Romans 8:1-4 ESV
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Those who are in Christ Jesus are not those who have made a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Those who are in Christ Jesus are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we might now be slaves to God and to his righteousness.
Our hearts have been transformed of the Spirit of God away from living for sin and self to now following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways. For the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (conduct our lives) NOT according to our sinful flesh but according to the Spirit.
So, when we read v. 1 here, we can’t apply it across the board to everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. For not everyone who says he believes has genuine God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ. For, not everyone who professes faith in Jesus has died with Christ to sin and is now living to him and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit.
Romans 8:5-8 ESV
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
And this is the clincher. If we are living (in conduct, in practice) according to (in agreement with) our sinful flesh, our minds are set on the things of the flesh, not on the things of the Spirit of God, and that results in death, not in life everlasting with God. And this is regardless of what we profess with our lips, for lip service only will not result in eternal life with God.
For, if our minds are set on the flesh, we are hostile to God for we do not submit to God’s law. Thus, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. And it is critical that we live to please God. It is not true that if we profess faith in Jesus Christ that God is pleased with us no matter what we do.
[Rom 8:8; 2 Co 5:9; Gal 6:8; Eph 5:10; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Tim 2:4; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; 1 Jn 3:22]
But those of us who are living according to the Spirit have set our minds on the things of the Spirit. And to set our minds on the Spirit is life and peace as opposed to the mind set on the flesh, which is death. And we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, in the power of God’s Spirit now living within us, and not in our flesh.
Romans 8:9-11 ESV
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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 dwells in you.”
The Spirit of God does not dwell in the hearts of everyone who professes the name of Jesus nor in everyone who has claimed to have “invited Jesus into his or her heart.” The Spirit of God dwells in the hearts of those who, by faith, have died with Christ to sin that they might live to Christ and to his righteousness and who are walking in obedience to his commands.
[Jn 14:23-24; Rom 6:1-23; Heb 5:9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:24; Ac 5:32]
If the Spirit of God does not dwell in us, then we do not belong to God. If we belong to God, and the Spirit of God does dwell in us, then we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. And that should be evidenced by how we live our lives. It should be evident that we have been transformed of the Spirit of God away from living for sin and self to living to God for his glory and praise.
Romans 8:12-14 ESV
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
And this is really the bottom line in all of this. If we are truly in Christ, by faith in him, and if we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and thus we have life in Christ, and God’s Spirit dwells within us, then we are debtors to the Spirit of God to no longer live according to our sinful flesh, but to now live our lives according to the Spirit.
For, if we live our lives according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, then we will die in our sins. We won’t have eternal life with God.
But… if by God’s Spirit we are putting to death the misdeeds of the body, then we will live with Christ for eternity. For, it is all who are being led by the Spirit of God who are sons of God. It is not everyone who professes the name of Jesus. And being led by the Spirit means we are following Jesus with our lives and we are walking in obedience to our Lord.
This is not saying that we are perfect people and that we never fail, but it is saying that our lives are no longer being controlled by our sinful flesh but that we are now living under the Holy Spirit’s control. Sin is no longer our master. Jesus is our only Lord and master. And our desire is for him and not to please our sinful flesh.
An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.
They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.
He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.
By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.
Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.
Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.