Holy Spirit of God, hear me as I pray. I affirm that You are good, full of love, and delight for me to call upon You.
Read ROMANS 8:1–8
Life Through the Spirit
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Having reached this point, ask the Lord to help you piece Paul’s arguments together and to embed them in your heart and mind.
In this climactic chapter, Paul now celebrates the themes he has previously set out. He begins with triumphant affirmations about our position in Christ. We are not condemned! We are set free! Paul contrasts life in the Spirit and life in the flesh. It is important to understand the word ‘flesh’. It does not refer (here) to the body as such. Bodily existence is good and wholesome because it is created by God and fundamental to our existence. The ‘flesh’ refers to unregenerate human nature, that part of our nature that rejects and resists God’s gracious rule in our lives. The flesh is hostile to God (v 7). To overcome this hostility, God sent his Son to be a sin offering. He became one of us and was sent in the ‘likeness of sinful flesh’ (v 3). This means that he shared our bodily nature without sharing our sinful nature (flesh): he was like us in every way but without sharing in our sin.1 In this way he is able to help us.
Once more we find here the use of the word ‘law’ to refer to a power or force at work within us. There is the ‘law of sin and death’, which drags us down and ‘the law of the Spirit who gives life’ (v 2) and lifts us up. Both laws are at work in our lives. This is like our being subject to the law of gravity, causing us to fall, and another law, such as that of aerodynamics, which defies gravity and lifts us.
There is a warning here. Gravity is overcome only for so long as the laws of aerodynamics apply, and this can only happen in so far as an energy source allows them to operate. Remove this force field and disaster follows. The Spirit of God who upholds us is such a source.
‘So I say, live by the Spirit.’2
For stooping so low and coming so close and washing me clean, heart, mind, and soul, I thank You Lord. May me life reflect Your love.
1 Heb 4:15 2 Gal 5:16
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