Summary Romans 8:1-4
This passage begins in verse one by letting us know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. It does not say that there is no condemnation “for those professing to know Jesus Christ.” So, just because you make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are “in Christ.”
So you need to read at least through verse 14 here and then go back and read Romans 6:1-23, Ephesians 4:17-24, 1 John 1:5-9, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 3:4-10, Luke 9:23-26, Matthew 7:21-23, Titus 2:11-14, Galatians 5:16-21, Galatians 6:7-8, Romans 2:6-8 and Ephesians 5:3-6.
In verses 3-4 we read that, by God the Father sending his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) 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 (in conduct, in practice) NOT according to THE FLESH but according to THE SPIRIT.
Do you know what this just said? We are not free from condemnation on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We are free from condemnation who live (in conduct, in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, and who don’t live by their sinful flesh.
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.”
So, don’t read verse one and then just assume you are free from condemnation because you made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. FOR those who live according to (by, in agreement with) the flesh (our fallen nature) set their minds on the things of the flesh, and to set the mind on the flesh is DEATH, not life everlasting. And to set the mind on anything is to do so with great determination of the will to go a particular direction.
Now the Lord Jesus puts songs in my head every day, most of which are to be included in these devotions (writings), and some of which he uses to let me know more specifically where he wants me to focus my attention. And today the song was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver. And the song is about his relationship with the woman he eventually married, but the marriage did not last because of all his continued adulteries and lies.
For, the song is about a womanizer, a woman hater, an abuser, a user, a liar, a cheat, and someone lacking commitment to the relationship who is giving false promises of faithfulness and false confessions of love. He is utterly selfish with no guilt about cheating and lying. He lies and tells her that the “cheating” was not serious or not against her, etc. And the cheating didn’t end after they were married. And the marriage eventually ended. And ironically enough, he ended up dying in a plane crash in real life.
So, this is a primary example of one who has set his mind on the flesh and on the things of the flesh and who is living (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit. This person is not “in Christ” even if he professes faith in Jesus Christ. Do you get this? We can’t live like this and be “in Christ,” although there are many preachers out there who will tell you that you can. For to set the mind on the flesh is DEATH!
You can’t just play around with sin and think you are okay with God. Even if you admit your sin and say you are sorry, if you go right back to it, and continue in it habitually and deliberately, without conscience, and if this is the way you live until the day that you die, you will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what your lips have professed. For you are living according to the flesh and you are not living according to the Spirit.
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. So you see, we are not free of any law. We are not free to be lawless under God’s grace. We still have to obey God’s moral laws and we are still commanded to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. And the New Testament is filled with all kinds of rules and instructions to us that we must obey.
And to love God is to obey him, and if we do not obey him we do not love him and we don’t know him and he doesn’t know us and we don’t have eternal life in him. So, please take this to heart. If we do not obey Jesus, and if we do not die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24), then we do not have eternal life in him regardless of what confessions of Christ we have made with our lips.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13; Jn 10:27-30; Acts 5:32]
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.”
Some people think that we owe God nothing, that he does it all for us and that nothing is required of us. So these must be people who have not read the Bible, right? Not necessarily. There are people who know what the Scriptures teach but they disregard them and they make up their own concept of what it means to believe in Jesus, or they accept someone else’s false concept of faith in Jesus and they adopt it as their own.
But the Scriptures teach that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, that we must put sin away from our lives and now walk according to the Spirit in holiness and in righteousness in obedience to our Lord and to his commands. And they teach us that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God.
For all who are LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD are children of God, not those who merely profess faith in Jesus Christ. So this means that we must do what Jesus says to do, and go where he sends us, and say what he gives us to say, even if people hate us for it in return. We must give up our own selfish lives and follow Jesus in obedience or we will not enter the kingdom of heaven no matter what others have told us.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Trust and Obey
Words by John H. Sammis, 1887
Music by Daniel B. Towner, 1887
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise,
not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove
the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
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2 thoughts on “What does it Mean to be “In Christ”?”
You couldn’t have picked a better song for your post. God bless.
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Donna, thank you. Actually I don’t pick the songs. The Lord puts the songs in my head to go along with the passage of Scripture he leads me to write on. So glory to God. Thank you for reading and for responding.
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