Life in the Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 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. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 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. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[d] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Heirs with Christ
12 So then, brothers,[e] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Today's devotion is brought to you by Steve Brockman. Steve is an Elder at Impact and we are thankful for his love for Christ.
Thoughts and reflections
The eighth chapter of the Book of Romans is often referred to as the Holy Spirit chapter. The Holy Spirit is referenced 19 times. Paul provides an encouraging description of God the Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, and explains why true freedom can only be realized by inviting the Holy Spirit into our hearts and then setting our minds, focus and lives on the ways of God.
As human beings, we are constantly being pulled into the things of this world by our sinful nature. As Paul points out, speaking even of his own life, it is impossible to walk in the flesh and be righteous with God. God the Father had to send God the Son to rescue us. The death of Jesus on the cross brought all sin, past and future, onto Jesus where He conquered sin for those who have faith in Him. Before ascending back to heaven, Jesus told his disciples that He would send a Helper, an Advocate, a Counselor to live in His people, and for those in whom the Holy Spirit lives, there will be no condemnation (i.e. judgment). We can live with the blessed assurance of our forgiveness in Jesus.
As Christians who have accepted Jesus as the Savior, we must respond to and be obedient to the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and then rely on the Holy Spirit for assurance, guidance, and direction. Even as a faithful believer, we must make daily decisions to choose the Spirit over our flesh. Paul tells us that for those of us who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God and become fellow heirs with Christ to eternal life in heaven. It is truly life-changing to understand and accept that by trusting and believing in Jesus we are co-heirs with Him. Amazing! This inheritance includes peace, hope, love, joy, wisdom, and freedom in this life and, most incredibly, an eternal life with God in heaven.
As Bob Deffinbaugh describes, “The Christian need not be overcome by guilt or by fear, due to his sins. The cross of Jesus Christ is the solution from sin and its condemnation, for all who are justified by faith. The death which Christ died was for all of the sins of the one who receives His work, by faith. Pre-Christian sins and post-conversion sins are covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This is no license to sin but it is the assurance that through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ Christians have been delivered from divine condemnation. The forgiveness of sins Paul describes applies to all the sins of the one who trusts in Christ”.
Are you living for yourself and the ways of this world or are you allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and steer your life? Have you experienced the peace of fully trusting God, submitting to His will and living with an eternal perspective of grace, peace and forgiveness?