Romans 8:7-11

In Romans 8:7-11 Paul continues to explain the battle that we face in our efforts to deal with the flesh. We can try to do good in life without being subject to the law of God. We may hope to put God “in debt” to us by good works, thinking God owes us. But it doesn’t work. We will never be able to stay the course of good works on our own. In the flesh we cannot please God, even if the flesh does religious things that are admired by men. “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.” Because the Holy Spirit is given to each believer when they are born again, every Christian has within themselves a principle higher and more powerful than the flesh.

Without the Spirit guiding us as a Christ Follower, we will fall short. Our sin nature will ultimately win out. “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” However, many do miss out on living the Christian life in the constant fullness of the Spirit because they are not constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit as Paul commanded in Ephesians. “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.” The Spirit is in us as Christ Followers, but we have to submit to Him constantly and continue to allow the Spirit to guide our every step.

Because Jesus lives in us, the old man (body or nature) is dead, but the Spirit lives and reigns, and will live out His salvation even through our mortal bodies through resurrection. But there is a big ‘if’ – we have to choose to allow the Spirit to have control and not fall back to our old sinful ways. Our human nature still pulls us toward sin. We don’t have to give in, but without choosing continually to be filled with the Spirit we’ll lose the battle. “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  We’ve been set up for a victorious life and only we can make bad choices that will derail God’s plan for victory in our life.

Every believer has the Holy Spirit. It is a misnomer to divide Christians among the “Spirit-filled” and the “non-Spirit-filled.” If a person is not filled with the Holy Spirit, they are not a Christian at all. And because of that, we have eternal life as Christ Followers. “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.” How does one know that they have the Spirit? Ask these questions:

  • Has the Spirit led you to Jesus?
  • Has the Spirit put in you the desire to honor Jesus?
  • Is the Spirit leading you to be more like Jesus?
  • Is the Spirit at work in your heart?

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