According to Flesh, or Spirit?

Romans 8
5 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, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be [b]carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

In my opinion, this is an every day occurrence.
You have to wake up and walk according to Spirit every day. You have to choose to think on things of the Lord. You have to choose to pray, read the bible and meditate on those things that edify.
At any point, you can choose to satisfy your flesh, but thanks for the grace of forgiveness of our Lord.

A carnal person hears the money is gone and panics. The spiritually minded says, the Lord gave it to me, and He will PROVIDE.
A carnal person hears a bad report and is immediately grieved. The spiritually minded person starts praying and believing knowing that hoping in Christ will never fail.

Walk according to the Spirit

Romans 7
25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

As my blog post yesterday said, here is the war inside Paul spoke of. He even suggests that his flesh is always serving the law of sin.

This is what leads to Chapter 8.

Romans 8
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

There is no condemnation. We are going to make mistakes. Even Paul made mistakes.

The Inside War

Romans 7
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

This to me is a very complicated way to say that we are all human and we have evil desires inside of us that we have to fight each and every day.

We must overcome that which we know we should not do, with the Spirit that lives within us. It is not easy. It is a process, that we will fail at many times.

Be Strong and Courageous

Joshua 1
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[c] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Just reminding myself that the Lord is with me. He will never leave me.

Will Power Fail

Romans 7
20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

From Enduring Word Commentary:
There is a debate among Christians as to if Paul was a Christian during the experience he describes. Some look at his struggle with sin and believe that it must have been before he was born again. Others believe that he is just a Christian struggling with sin. In a sense this is an irrelevant question, for this is the struggle of anyone who tries to obey God in their own strength. This experience of struggle and defeat is something that a Christian may experience, but something that a non-Christian can only experience.

I love this thought. We are imperfect. Without a savior we cannot do it. We cannot serve Christ within our own strength.

Here is the same scripture in the message:
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

What a mouthful…. Sin, Sinning, Sinful….

Romans 7
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

We need sin to appear sin, because it always wants to hide in us and conceal its true depths and strength. “This is one of the most deplorable results of sin. It injures us most by taking from us the capacity to know how much we are injured. It undermines the man’s constitution, and yet leads him to boast of unfailing health; it beggars him, and tells him he is rich; it strips him, and makes him glory in his fancied robes.” (Spurgeon)

Without the law, you cannot know if you are sinning or not. So you could have been hurting yourself and not known it.
This is how I read this.

Sin Entices

Romans 7
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

You can’t break a law, without knowing what the laws are.

It’s like “Wet Paint Don’t Touch” signs. I doubt there are very few of us who have not checked an object where these signs have been placed to see if the paint is really wet.

Without the sign, I would not have known I wanted to touch the wet paint.

Romans 7
9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

For sin… deceived me: It isn’t the law that deceives us, but it is sin that uses the law as an occasion for rebellion. This is why Jesus said, you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). The truth makes us free from the deceptions of sin.

I once heard a song that the devil has all the good music. What if this is just sin stirring our rebellion and enticing us to enjoy things not lawful for us?

I fought the Law, and I won.

Romans 7
Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law [a]has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

To be free from the law, is freedom from sin. The law shows us where we fall short. When we are in Christ Jesus and born again, we no longer fall short according to the law.

So in chapter 6 Paul explains being dead to sin.
Now Paul explains being released from the law. Both of these events happen because we are in Christ Jesus and we died to our old self.

Old Fruit, Bad Fruit?

Romans 6
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit [g]to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [h]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What fruit did you have before you were saved? What was the benefit?
I believe if people answered this question honestly they would not like their answer.

When I got serious about serving the Lord my life improved. It wasn’t that my problems disappeared, but the problems I created DID disappear. I can be honest and tell you that most of my problems were all created by myself.

No Two Masters

Romans 6
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were [e]delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

From my bible commentary:
Whatever you present yourself to obey, you become its slave. For example, if I obey my appetite constantly, I am a slave to it. So we have a choice in our slavery: sin leading to death or obedience leading to righteousness.

It is interesting that while we are free to choose, we are not free. We will be a slave to whatever choice we make. Paul’s choice of words here is very interesting.

Matthew 6:24 says something very similar:
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Romans 6
19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness [f]for holiness.