I pulled this from one of my free will post on another forum in regards to human thoughts. (i.e. where do our random thoughts come from?) I got to thinking about Paul in relation to the 'Mind' and 'Spirit' I guess the real issue is how are our thoughts related to our mind? Let's look at how Paul correlates the spirit and mind.
Spirit (ruah) - is often used of a man's mind-set, disposition, or temper. The word is used of one's mind or thinking.
Paul uses spirit and mind interchangeably as he quotes Isaiah 40:13 in the New Testament. Let's take a look at these verses.
Isaiah 40:13: "Who has directed the spirit of the LORD, or has instructed Him as His counselor?"
Romans 11:34: "Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?"
1 Corinthians 2:16: "For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel Him?"
It is clear that for Paul in Isaiah 40:13, the spirit of the LORD is the mind of the LORD. These definitions will help to understand some verses of the Bible. Could it suggest if you are one in spirit with Jesus it means that you are one in mind with Jesus? That you have the same mind-set, the same disposition, that you think the same as he does. This after all is what a Christian strives for, to try to reach the example of faith that Jesus showed us. To be able to discern the will of God as Jesus did so perfectly. We are told to have the same mind, the same attitude as Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16: "But we have the mind of Christ."
Philippians 2:2: "Complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing."
1 Peter 4:1: "Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourself with the same attitude, for whoever suffers in the flesh has broken with sin, so as not to spend what remains of one's life on human desires, but on the will of God."
Philippians 2:5: "Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus."
With these definitions we can better understand a verse like
1 Corinthians 7:17:
"But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit."
In other words, whoever unites himself with the Lord is one with him in mind, mind-set, attitude, thinking, or in purpose, which are all synonymous. Here are some more possible examples. Try substituting one of the given definitions where it says "spirit" and you will get a clearer meaning of what I'm getting at.
Numbers 5:14: "Or if a man is overcome by a spirit of jealousy."
Galatians 6:1: "Even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one with the spirit of gentleness."
1 Corinthians 2:12: "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God."
Deuteronomy 34:9: "Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom."
Genesis 41:8: "Next morning his spirit was agitated."
"No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" ...no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and spirit"
Jesus is telling Nicodemus that unless you make a commitment to God (which is demonstrated by baptism) and be born again of the mind, you will not enter the kingdom of God. Our minds have to be born again, they have to think differently than they did when they followed the flesh. Our minds have to be renewed in order to be able to discern and follow the will of God.
Romans 12:2: "Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God."
Ephesians 4:23: "And be renewed in the spirit (purpose) of your minds."
2 Corinthians 4:16: "Although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self (spirit i.e. mind) is being renewed day by day."
Colossians 3:9-10: "Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self (new mind),which is being renewed, for knowledge in the image of its creator."
Romans 7:6: "Dead to what held us captive, so that we may serve in the newness of the spirit (mind) and not under the obsolete law.
You will notice that in many of the verses that we are reading, the adjectives that are attributed to renewal are adjectives that are associated with our minds, such as knowledge, discern, etc.