Ok, so I have surveyed all of the references (I think) to thinking, mind, heart, thoughts, etc., in Paul’s letters.
I am looking specifically for passages that deal with the mind and how thinking affects living, or how good/bad thinking goes with good/bad living. I have found three general categories:
- Christians being “of the same mind” (i.e., united) by the Spirit. I will treat this as a separate category for now, even though it is a subcategory of group #3.
- Bad thinking goes with bad living; references to a corrupted mind/heart as part of a corrupt lifestyle, either result or cause.
- Good thinking goes with good living; references to a renewed mind/heart as part of a Spirit-led lifestyle, either result or cause.
Group 3 is my focus for now. I plan to set the other groups aside for the next few steps of the study. There are certainly references in the groups below that I will “weed out” because they are not quite on point. And admittedly there are texts that should be listed below that I haven’t caught yet. This is a recursive process.
And here are the references for groups 1 and 2.
GROUP 1: BEING “OF THE SAME MIND”
- Rom 15.5 (Paul prays that God will δώη ὑμῖν τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν “give to you to think the same thing”, i.e., give the Roman Christians the ability to live in harmony with each other by being of the same mind);
- 1 Cor 1.10 (Paul asks the Corinthian Christians to be united ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ νοΐ καὶ ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ γνώμῃ “in the same mind and opinion”).
- 2 Cor 13.11 (Paul asks the Corinthian believers to work for unity and be τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖτε “of the same mind”, be at peace with one another, so that the God of peace will be with them.)
- Phil 2.1-5 (have the same mind; have the same mindset toward one another that Jesus Christ had);
- Phil 4.2 (Euodia and Syntyche must τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν, “think the same thing”);
GROUP 2: BAD THINKING GOES WITH BAD LIVING
- Romans 1.21-24 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. …
- Romans 1.28 As they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
- Romans 8.5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
- 1 Cor 10.6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
- 2 Cor 3.14 … their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
- 2 Cor 4.3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
- Eph 2.3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.
- Eph 4.17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
- Ephesians 4.22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
- Phil 3.19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
- Col 1.21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
- Col 2.18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.
- 1 Tim 6.3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
- 2 Tim 3.8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.
- Titus 1.15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.