Two Great Results - Life Or Death!
There are eight terms in Romans 8: 1-27. They are:
- The law (vs. 1-4)
- Mind-set (vs. 5-8)
- Indwelling (vs. 9-11)
- Life (vs. 12-13)
- Leading (vs. 14-15)
- Witness (vs. 16-17)
- Firstfruits (vs. 18-25)
- Intercession of the Spirit of God (vs. 26-27)
As we study this great passage, notice that the first part of verse five is summarized
in Romans 7: 7-24. The second part is the heart of Romans 8:1-27.
The interest in verses five through eight is not simply to contrast these opposing elements,
but to show why the persons in view do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit.
- "After the flesh" (in the flesh) - first, defines the basic moral condition.
- "Mind the things of the flesh" ( the mind of the flesh) - secondly, defines the inward frame
of heart and mind resulting from that condition.
- "Walk after the flesh" - defines the practice emanating from both but more particularly
from the first through the second.
No one minds all things of the flesh, yet each one of us mind one or the other of these things.
Even the spiritual man may often struggle with the lusts of the flesh, and be for a moment
cast down by them.
Carnally-mindedness doesn't refer to the occasional impulse or feelings but to the habitual
bent and disposition of the soul.
The carnal man may be, at times, the subject of good desires and may form good resolutions.
The carnally-minded may be a living treasury of knowledge of many impressions from
religious subjects and capable of performing many external religious acts.
This was said of the church at Sardis that they had a form of godliness and a name
that they lived, but they were dead.
To be carnally minded is death. The state of a carnally-minded person is one of death.
Life for the one who is not a Christian is a living death. They are spiritually dead.
There is no stronger term than "death." You cannot say anything beyond saying
that a person is dead.
- It is not "almost dead"; he is actually dead.
- It is not "desperately ill"; it is dead. No life!
They are dead in trespasses and sins; they are ignorant of God; they do not know God.
They know nothing of spiritual things.
They do not want to know about them.
They are not interested in spiritual matters.
They find them terribly boring.
They find the Bible uninteresting and boring.
They do not find television or movies boring.
They do not find the newspapers boring.
But they do not enjoy conversations about the soul or about life or death or heaven and hell.
They do not wish to talk about God or the Lord Jesus.
They cannot help it.
They just do not see anything in it.
They are just not interested.
They are interested in people and their appearances and in what they have done
and in what they are doing.
They are interested in the world and its affairs.
All these things have tremendous appeal to them.
Their position is simple.
They have no interest in the things of God. Why?
Because they are spiritually dead.
Not only do they not like spiritual things, the Bible says that they hate them.
They have a feeling somehow that the fact that they do not like them condemns them.
Of course they are prepared to have some sort of religion, but only as long as they can control it.
Such a life is utterly miserable.
That is why they go on changing.
They tire of everything.
They must always be seeking after something new.
They are always looking for new thrills.
That is the measure of the misery of a life of sin.
There are no resources.
There are no reserves.
They are outside the life of God.
Those people are in sin.
They are dead!
The death of the carnally-minded is not its ceasing to think, to feel, to will.
Its thinking, feeling, willing, are in base, corrupt, unworthy ways.
The end of those ways is death.
Romans 6:21: "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?
for the end of those things is death."
Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord."
The person who is governed by the flesh is generally unaware of the death that is working in him.
The principle of death is separation.
The most accentuated expression of death is separation from God.
Isaiah 59:2: "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins
have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
- Romans 8:6: "For to be carnally minded is death"; this is separation from God.
- Romans 8:7 gives the reason why the mind of the flesh is death.
It is "enmity against God."
The essence of sin is to be against God.
- Romans 8:8 shows that we have nothing less than the doctrine of the total inability
of the natural man.
He is totally unable to be well-pleasing to God.
He cannot do any thing pleasing in God's sight. Romans 8:6; "...but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
In the Bible life is always described and defined in terms of our relationship to God.
John 17:3: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
That is life!
God is the author of life - " who alone hath life and immortality."
He is the source of life. He is the sustainer of life.
God is life!
He gives life and apart from God there is no life.
So, we can define life like this:
- Life is to know God.
- Life is to be in a saving relationship with God.
- Life is to enjoy God.
- Life is to converse with God.
- Life is to share the life of God.
- Life is to be blessed of God.
According to the Bible, that is life!
He who minds the things of the Spirit shows it by making less and less of self
and desiring more and more of Christ.
He takes pleasure in meditating upon spiritual things; talking about them; and in listening to spiritual things.
He has an increasing desire for God's Word, and he is in constant communion with his God.
"To be spiritually minded is life and peace."
It is life.
It quickens the soul.
It awakens the soul to its most noble attributes.
It awakens the soul to its highest functions.
It fills the soul with its purest pleasures.
Spiritual mindedness is a principle opposed to that of the flesh.
It is to walk by faith, not by sight.
It is to scorn the pleasures of sin animated by that ambition which seeks through
undeserved mercy the recompense of an eternal life.
This message is by Dr. Harold L. White.