The Spirit, sin, and the mind (or the lack thereof)

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Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
The idea for this thread came up a few years ago. I have ever since thought of my best friend's grandma, who was then struggling with the advanced Alzheimer's. There are some things that my friend observed and we discussed regarding her spiritual life, as her disease was progressing. I've been sitting on these thoughts for a few years now, yet it's still so difficult to word what I have on my mind. So, in advance, forgive me.

Last few years of the grandma's life were difficult and taxing on my friend's mom, who was taking care of her. As she was mentally deteriorating, her spiritual distress increased. Her grandma was seeing demons, in other words, and they seemed to pester her daily. She would talk to the air sometimes, tell "something" to go away angrily "you little, disgusting ones" and grab a cross or a icon of Jesus or some saints from the house and threaten "it" and then calm down. This was a daily occurrence, and it was difficult for my friend and her mom to witness.

There were all kinds of questions that I asked myself. First was, was her grandma saved? My friend was worrying if her grandma would go to heaven. Which made me wonder further, what is the exact relationship between salvation and the mind? The Bible speaks about the renewal of mind, which takes place as we're walking with God and purifying our thoughts and hearts with His truth. But then again, you have the thief on the cross and the 11th hour guy, so there's that. So many Christians, especially on the West, believe that Christianity is a belief system. Which would require full on intelligence and a functioning, sufficiently adult brain to adhere to. But we know that God is not so limited, and that Jesus praised small children who did not have the brain capacity for complex theology, or sufficient cognition to grasp bread and butter concepts of our faith, like sin or repentance. While there are some beliefs and facts about God's person that will be naturally recognized as true by the person who has the Holy Spirit, I really think that the Spirit supersedes all these things.

What happens when the brain gets stuck on a loop? Are we our brains? Does our brain equal our identity? Is this person's spirit still able to repent or have relationship with God? Her mind was stuck on a loop: no one could not instruct her any more. Yet, while her mind was being eroded through the illness, she would keep calling on God more and more as she was losing strength, and calling upon God is - I believe - a strength that arose from her spirit. Her brain was dissolving, but the reaction to call upon God and fight evil presence off through the name of Christ came from her spirit. Her reaction, even in a terrible state of mind, witnessed of her true nature. It seemed that she put her trust in Him, although there were some thorns in the flesh to harass her. Since there was no way to have a reasonable discussion with the grandma in her deteriorated state of mind at that point, and no way for my friend to help her or get assured of her salvation, I would comfort her with these words.

I wondered about similar mental illnesses after that, like amnesia. How does such person repent? They might not remember their past. They may not be capable to repent of something they can't even remember! But one's spirit is one's real nature. If the spirit in this person is regenerated, they will be repenting of things that they do know presently and believe are bad, and if they knew of their past sins they would utterly reject such life - so one can say they have effectively repented still because repentance Biblically means "change of mind" or "turning away". Or, take a person like that man with the 7 second memory (there is a documentary on YouTube) who had an accident. He recalls his identity and his loved ones from before the accident, but only can recall any new event for 7 seconds and then it vanishes from his mind. You can't even testify about Jesus to someone like this, because they won't know what you said 7 seconds ago. I don't know if he's a Christian, but in case he isn't, is he now frozen in time and just living to face condemnation in hell and there are no more chances for him? Why not kill him right away if he's headed for hell anyway? I believe illness might make things harder, but I am convinced that nothing is impossible for God. Like my friend's grandma, in spite of all her troubles, I do believe God is capable of finding ways to affect people and work through their spirit, in spite of one's cognitive state. What about the people with really low IQ? They are not banned from the kingdom of God.

I'd like to hear if any of you know someone personally with an illness that interferes with their memory and cognitive process, and what have your observations and thoughts been regarding their spiritual life, related to these illnesses?


Senior Member
May 3, 2017
Philippians 4;7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If a person is in Christ Jesus , then whatever that person suffers , mentally or physically , it is God whom protects their heart and mind in Christ Jesus...

God knows the intent of our hearts , He knows the motives behind our thoughts , this is great comfort for those who suffer with the grandma you mentioned above...

I suffer with mental illness , it can be crippling , especially when the thoughts are going against what I truly believe in God`s word , yet God led me to these Scriptures in my suffering , and when or should the OCD thoughts come back , I keep this Scripture and read over and over...

Not sure if I answered correctly , but God knows who are His , and no power of darkness can separate us from God...


Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
It's like this:

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26

10If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Romans 8:10

Our body will gradually deteriorate and we will die. During the process of withering away we still have secure salvation even if it is our mind that dies first. It is our spirit that has righteousness imputed to us through faith in Christ.

I also think that God knows when someone is physically incapable of being held accountable for their actions. Think of very young children, people with disabilities, or people who have damage. Consider the following verses:

15for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
Romans 4:15

20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:20


Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
I think God knows what we dealing with, despite satan trying to attack our minds (and brains) as we believe with out HEARTS first not our minds. The mind follows our heart not the other way round.

.we may have 'mental illness' of whatever kind...but the more serious illness is actually nobody really names is heart disease, and MORE people die of that than anything else! Plus if you have heart disease, you can die instantly.
Feb 28, 2016
be at peace SoulWeaver.
our Master knows each of us even before we were born -
He knows who belongs to Him no matter what happens
in/during their lifetime -
no matter the state of our temporary bodies, when our hearts
are interwoven with His, we are sealed, and accept our lot,
and are assured of our future with Him -
even if we do forget who our precious Saviour is, whether
in dementia, pain, or any other malady,
He will never forget or forsake us...
'His Mercy endures forever'...


Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
Last night meditating on the prayer from our Lord, something hit me dramatically and sweetly.

Jesus taught us to begin with Our Father............ And I realized this is Jesus including us with Him, or Himself with us. Now the beginning has new strngth for me. Our Father, amen.