Marvin L. Weir
The Scripture reads, “Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be” (Rom. 8:7). The word “enmity” means “hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition” (Strongs Greek/Hebrew Definitions). It is the opposite of agape love (Vines Expository Dictionary). One who “minds the flesh” is one who refuses to subject himself to the will of God. A person who is living a worldly life cannot be “walking in the light” (2 John 1:7).
The “mind of the flesh” (carnal mind–KJV) demonstrates such by practicing the “works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21). To continue to possess a carnal mind is to invite spiritual death.
The carnal mind or “mind of the flesh” shows its “enmity against God” in many ways. Please consider:
The carnal mind ignores the Word of God. Man is not capable of directing his own steps (Jer. 10:23) and needs the Word of God for his guide (Psa. 119:105). Yet, countless millions prefer never to consult God’s Word (cf. 2 Tim. 2:15) while indulging in “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life” (1 John 2:16).
Hosea is correct in stating that folks will be lost because they have rejected knowledge. Their children will also likely be lost due to a lack of Godly teaching (Hosea 4:6). Those who ignore a “thus saith the Lord” will “sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7).
Paul told the Galatian brethren, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8). In choosing to live a fleshly/worldly life, the carnal man places himself at enmity with God.
The carnal mind scoffs at the godly. We live in an age where it is more popular to be ungodly than godly. To be “politically correct” one must align himself with the voice of the world and beckon to its call! However, the Word of God instructs, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil …” (Exo. 23:2). It doesn’t matter that everyone is doing it – if it is wrong then everyone who engages therein is wrong!
Jesus said, “If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18 -19).
The carnal mind ridicules the work of God. The very first words of Holy Writ declare, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The apostle Paul told those at Rome, “For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Yet, the atheist has enmity for God as he denies His existence, and the evolutionist has enmity for God as he denies His creation of the world and all that is therein.
It is as Paul said, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).
The carnal mind rejects the plea of Christ. Jesus said, “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The Lord pleads for folks to come to Him (Matt. 11:28-30), but the majority refuses the tender invitation. So very many claim to love Christ while refusing to comply with His will. It is impossible, however, to love Christ while rejecting His laws! One who dishonors and disrespects the Word of God has no love for the Son or the Father (2 John 9).
Romans 8:7 does not teach the impossibility of repentance. Paul simply stresses that while living a fleshly or carnal life one cannot be devoted to doing God’s will. A person cannot travel the strait way and the broad way at the same time (Matt. 7:13-14)! It is as Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other …” (Matt. 6:24).
Those who desire to go to Heaven will not demonstrate enmity against God. Let us always strive to obey, honor, and glorify the true and living God! In doing so, we can save our souls by laying claim to eternal life.