By Ashton Holt
“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.” Romans 8:5-6
Paul loves a good contrast between life in the flesh and life in the Spirit. He thinks of two domains that occupy this world– the domain of sin and darkness, and the domain of life and the Spirit. He reminds believers that in Christ, we are members of the domain of life. Therefore, we are to set our minds on the Holy Spirit and seek first God’s kingdom, not allowing our flesh to have dominion over us.
To live according to the flesh is to set our minds on the things of the flesh. Even though we are baptized believers who have been saved by Christ Jesus, we are prone to wander back into the domain of darkness . An unfortunate part of living in a fallen world and being in the world but not of it - we fall back into the temptation to rely on our own strength. Yet, we do a disservice to ourselves when we set our minds on the flesh. We need God’s help. Paul testifies in Romans 8 that setting our minds on the Spirit is the means to healing our souls.
Our entire beings crave the life and peace that Paul says comes by setting our minds on the Spirit. We do this by considering the Lord first– whether we study the Bible, meditate on God, or offer to God a simple plea for mercy. It’s praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit and seeing the glorious result of life, joy, and peace in our hearts. The Holy Spirit brings to our minds the things Jesus has taught us and helps us to observe his commandments.
You are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit. As a child of God, you are an heir of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart in prayer and scripture; "taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8) "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed your sin from you." (Psalm 103:12) You have been freed from the hold of the flesh and are called to new life in the Spirit. Walk in it!
Meditate on the love of Christ today. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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