Romans 8:1-11† - Being Spiritually Minded
Intro Romans Ch.8 begins w/ no condemnation & ends w/ no separation . It is truly one of the most powerful Chapters in all of scripture
A) A) It lays out very clearly how the Christian life is to be lived - reveals the freedom to live a life of victory in Christ !
B) That a productive life that is pleasing to God is experienced as we learn to live & walk in the Spirit -
1) †As we learn to mind the things of the spirit - and as we begin to experience what it means to be led by the Spirit !
C) So Paul begins in V. 1 8:1† There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
D) We noted on Sunday that in Christ is a phrase that is used often in Paulís writings 87 times in N.T.† & speaks very - plainly of our position in Christ
1) †Means that we have been taken out of Adam & placed in Jesus / so that when the Father looks at us He sees us in His son.
E) Great Positional truth - Robed in the righteousness of Christ - / realizing who we are in the Lord is first step toward truly enjoying Christian life
1) †What it means to be in Christ was the focus of the first Ĺ of our study on Sunday.
Now the 2nd thing that we looked at was what it means† to have the spirit in US! V.2-4
2† For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
3† For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
4† that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
A) In V. 2 Paul reveals that there is a new law at work in my life - New force or power - work of the H.S.
B) Problem that each of us had before we came to know Christ was we were subject to the weakness of our flesh -
1) †But when we are born again - God places His Spirit in our lives / & through the Spirit we are given power to rise above .
C) Take this coin - if I let go of this coin it is going to fall to the ground because it is subject to the law of gravity - pulling it down
1) †Yet I can take this coin & lift it up into the air higher & higher in defiance of the Law of gravity / which is still in force
D) But a higher law has come into play - same of Jets - law of aerodynamics allows them to defy the law of gravity & Sore.
E) And in the same way the law of the spirit of life in Christ - the fact that He has place His spirit in us allows us to rise above the law of sin & death
In Essence what Paul is saying here in Romans 8 is The Christian life consist of Christ living His life in us through His Spirit
A) Paul declares that idea in Gal. 2:20 20† "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;& the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
B) See It's not our trying to live like Christ -- that is a misconception,
†††† Nor is it our trying to be Christ-like -- that is another misconception,
C) In fact Paul says in V. 3 that Jesus came in the like ness of sinful flesh & His life actually condemned us - Perfect
1) †He did as a man what we could do - kept the righteous requirement of the law to the letter.
D) But we canít do that / so we learn that the answer is not in imitation / but itís impartation
1) †It is Christ indwelling us by the Spirit & , living his life† through us in your home, on your job, in your everyday circumstances
E) So Paul says in v. 4 ††that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
F) Note fulfilled in us & not by us !
The term Christian means Christ like - and it has been often said that if you are a true Christian you will act like Christ / Is that true /
A) Depends on how you look at it ! If you see it as the goal - true - final outcome true - as the process of sanctification true
B) Rom. 8 : 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
C) But if you see it as something you are going to achieve through your own valiant efforts you will be in trouble -
1) †Work He does in us / not something achieved by us
D) It grieves me that so many kids - view Christianity this way - as a lifestyle they need to achieve !
1) †I think it has something to do w/ our teaching techniques - which can sometimes be based so much on performance
E) We say this is what it means to be a Christian - we lay out some sort of code . Kids find they canít perform
F) I sometimes wonder if what we really need to tell them is - this is what it means to know Jesus
1) †This is how you get close to Jesus & this is how Jesus seeks to work in your life to keep you close to Him
My son Aaron is 8 yrs old - & like many 8 yr old he can sometimes - have problems w/ self control ( he can get down right crazy )
A) Now I could lay a trip on him / by saying Aaron - you say you are a Christian / you say you love the Lord -
B) If that is true you need to exercise self control in your life / if that was our approach - our son would be one frustrated child / resent Christianity
1) †Because it is a struggle - so instead we talk about what it means to walk in the Spirit / be sensitive to the Spirit / learn to depend on ..
BB) Which all results in the fruit of the Spirit - being lived† out in his life quite naturally / as he learns to just Love the Lord & walk w/ Him
††††††††† 1) Depend upon Him
C) Result he prays daily that the H.S. would empower him to exercise self control / help him make the right choices/ know the Lord wants to help
1) †Huge difference - one is freedom & power / the Times to play / times to work
D) See the Spirit guides us spontaneously, leads us & empowers us daily corrects us constantly / which all results in freedom practically in lives
Now in vs. 5-11 Paul reveals that walking according to the H.S. involves being mindful of the things of the Spirit
A) And in these verses Paul contrast what it means to be carnally minded vs. What it means to be Spiritually minded .
B) Revealing that how you think will affect the way that you live !
5† 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, the things of the Spirit.† 6† For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7† Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8† So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9† But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10† And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11† But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Now the first thing that we need to clarify is what does it mean† to be carnally minded
A) Word Carnal - means fleshly -
B) And when Paul describes the person who lives according to the flesh & is mindful of the things of the flesh - mainly describing 2 things
1) †Those who seek to live for their flesh & those who seek to live by their flesh.
C) Person who is trying to please & satisfy his flesh / or a person who is trying to please God in the energy of his flesh
1) †Both are seen in the scriptures
D) In Luke 12:22 Jesus described the person who is living to please his flesh as one who was only interested in what eat / what wear / what hobby enjoy
1) †Mainly How can I satisfy my body
E) Jesus said hey life is about more than food / body more than clothing / there is more to life than just seeking to satisfy the flesh
IN 1 Cor. 3 Paul described the church in Corinth as Carnal / And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.2† I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
3† for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
A) Paul says I couldnít talk to you as spiritual people - but had to address you as being carnal - as babes
B) Calling them babes - wasnít a ref. To their spiritual age - but rather their spiritual maturity - they were immature
C) Their Carnality was seen in their envy strife & divisions / they were people living after their flesh seeking to please their flesh
D) But the Church in Galatia was also considered Carnal - but they were not living after their flesh but by their flesh -
1) †Trying to please God in the energy of the flesh / so Paul wrote to them
3:1† O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
3† Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
E) Now it is this form of Carnality that Paul is mainly addressing here in Rom. 7 & 8 Person who is trying to please God in the energy of the flesh
1) †Paul says living that way is death - it will kill you - it will wipe you out
Death in this connotation is means barrenness, fruitlessness, spiritual poverty which is a stench in the nostrils of God; it is hostile to God.
A) Solomon found that living after his flesh - seeking to please his flesh - resulted in death / bareness - All Vanity
B) Had everything yet he was barren in his soul
C) Paul found that living by the flesh - trying to please God in the energy of the flesh resulted in bareness as well
1) †Phil 3 -turn there
If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:
5† circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6† concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
D) That was Paul life in the energy of his flesh - good resume / but no fruit - no lasting fruit !
7† But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8† Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9† and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10† that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11† if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12† Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13† Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14† I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul says now I know that the answer is in Knowing Christ - being found In Christ - allowing Christ to live through me
A) Thus I need to lay aside my flesh - all I was in the flesh - see it as garbage / that I might gain Christ
B) John the B. I must decrease that He might increase -/ Paul found that to be true to .
C) Now here is something that is interesting is the person who is seeking to please God in the energy of his flesh can appear fruitful
1) †There is a lot of activity - find people in ministry who sometimes fall into this trap that fruitfulness = busyness
D) So they are always talking about how they are doing this / and doing that / going here & there - tons of activity - not always fruit / not lasting fruit
1) †That is why a lot of guys burn out - become so frustrated because they spend all this energy - nothing comes of it
E) My little daughter Amanda who is 22 months old can make a lot of noise & a big mess in the Kitchen - bang pots & pans - but canít make a dish
1) †Canít make a meal -
Paul says that when we are living either for our flesh or by the energy of our flesh - the result is death - bareness fruitlessness / emptiness
A) Because the Carnal mind is enmity against God - Carnal mind is hostile to God
B) Living for the flesh - or by the flesh goes against the very nature of Christianity - goes against the very heart of God for His people
1) †Because He sent His Son to do for us what we could not do for ourselves . Died to pay penalty of sin / set free from power of sin
C) And He has placed His Spirit in me to empower me to live the kind of life that I could never live in the energy of my flesh
1) †So the Life that He has laid out for me to live is a glorious life of freedom & Joy as I learn to depend on Him / look to / be led by
D) If I try to live any other way it is grieving to Him like a father who watches his kids miss out on His best for them† -
1) †Because† in their stubbornness & through their heartaches & mistakes they† learn hard way†† Father really does know best
In Matt. 21 comes upon a fig tree - leaves - but no fruit - the leaves gave it the appearance of fruit - but - no fruit
A) Jesus cursed that fig tree ! Never bear fruit
B) Guys our efforts in the flesh our like that fig tree - there is an appearance of fruit - but there is no fruit - lives are cursed in a sense /
1) †Because in the energy of our flesh we can never please God !
C) Not †Until we come to that place where we are† not leaning on the flesh but walking in the spirit - never being able to please God !
So what does it mean to mind the things of the Spirit?
A) First say this is what it is not ! -††
B) Some people have the misconception that†† when it says those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit,"
1) †it must mean that you go around thinking holy thoughts about God, and meditating on Bible verses all day long,
C) Or thinking of heaven all the time. And those whoís mind is on the things of the flesh are always thinking about their business,
1) †the dirty dishes in the sink that need to be washed, the routine things of life, or the pleasure or activities which they are involved in
D) Nothing could be further from the truth in both spectrums - Living in this world means we are going to be thinking about life things
1) †Working / food - etc. / Jesus just said that is not only thing that life consist of there is more / much more
E) See the difference between the "things of the flesh" and "things of the Spirit" is not a different kind of thing, but it is the different attitude with which you come to them.
F) It is a different approach, a different sense of values;† that is what we are talking about here.
Let me paraphrase what Paul is saying here† this way:
†He who sets his mind on the values of the Spirit, on the attitudes of the Spirit, on the point of† view of the Spirit, walks in the Spirit; but he who sets his mind on the values of the flesh, on the attitudes of the flesh, walks in the flesh.
Illustration of Work:†† How do you view your work? What do you think about your vocation,† the way you make your living?
A) Is it to you just a way to earn a living, to feed family and educate your† children, to supply the fleshly needs of your life,
1) Is that what your job means to you?
B) If your answer is yes - bad news† you have the mind of the flesh, - and you are going to most likely be barren there .
C) On the other hand, if you see† your work, as God's chosen area for you to exhibit Jesus Christ, / the thing He has called you to
D) As the area at this point in time where you can† glorify him by faithfulness and willingness to do the tasks that are set before you?
1) †Do you see it as the means through which God has opened the door for you to earn a living but also bless His kingdom in giving
E) If that is how you view your Job - then you would be in that category of having the mind of the Spirit, you are walking according to the Spirit.
1) It is the same work, but approached with a different attitude.
F) The mind of the Spirit is relating everything to God, and to his point of view and values.
1) †When you do this, Paul says, you are walking in the Spirit.
Results of living in the Spirit - Having mind of the spirit ? Life & Peace
Two precious commodities today / contrast death & hostility
A) So walking in the spirit means I will have a new mindset about my life & about where the Lord has me / how to live
B) Walking in the Spirit also results in a new sense of life v.9-119† But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
A) Now the word dwell here in v. 9 means to be at home in - interesting thing to ponder - if you are a Christian - spirit is in you / but is He at Home ?
B) Or do you constantly - take him to places where he is uncomfortable or engage him in activity that He wants no part of .
1) †1Cor. 6:15 Paul made a radical statement when since our body is the temple of the H.S. if a Christian were to join himself to a harlot
C) He is literally joined Christ to the Harlot - heavy thing to think about
D) The H.S. in the life of a person is the evidence that they know the Lord - Paul said if you donít have the Spirit you are not saved
†††† You may be a church member,
†††† You may be very faithful in religious matters,
†††† You may be trying to lead a moral life,
Need to be Born again -
E) But walking and being led by the Spirit takes place when He is at home in our hearts .†† He is Lord !
10† And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness
11† But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
A) Paul says the body is dead - meaning it is subject to death because of sin
B) Because of sin these bodies are dying - decaying / they are going to die
1) †Good riddance
C) But our spirit is alive in Christ
D) So how do we deal w/ our sinful tendencies that seem to go along w/ living in these bodies - Paul says the answer is through the spirit in us
V.11 Actually reads since - the spirit of Him who raised dwells in you / He will give life to these mortal bodies
A) Mortal bodies refers to bodies that are dying but are not dead yet - but Paul says the spirit actually gives life so that my body / my members which were once used as instruments to satisfy the flesh
B) Can now be used to glorify the Lord
A) †This is at the heart of Paulís prayer for the Eph. / Ch.1:19 10† And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness †11† But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
B) So as I am led by & empowered by the Spirit my mouth that was once used for cursing is now used for praising
1) †Grumbling words of comfort
C) All through the spirit
12† Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
A) Word debtors speaks of an obligation - no obligation any more to live for the flesh - because we have the spirit
13† 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.
How get rid of the flesh - fight it - focus on it ? No, Strengthen the spirit
Darkness ? Turn on the light
A pilot was flying his small plane one day, when he heard a noise which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat.† Wondering what its sharp teeth were cutting through, he suddenly realized with horror that it might be an electric wire.†
Then he remembered that rodents can't survive at high altitudes. Immediately he began climbing until finally he had to put on his oxygen mask.† Soon the gnawing sound ceased, and when he landed he found the rat -- dead.