Romans 8:5-11 – 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. 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.
Ever since sin has infected and affected everyone and everything, nothing is ever quite right, and if it is, you can be sure something will soon go quite wrong. Since no one and nothing is perfect, we settle for things that are new hoping that will satisfy our longing for better. This explains why people cannot seem to get enough of things that are new. We like to live in new homes, drive in new cars, eat in new restaurants, and do it all while wearing new clothes and using new technology.
Our longing for new and better is ultimately satisfied in the work of the Holy Spirit. In this section of Romans, He teaches us, through Paul, seven things He makes new in you:
- New Relationship. Before being born again of the Holy Spirit, a person “does not belong to him [Jesus Christ]”. However, once you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit gives you a new relationship as “Christ is in you”.
- New Mind. The person without the spirit has a “mind on the things of the flesh” which means they are so busy looking out to the world that they never much look up to God. All of this changes, however, once God sets our “minds on the things of the Spirit” so that we learn to think differently about everyone and everything in light of God’s Word.
- New Nature. The person without the Spirit has only their sinful fallen “flesh” which is a nature that rejects and rebels against God’s will and Word. Once we have a new nature by the “Spirit”, however, a change process begins at the deepest level of our being as God changes who we are and results in a change in how we live.
- New Desires. The non-Christian without the Spirit is “hostile to God” in that they do not accept any external authority beyond themselves. The person with the Spirit, however, wants to “submit to God’s laws” as their deepest desires change as obeying God is what they want to do.
- New Power. The person without the Spirit “cannot…submit to God” as a godly life can only be lived by God’s power. Conversely, the Christian has a new power by which to obey God because “the Spirit of God dwells in you”.
- New Life. Before the life of the Spirit overtakes your life, you “cannot please God” because all you have is your old life of sin. However, once you meet Jesus and receive the Spirit, your new life is marked by “righteousness” which is Jesus making your new life right with God and giving you the Spirit’s power to live your new life.
- New Destiny. Lastly, the eternal destiny of the person without the Spirit is “death”, whereas the person with the Spirit has a new destiny of eternal “life” with Jesus once they are raised by the Spirit as He was.
Which of these 7 are you most familiar with? Which of these 7 are you least familiar with?
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