For the purpose of this paper, I will attempt to cover the problem, importance of the study, scope of the study, context of the study, and the plan of the study concerning the role of the mind in sanctification.
The problem has to do with unbiblical interpretations and hostile attacks from unbelievers and words and deeds against sanctification. A mind that accepts the wrong view of sanctification can leave disastrous results for a Christian.
The utilization of the mind is expressed in various passages of Scripture. The mind is mentioned in Luke 24:45 (use of the mind in understanding the Scriptures), Revelation 13:18; 17:9 (use of the mind in eschatological events), Romans 1:28 (the mind of the unregenerate), Romans 11:34 (the mind of the LORD), etc. If the role of the mind is critical to the myriad of areas such as understanding Scripture, eschatological events, the mind of the unregenerate, then how critical is the role of the mind in sanctification (Romans 6:11; 7:14; 12:2; 14:5)?
Jesus Christ died and purchased His elect not only for our justification, but He died and purchased His elect for our sanctification. Our personal holiness is a serious demand from God because it reflects God’s nature that is required by God’s commandments. It is also required by the mediation of His Son; and is required by God in order to glorify Him. John Calvin said this regarding those who just cared about justification, but not sanctification: “shamefully render Christ asunder.” People misrepresent Christ when they only care about justification. Justification and sanctification are both important. You can’t have one without the other.
Hence, due to the many erroneous views out there, it is imperative and important to study the role of the mind in sanctification. We will cover the different dangerous views later, but just to satisfy some courtesy right now, it must be pointed out that there are people out there who substitute their fear of man for God. Instead of a biblically guided fear to use their minds for the glory of God, we fear others. And when we fear others, we ignore God’s Words. The truth concerning the role of the mind in sanctification is at stake. We cannot be tossed to and fro by the man-centered theologies of man.
The scope of the study will be centered on three facts and two commands that stem from the three facts. The three facts are: the believer’s death (6:2b [permanence of death], 6:3b [spiritual act of death], 6:4a [union in death], 6:5a [picture of death], 6:6a [payment of death], 6:8a [companion of death]), the believer’s freedom (6:2c [freedom from duplicity], 6:6b [freedom from slavery], 6:7b [freedom from sin], 6:10a [freedom from bondage]), and the believer’s life in Christ (6:4b [new life], 6:5a [resurrection life], 6:8b [eternal life], 6:9 [victorious life], 6:10 [obedient life]). The two commands are these: believers are to remember their position (6:11) and to live out their position (6:12-14).
The context of the study concerning the role of the mind in sanctification will be based on a foundational passage written by Apostle Paul from Romans 6:1-14. The book of Romans was written sometime towards the end of Paul’s third missionary journey (A.D. 56). The theme of Romans deals with the righteousness of God, salvation, and the Gospel of Paul. The outline of the book is as follows: salvation (1-8), sovereignty (9-11), and service (12-16). To narrow in the context for the purpose of Romans 6:1-14, the first five chapters deals with justification by faith and chapter 6 deals with the Christian’s sanctification that is connected to His faith in Christ. Romans 6:1 is connected to Romans 5:20-21 (“The more sin, the more grace”). The basis for holy living is connected with the Christian’s union with Christ death and life (Rom. 6:1-14) and also the believer’s slavery to God (Rom. 6:15-23). Chapter 7 and eight deals with the believer’s life under grace; chapters 9 through 11 deals with Israel’s unbelief; and finally chapters twelve through sixteen deals with specific areas concerning the believer’s life/walk in this world. Since we are dealing mainly with Romans 6, it important to keep in mind that the first imperative for sanctification is located in Romans 6:11. Romans 6:11 says, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” There will also be a few interactions with some minor cross-references for the purpose of illustrating a point.
The plan of this essay is to provide much detail as possible concerning the role of the mind in sanctification from Romans 6:1-14 so that the believer will be able to best use his mind as a means in sanctification.  In order to do that, I believe it would be effective to first cover the definition of the mind, description of the mind, definition of sanctification, description of sanctification, the role of the mind according to Romans 6:1-14, and erroneous views concerning sanctification.
I pray that this study will be edifying to you. The mind is an important study. As you all may know, the mind can either be used for the glory of God, the glory of Satan, the world, or our own personal, hedonistic autonomy. I pray that you will choose the first choice: the mind utilized for the glory of God.
Please stay tune for the next installment.
Nicholas John Amatuccio, “The Role of the Mind in Christian Sanctification According to Romans 6:1-14” (Th.M.Thesis, The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, CA, 2003), Table of Contents.
Arthur W. Pink, The Doctrine of Sanctification (Swengel, PA, Bible Truth Depot), 30.
Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, ed. D.A. Carson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988), 243.
Edward T. Welch, When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing, 1997), 14.
Pink, The Doctrine of Sanctification, 8.
John MacArthur, The Macarthur Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 1655.
Bob White, “Ordination Preparation” (unpublished syllabus, The Master’s Seminary, 2011), 46.
Amatuccio, “The Role of the Mind in Christian Sanctification According to Romans 6:1-14,” 9.
All Scripture is quoted from New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update unless otherwise noted.
Amatuccio, “The Role of the Mind in Christian Sanctification According to Romans 6:1-14,” 10.