[These questions are to help in reading John Owen’s treatise on Spiritual Mindedness, Part 1, chapter 1, accessible online at this link. An introduction to Owen’s work, Being Spiritually Minded in an Age of Distraction, may be found at this link.]
Q2 How can we tell the difference?
If we are in the flesh, walk after the flesh and live after the flesh, we will be carnally minded. But if we are in the Spirit, and walk and live after the Spirit, we will be spiritually minded (Rom 8:1,8-9,13).
Q3 Why is this difference important?
It is our greatest concern to know which we are, for our eternity depends upon it (Rom 8:6,13).
Q4 How else does Scripture describe these two categories?
They are described as minding earthly things (Phil 3:19) or minding heavenly things (Col 3:2).
Q5 What is the root of these conditions?
Both arise from an inclination and principle of love in regular exercise, either to carnal or spiritual things.
Q6 Is it possible for a true believer to be carnally minded?
Though Christians have been regenerated from spiritual death, the flesh still remains, so it is possible – at least for a time – for them to be affected by an inordinate affection and concern for the things of the world.
Q7 What is the danger of such a condition?
The danger is that grace is never able properly to flourish or thrive to any degree of eminence. It is also dangerous to rest in coming short of our duty, and we can never have true peace when we do so.