For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the
things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the
things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but
the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set
on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself
to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who
are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in
the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in
you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not
belong to Him.
How wonderful to know that
what God expects us to be He has enabled us to be. Last time we saw that
God has sent His Holy Spirit to come and live in us so that we now can be
empowered to do His will. Now, when we fail to allow the Spirit to control
us, and we put ourselves back under law and the confidence of our flesh,
then we sin as chapter 7 showed us.
But when we sin, we are not to condemn ourselves.
In Ro 8:1-note,
Paul tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are
in Christ Jesus." The word "condemnation" is the word for the sentence
itself, and there is no sentence of eternal death to those who are in
Romans 8:2-note: "For the law of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what
the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending
His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He
condemned sin in the flesh." We are now free from the penalty of sin and
the power of sin. The "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus"
supersedes the "law of sin and of death".
Remember I gave an example using the law of
gravity. When you see a big 747 sitting on the runway, and you realize it
weighs more than you can comprehend, if you apply the law of gravity to
that fact, then it is impossible for that plane to fly. But, when you look
at the power of it’s engines, and watch it take off, you realize that
there is a higher law in force, which does not deny the law of gravity but
it simply supersedes it. The law of sin and death still works in our
flesh, but is superseded by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ.
It is the Spirit that now fulfills the
"requirement of the law" in us. We read in Romans 8:4, "in order that the
requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according
to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." What is the requirement
of the law? How could we sum it up? Look at Romans 13:9-note:
"For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall
not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it
is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’"
The flip side is in Gal 5:22-note,
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things
there is no law."
Well, Ro 8:1-4 has shown us the role of the Holy
Spirit, which is to accomplish in us what the flesh could never do. Now,
in verses 5-11, we will see the result of the Holy Spirit being in us.
What is the result of the Holy Spirit being in us? We used to be totally
under the control of the flesh, but now things have changed since we are
in Christ and His Spirit lives in us. Paul is going to show us a contrast
of people who have the Holy Spirit living in them and those who do not.
First, he shows the mindsets of those who have
and do not have the Holy Spirit. Look at Romans 8:5: "For those who are
according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but
those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit."
"For those who are according to the flesh." The
verb here is the present participle, so it is saying their lifestyle is
according to the flesh. They live according to the power of the flesh.
Then Paul says they have "set their minds on the
things of the flesh. The phrase "set their minds on" is one word, meaning
"a fixed mindset." It refers to one that is devoted to something. He is
speaking of those who have a mindset that is consistently devoted to the
flesh. These are the unconverted who obey the impulses of the flesh. They
live to gratify the desires of their corrupt nature. They know no other
contrast here. He says: "but those who are according to the Spirit, the
things of the Spirit." Paul shows the contrasting lifestyle of those who
are unbelievers with those who are believers. Their minds have been
changed through repentance and now they are fixed on the things of God.
says: "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and
love and discipline." These are the ones who have a "saved" mindset. If
you think of it as a radio, their minds have now gone from AM to FM. They
are on a completely different wavelength.
Next Paul shows the misery of those who do not
have the Holy Spirit in verses 6-8. Verse 6: "For the mind set on the
flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." The
mind of those who are unbelievers, that is fixed on the flesh, is death.
All the aspects of death are in it. They have no ability to enjoy anything
pertaining to life. Imagine it if you can. Remember, we used to be that
way before we were saved.
But, the mind set on the Spirit is life and
peace. What a contrast. The Spirit of God dwells in us and therefore we
have all the potential of life and peace. The life of God and the peace of
God is ours always to enjoy.
Well, the "misery" of those who do not have the
Holy Spirit gets worse. Verse 7: "because the mind set on the flesh is
hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for
it is not even able to do so." Paul explains why the mind set on the flesh
is death. Again, the word here for mindset means "a fixed attitude." This
mindset is hostile toward God. Because of Adam, it is at enmity with God.
Paul says, "for it does not subject itself to the
law of God." It has been turned away from God and His law. This is in the
present passive voice. The "passive" voice is explained in the next
phrase: "for it is not even able to do so." Not at any time is it able to
submit to God’s law. It is depraved because of Adam.
Paul finally shows the utter helplessness of
those who do not have the Holy Spirit. Look at verse 8: "and those who are
in the flesh cannot please God." Paul changes and says that those who live
consistently "according to the flesh" are "in the flesh". They cannot, in
any way shape or form, ever please God as they are. They have no ability
whatsoever to please God. Do you have unsaved family or friends? Does this
cause you to have a little more concern for them?
Thank God, we have the Holy Spirit living in us.
Paul shows us in verses 9-11 the marvel of those who have the Holy Spirit.
First, they are no longer "in the flesh"—bound there because of being in
Adam. They are now forever in the Spirit.
Look at verse 9: "However, you are not in the
flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if
anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."
Paul has identified those in Adam, to be those in the flesh. He now
identifies those in Christ, to be those in the Spirit.
We cannot get back into the flesh. We can allow
it to influence us, and fall because of it. But we are never again able to
be "in the flesh." We are forever "in the Spirit." The prerequisite for
being in the Spirit is that the Holy Spirit dwells in you. It is
conditional. The Holy Spirit must dwell in you, or live in you just as one
lives in a house.
"But if anyone does not have the Spirit of
Christ, he does not belong to Him." We must have the Spirit of Christ
living in us or we are not a believer. The word for "does not" means not
in any way shape or form.
Second, in verse 10 we see that those who have
the Holy Spirit in them, are alive forever in their spirits with God’s
life: "And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin,
yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness."
Now, this is the practical truth for us in our
struggle with the flesh. He says, "Though the body is dead because of
sin." This is not new to us—we’ve seen this before. The body we live in is
"dead." The forces of death work in it. The lusts of the flesh also abide
in this body. It is dying.
However, "the spirit is alive because of
righteousness." Because the Holy Spirit of God lives in us, our spirits
are alive. The righteousness of God has been imputed to us through the
Holy Spirit living in us.
Third, those who have the Holy Spirit in them
have a "glorified" body to look forward to one day when Christ comes.
Verse 11: "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells
in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to
your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."
Because of this, one day our mortal bodies will
be raised in the likeness of His resurrection even though our mortal
bodies are going to die because of their being the vehicle of sin. Oh, the
results of the Holy Spirit living in us!