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IN THE WATCH TOWER for April 15th there occurs a statement which seems to call for an explanation. On Page 117, lines 11 and 12, we read: "The will of the body was reckoned entirely dead before the individual could be counted a New Creature." While it is true that the words mind and will are often used interchangeably, nevertheless, it has been our custom to differentiate between these; but in the above sentence this was neglected.
The will of the flesh dies actually; and we receive a new will, a holy will, the will of God, instead of our own will. If that will should ever cease to be holy, and turn again to be a fleshly will, that would be what the Apostle terms, "drawing back unto perdition." St. Peter says that such a change of will would correspond to a sow returning to her wallowing in the mire, after she had been washed. Those who turn wilfully and deliberately back to the will of the flesh are described as "twice dead and plucked up by the roots." In other words: This would mean that, the fleshly will having revived, the spirit-begotten new will had died.
But with the mind it is different. The mind is a part of the body. The body has its fleshly appetites, preferences, propensities, and is continually clamoring for the earthly rights against the decision of the new will. The fleshly mind, therefore, is not dead; else it could not clamor and war against the spirit of the new will, the New Creature in Christ Jesus.—Galatians 5:17.
Such clear-cut distinctions are to be found only in the Bible, and probably will not be appreciated by any but close Bible students. What we would better, therefore, have said is, "The mind of the flesh is reckoned dead, before the individual can be counted a new Creature."
This is in line with the Apostle's statement, "Reckon ye yourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God." Again we read, "Mortify [deaden] your members which are on the earth"—your fleshly mind. This mortifying, or deadening, of the fleshly mind means a continuous struggle on the part of the new will against the old creature reckoned dead, but not actually dead.