The Mind at War with the Body – OH GOOD!

A Trinitarian Christ-centered paraphrase of Romans 7.24 – 8.11)

(7.24) I am miserable!  I am stuck!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  (25) Who?  Jesus, that’s who.  Through him I shout Hallelujah!  It is true that my body still lives under the boot of darkness, because my body is still out-of-touch with the real world.  But my MIND has now made contact with REALITY.  Because my mind knows that Jesus is Lord, I have begun to come alive under his blessed rule.

(8.1) Do you realize what this means?!?  My out-of-touch bodily behaviors are no longer earning me the wage of death!  We have already earned that wage, and in Master Jesus, we have already been paid in full!  Our actions no longer condemn us to eternal death, because we have already died!  Our death sentence has already been carried out!  Jesus knows this, and to share in his knowledge is to experience his freedom from the burden of condemnation and shame. (2) For the living Spirit of Master Jesus has set us free from the oppression of darkness and death. (3) Papa has now done what Torah wanted to do (but couldn’t because of the weakness of our flesh).  By injecting his own Son into our diseased human-ness, he both destroyed the disease AND absorbed the death sentence that resulted from it.  (4) He did this to fulfill Torah’s desire — abundant human life.  This desire is fulfilled in US as our bodies learn to follow the Spirit in living according to reality.

(5) If we choose to preoccupy our minds with our bodily appetites and urges, then we will continue behaving in ways that seek to satisfy those appetites.  But if we choose instead to occupy our minds with the Holy Spirit’s desire for goodness/truth/ beauty, then we will begin to behave in ways that satisfy THOSE desires. (6) The path to death is the mind set on the satisfaction of bodily urges.  The path to life and peace is the mind set on the fulfillment of the Spirit’s desires. (7) The mind obsessed with bodily self-gratification is hostile to Papa.  It does not listen to him; indeed it cannot. (8) To manage your mind in this way is to fight against Papa’s dreams for you.

(9) But YOUR mind is NOT obsessed with self-gratification.  YOUR mind is set instead on the SPIRIT’S obsession with abundant life.  The Holy Spirit dwells in your spirit, and as you grow in belief, he is more and more expressing himself in your bodily behaviors as well.  The point is that the Holy Spirit HAS your mind, and your body will follow.  It is GOOD that your inner self is at war with your outer self.  It means you have begun to heal!  It is much worse for those whose mind and body are united in opposition to Jesus and his Spirit.  They have a long and painful road ahead of them.

(10) But YOU are already well on your way down that road.  Master Jesus has already conquered your mind, and your body is next!  Yes, your body still languishes in darkness and death, but your spirit is alive with the rightness of Jesus! (11) His Spirit is dwelling in you and expressing the Triune Life in you.  Remember, this is the Spirit of him who raised Jesus’ body from the dead.  You can trust him to raise YOUR body too!

~John Stonecypher

6 comments so far

  1. John Geerlings on

    Thanks John
    Wonderfully paraphrased! This is the battle between the Spirit and the flesh, sin in our body which is not us anymore. (Romans 7:14) Other verses that confirm what you wrote are Romans 6: 6, 11, 13 &17. It is all about Spiritual birth (done)(Romans 8:15&16), the salvation of souls by faith (being done)(1Peter1:9) and future redemption of bodies (to be done)Romans8:23). WOW!

  2. tjbrassell on

    Best translation of these verses I have ever read! Right on! As I keep saying, “Keep it Coming!”

  3. Paul Kurts on

    I would like to offer of any of you who want these two papers on “WALKING IN THE FLESH AND IN THE SPIRIT” to E:mail me and I will send them to you. Just ask for part one and part two. These papers further clarify for us what JS is saying here in the paraphrase. Paul was very human just as we are. Very encouraging.



  4. Paul Kurts on

    OOPs , wrong E:mail address.

    Should be:



  5. Kimberly on

    That was so clear and such a joy to read.

  6. Michael William Smith on

    Reading your scripture paraphrases are like taking a deep breath of fresh spring morning air! Thank you brother for allowing the triune King to express Himself through you!

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