100 percent God! Your thoughts are now considered spiritual thoughts. That’s the spiritual mind. Easy right?

God never changes and Jesus is considered the Word made flesh. He states that the Holy Ghost will bring to remembrance whatsoever He has said to us. In other words, God will bring scripture to our remembrance to guide us.

  • Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
  • John 1:14 (KJV)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
  • John 14:26 (KJV)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

This is why it’s so important to know what the Bible says because if you don’t know the written word then you won’t know if the thought came from God or the stranger’s voice. You won’t be able to discern if it’s the carnal mind or the spiritual mind.

Taking Carnal Thoughts Captive To The Obedience Of Christ

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Once a believer understands the carnal mind is no longer their thoughts. Then it becomes easier to take those thoughts captive. If you believe those carnal thoughts are still yours then it seems impossible to take them captive. Look at what the scripture states.

  • Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

This is why it’s so important to believe what God says about you, once you’re born again. The truth is if you still believe those old carnal thoughts are actually yours, then they will become your reality. That’s why Jesus gave us a new spiritual mind. The mind of Christ. So ignore the carnal thoughts and don’t accept them as yours.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV)  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Now that we have the spiritual mind of Christ we think differently than before being born again. The mind of Christ is our new way of thinking. Those thoughts are the thoughts we listen to. Every other thought that wars against God and His word is no longer ours. So we take those carnal thoughts captive and bring them to the obedience of Christ.

So how do you know which thought is from the carnal mind and which is from the spiritual mind?

  • Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
  • Romans 8:7 (KJV)  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

The only way you can tell which thought is carnal or spiritual is because of the word of God. It’s a discerner of every thought.

Every thought that lines up with the word of God is the spiritual mind aka the mind of Christ. So any thought that doesn’t line up with the word of God is the carnal mind. The carnal mind is hostile and doesn’t accept what the word of God says basically. Those are the thoughts you take captive and bring into the obedience of Christ. What’s that look like?

Let’s look at this in action straight from the scripture.

  • Matthew 16:15-17 (KJV)  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
  • Matthew 16:21-23 (KJV)  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.  23  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
  • John 1:1 (KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • John 1:14 (KJV)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Peter in both scenarios had a thought that he believed to be true. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

  • Luke 6:45 (KJV)  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

In both situations, Peter spoke based on what he believed and thought was the truth. The Word aka Jesus was there to help discern those thoughts. The first scenario Jesus said the Father revealed it to Peter. The second scenario Jesus addressed Satan. In both scenarios, the Word revealed the source of the thought.

Here are some examples of taking carnal thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

  • Let’s say you walk by someone that is sick and two thoughts come. One thought says, “I shouldn’t go pray for them cause I’m not a minister and I’m just at the grocery store for some groceries.” The other thought says, “I should go pray for them.” This is simple, the thought saying don’t pray is carnal and goes against what scripture says. So understand that’s not your thought cause your thought lines up with the word now. The word says to go lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
    • Mark 16:18 (KJV)  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
  • Let’s say you get cut off by a car in traffic and almost get in a wreck. Then the person curses you out for driving the speed limit. You feel angry and the first thought that comes says, “They almost wrecked my car and did serious damage! How dare they do that I was going the speed limit and in my lane. I should give them a piece of my mind!” A second thought now comes but you still feel angry, “Wow that person almost hit my car and could have caused serious damage. They could have really hurt someone driving like that. I should pray for them. Father thank you for keeping me safe but please help that person driving! If they continue driving like that it could cause a very bad accident. Help them to understand so they are safe and others as well.” The second thought lines up with scripture even though you felt angry. You didn’t act on the anger you acted according to the word.
    • Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

These are just two examples but you get the point. Whatever thought comes, you act and respond to the one that lines up with scripture. It doesn’t matter which thought is accompanied by which feeling etc. All that matters is which thought lines up with scripture in that scenario. Don’t worry the Holy Spirit will remind you in the moment.

  • John 14:25-26 (KJV)  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26  But the Comforterwhich is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Bible Scripture Reference

  • The Carnal Mind Is Enmity Against God | Bible Truth
    • Romans 8:5-7
    • 1 Corinthians 2:16
    • The Carnal Mind Opened
      • Genesis 1:26-27
      • Genesis 2:17
      • Genesis 3:1-7
      • Genesis 3:8-13
    • Born With The Carnal Mind
      • Genesis 1:11-12
      • Genesis 3:14-15
    • The Carnal Mind Is Enmity Towards God
      • Romans 8:7
      • Genesis 3:8-10
      • John 3:12
      • Genesis 3:15
      • Romans 8:5-8
    • Old Carnal Mind | New Mind Of Christ | Renewing The Mind
      • Ephesians 2:13-17
      • Colossians 1:20-21
      • Romans 8:6
      • Romans 8:9-11
      • 1 Corinthians 2:16
      • Romans 15:6
      • Romans 12:2
      • Hebrews 4:12
      • Hebrews 13:8
      • John 1:14
      • John 14:26
    • Taking The Carnal Thoughts Captive To Christ
      • Proverbs 23:7
      • 1 Corinthians 2:16
      • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
      • Hebrews 4:12
      • Romans 8:7
      • Matthew 16:15-17
      • Matthew 16:21-23
      • John 1:1
      • John 1:14
      • Luke 6:45
      • Mark 16:18
      • Matthew 5:43-45
      • John 14:25-26

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