ROMANS 7:23 …but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
“…my members… waging war…” — Wars produce suffering and death. So too in our lives, as sin wars against God for control. Yet our route out is not to avoid the conflict but to march into it, unafraid. We are to take up our cross in faith and trust, dying to self in sure hope of rebirth. Our individual lives are a picture in miniature of a pattern replicated throughout history: mankind’s rebellion against God… our attempt to be like God, knowing good and evil, but separate and independent from Him, master of our fate, captain of our soul. The only route out is death to sin through the working of the Holy Spirit and rebirth to new life.
“…the law of my mind… law of sin… in my members” — Our natural, earthly minds cannot control our bodies to bring them into full conformance with the way they were meant to function. This insight carries moral, social and medical implications (among others). We need a new head, Christ Jesus. (See Romans 12:2 – “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”) Nothing less will do. All other efforts to achieve such control on our own are futile. (E.g., the most masterful Buddhist or yogi still dies, and with no promise of eternal life.)
As is true in the larger world which Christ won from Satan on the cross by His blood, the end is certain even as the battle continues. The new authority (new mind, indwelt with the Holy Spirit) gradually begins to exert authority over the life of the believer. His mind provides us with a new way of looking at the world, understanding it, responding to it, and acting in it — the same basic functions our human brains perform, but with different programming. Everything is different. An upgrade is underway.
As is the case with the reverse engineering of a software program though, it is possible for those without Christ to imitate some, even many of the outward effects of this ‘upgrade’ to the new Christ mind (sometimes better than the believer). What’s different is the ultimate trajectory. The imitations don’t have access to the source code. Submitting to the imitation (the mind of antichrist — substitute Christ) will end in spiritual death just as is true for one eating non-nutritive or poisonous substitutes for real food.