Spirit Soul and Body — The MIND

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Spirit Soul and Body

Part 1 of the Spirit, Soul and the Body series examined the spiritual ‘organs’ God has provided to us within our “Inner Man”. This article examines the MIND and how it relates to the other spiritual ‘organs’ and how they function in the controlling of the body.

This article covers the following topics:

  1. Mankind ‘s MIND
  2. Mankind’s MIND and our five physical senses
  3. Mankind’s MIND and the SOUL’s Influence on it
  4. Verses that refer exclusively to “the MIND <AND> MAN

This teaching aims to emphasize the spiritual level of understanding about how our bodies function. This is because Jesus said:

For to be CARNALLY MINDED is death; but to be SPIRITUALLY MINDED is life and peace.”

Rom 8:6

To simply know how our physical body functions is not good enough.  We each need to know how the entire ‘Inner Man’ functions—both physical and spiritual:

I will praise thee; for I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” 

Psalm 139:14

1.      The ‘Mind of Mankind’

In the illustration below, the MIND is represented as a set of scales based upon the scripture verse below:

One MAN esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every MAN be FULLY PERSUADED in his OWN MIND.”  

Rom 14:5
An overview diagram of where the MIND is located within the 'Soulish' realm
An overview diagram of where the MIND is located within the ‘Soulish’ realm

With reference to the diagram above, the MIND obtains various ‘inputs’ from our five senses that affect the decision-making process within the ‘Inner Man’. The illustration above is divided into different components for the purpose of explanation.

2.     Mankind’s MIND and our five physical senses

Mankind’s MIND operates similar to a set of justice scales. In the decision making process, ‘inputs’ from our five senses are placed on (say) the right-hand side of the scales as shown.

The MIND then compares these ‘inputs’ to other ‘references’—many of which are obtained through personal experience or knowledge. These references are placed on the other side of the scales.

In the scenario below, events happen every day in our lives where we have to make sometimes hundreds of decisions and many of them in a very brief time span.  A good example to appreciate this is when to cross a road during heavy traffic.

Three girls crossing a busy road
Three girls crossing a busy road

In this scene, these girls first use their physical SENSES (ears, eyes, skin in this example) plus their MIND to determine when it is safe to cross.  Once determined it is safe, the MIND then tells the BRAIN to get the arms and legs moving for the BODY to accomplish crossing the road.

How the MIND makes decisions and informs the BRAIN
How the MIND makes decisions and informs the BRAIN

In other words, on the other side of the scale we place ‘road safety rules’ plus past experiences that represent ‘Safety’ in situations like this. Many of these ‘rules’ have often been learned through past experiences or maybe taught to us by others. 

In situations when little children are present, adults need more of their five senses operating placed on one side of the ‘scales of our MIND’ for all to cross safely. Naturally, these ‘inputs’ can change in an instant—dynamically and at computer based speeds.

Once the MIND decides it is safe to cross, the MIND informs the ‘bio-electrical’ BRAIN when to ‘GO!!’ This physical organ then instructs the arms and legs via the nervous system to commence moving so that the ‘Outer Man’ can cross the road.

Key point

What this means is that there is an unseen two-way communication link operating between the MIND (located in the Inner Man) and the BRAIN, which is located within the physical body, or ‘Outer Man’. 

…but though our OUTWARD [physical] MAN perish, yet the INWARD [spiritual] MAN is renewed day by day.” 

2 Cor 4:16

3. Mankind’s Mind and the Soul’s Influence on it

Similarly, there is another spiritual ‘organ’ in the body that has an even greater influence over the MIND than that of our five physical senses.

This is the SOUL which the Bible says is motivated by the ‘Lusts of the Eyes’, the ‘Lusts of the Flesh’ and the ‘Pride of Life’.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 

1 John 2:16

An example of this might be a man crossing a road in heavy traffic. While crossing, his eyes observe a beautiful woman walking along the footpath.  He stops and admires the woman.

In this example, the “Lust of the Eyes” blot out the inputs from his physical senses focused on the traffic; and his SOUL then tells his BRAIN to divert his eyes away from the traffic to now focus on the woman. This happens to keep satisfying the “Lust of the Eyes” emanating from his SOUL.

From the MIND’s perspective, the scales tip quickly to the left-hand side by the Lust of the Eyes. This means the EYES have been redirected from focusing on the traffic to being directed towards the woman.   Similarly, the ‘Lusts of the Flesh’ and the ‘Pride of Life’ can sway the scales in the same manner for other reasons.

However, God gives every individual their free-willed choice as to what they direct their eyes. In this, the Psalmist says:

Mine EYES are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net” 

Psalm 25:15

Similarly, the ‘Lusts of the Flesh’ is an example of over indulging in food and drink. In this, the Bible says:

For the DRUNKARD and the GLUTTON shall come to poverty…”

Prov 23:21

4.     Verses that refer exclusively to “the MIND <AND> MAN

The following scripture verses demonstrate the Bible’s relationship between our “Outer Man” and our MIND.

I am forgotten as a dead MAN [forgotten] out of MIND: I am like a broken vessel.

Psalm 31:12

MEANING:  King David was bemoaning all of his rejection, not only from his enemies but his neighbors and friends too.  In this, he believed he appeared to them as a “dead man” and no longer in the minds of these people.  He was like a “broken vessel” fit for the rubbish heap.

A fool uttereth all his MIND: but a wise MAN keepeth it in till afterwards.”               

Prov 29:11

MEANING:  A fool is limited in what he can say. He often turns to ‘venting’ (or loud gibberish) to gain attention.  But a wise man continues to bring forth answers and presents stronger arguments as needed.

Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the MAN, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right MIND: and they were afraid.”  

Luke 8:35

MEANING:  The “wild” MAN from the caves in the Gadarenes was a lunatic prior to him being visited by Christ.  After Christ’s visit, he was in “his RIGHT MIND”.

One MAN esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own MIND.”  

Rom 14:5

MEANING:  A Christian can esteem a particular day of the week as a day of rest.  A neighbor might esteem every day a good day to do work.  Each should determine from their own research and analysis whether observing such Sabbath days is worthwhile.

Summary

The statements below summarize the scripture verses referenced.

  • FORGOTTEN by others – meaning that the MIND is able to ‘forget’ (Psalm 31:12).
  • Made to UTTER everything that the MIND contains – or sometimes termed “pouring out one’s soul” through confession (Prov 29:11)
  • Either IN or OUT of their right MIND – referring to the state of either being SANE or INSANE (Luke 8:35)
  • The MIND can be “PERSUADED” to believe certain things. TRUTH is a critical factor here.”  (Rom 14:5)
  • The MIND can be made “WILLING” or rendered unwilling to believe some new thing
    (2 Cor 8:12)
  • The MIND can be “CORRUPTED” by others who are “puffed up in their “FLESHLY MIND“. If we become like these people, we too will most likely become “BEGUILED”…and why? (Col 2:18)
  • A man can be of “TWO MINDS”! This is a most undesirable and unstable state to be in.  (James 1:8)

Because the CARNAL [‘soulish’] MIND is enmity [an enemy] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh [or unregenerated state of their MIND] cannot please God.”        

Rom 8:7-8

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