SUBJ: The stark contrast drawn
between existence in the absence of the Spirit and the eternal prospect
of life in the Spirit and that wherein the Spirit dwells in us.
AIM: That we might look to being
more responsive to the indwelling Spirit of God by minding spiritual
INTR: Great peace is brought to us
in Paul’s words declaring “No Condemnation,” along with the explanation
of how it was accomplished in Christ.
1. The sense that God neither
condemns nor will He execute punishment on believers is precious to all
who know the joyful sound.
2. The proof of this is shown in the
operations of spiritual life within us whereby the focus of minds is on
the things of Christ rather than the world.
3. The world and fleshly
religion seeks to blur the distinction between itself and the true life
of God in the soul. In this passage, we are shown the absolute rejection
of carnal mindedness, not as an occasional thing but as a way of life as
is declared in v. 8.
Inasmuch as those in the flesh cannot please God, it follows that they
who are in the Spirit not only should but must please God and by the
grace of God and the Spirit of righteousness, they do.
I. A firm
conclusion (vv. 5-8)
1. We are often confronted in scripture with
“compare and contrast” and this is used here to emphasize an absolute
distinction. (See Romans 2:6-10)
2. Paul here presents us with a
proposition (v. 5) as to the activities of two kinds of people and will
seek a conclusion as a result thereof.
3. To be “after the flesh”
means to be bound to and directed by the corruption of the nature which
is so because of the fall and such a way of life is promoted by the
world and the devil.
1) The comparison is made relative to the things
they care about which is a result of their affections.
2) The thought
here is of a conscious directing of the mind to polar opposites.
So then, they who walk (vv. 1,4) after the Spirit think about and care
about spiritual things.
5. The further observation is of contrasted
states: death versus life and peace.
1) The reference to the carnal
mind in verse 6 is to the understanding, the judgment, the will, the
affections, the thoughts, and the reasonings of men as distinguished
from: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17.
2) The things here, in
the carnal mind have death as their end (not their purpose).
3) To be
carnally minded in the saints is not to bring and end to their
salvation; it rather brings the same effect on their lives and
consciousness of spiritual things (Paul saw the same in the Corinthians)
and sees them as forfeiting the fruits of grace (Galatians 5:4).
The contrasted state is Spiritual mindedness wherein there is a sense of
being partakers of the divine nature and the evidence of such life is
seen in them and
5) They know peace of conscience (See v. 1); a
characteristic of the kingdom of grace of which they are a part, that
which passes understanding and finds its beauty in communion with Christ
our Lord and so causes them to be peaceable people in all their
relationships in the world.
6. The distinguishing cause (v. 7) is
that the carnal mind is “enmity against God”
1) It hates the
perfections of God and the expression of them in Christ; it denies His
rights and is willfully in denial of the omniscience of God and so
persists in a life of contempt for God.
2) Its friendship is
evidently with the world and lives willingly under the government of
3) It not subject to the Law of God and because of innate
depravity – cannot be!
7. Thus, nothing about being in the flesh is
pleasing to God and it requires regeneration and Spirit restoration to
be pleasing to God. they cannot please God because there is no principle
of obedience found in them. (JFB)
II. A delightful prospect (vv.
1. The ubiquitous “but” appears reminding us of Paul’s earlier
assessment of the Roman Christians
1) They were referred to as
“beloved of God” and they were “called to be saints.”
their faith was spoken of throughout the world.
3) They are not in
the flesh “if so be” or “seeing that” the Spirit of God dwells in you.
4) None ever died in the presence of Christ and all live forever who are
indwelt by the Spirit!
2. The Spirit of God brings to us
regeneration, illumination, sanctification, faith, comfort, sonship
(adoption), intercession, and the pledge and seal of God upon us as the
“earnest of our inheritance.”
3. A parting shot resounds in
concluding that if a man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none
of His – is not identified as beloved of God, has not been called to be
a saint, and in the absence of faith cannot please God.
4. In verse
10, we are reminded as to how we are to treat that “old nature,” the
flesh. Compare Romans 6:11 and reckoning ourselves to be dead.
Even though the body of sin remains active it is clearly identified as
being rendered as subject to death and will come to it shortly; it is
appointed to die; dust thou art and c.
2) The contrast: The Spirit is
life because of the holiness it produces imputing to our account and
imparting to our souls the very righteousness of Christ.
promise of v. 11 ever thrills the souls of all who wait upon our Lord.
1) The same quickening power that both raised Christ from the dead and
true believers unto salvation shall also be to the quickening of our
mortal bodies in distinction from the wicked.
2) This is peculiar to
the saints in that bodies that are fully compatible with and in
cooperation with true spiritual life will be brought out of this
decaying body we now possess.
3) Not only will we be found in the
blessed robes of righteousness; we shall be housed in bodies suited to
an eternal dwelling in the presence of God in Christ!