Romans 8:5-27 “Spiritually Minded”

There is a long tradition of people who emphasize the power of positive thinking.  Norman Vincent Peale really popularized the concept with his book by that title back in the 50’s.  Robert Schuller preached a similar message for many years from his crystal cathedral.  And, a few years ago, Rhonda Byrne published “The Secret” which adds a new-age twist to the old theory.  “The Secret” lies in the “law of attraction.”  In other words, if you think positive thoughts, you will attract positive people, things, and events into your life.  If you think negative thoughts, you will attract negative people, things, and events into your life.  Peale, Schuller, and Byrne all had tremendous success spreading their message because there is a nugget of truth in the otherwise selfish and incomplete world-view.  The nugget of truth is this:  it really does matter (a lot!) what you think.  Your mind-set is critically important.  That is exactly what Paul was preaching in Romans 8.  He encouraged Christians to “set their minds” on spiritual things rather than fleshly things.  (Romans 8:5)  And, the contrast is stark:  “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”  (Romans 8:6)  The “positive thinkers” want wealth, fame, pleasure, and beauty.  Actually, that sounds a lot like “carnal” thinking.  In contrast, Paul promises the “spiritually minded” life and peace.  And, it is not just an empty promise based on wishful thinking.  It is a guarantee from the Almighty God.  No amount of positive thinking can give you that!