We ended our last study with this:
Romans 8:9-11 NLT But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) (10) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. (11) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Take a moment to let these truths about you, sink in.
- You are NOT controlled by your sinful nature.
- You are controlled by the Spirit – IF you have the Spirit of God living in you.
How did or do we get the Spirit of God to live inside of us? Through faith.
- And (because) Christ lives in you, even though your body may die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.
- The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
Job 19:27 NLT I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!
- And, just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Everything Paul said, was based in the Torah and Tenach, here is an example:
Isaiah 26:19 NLT But those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!
Romans 8:12 – 17 entitles this next section,
Heirs with Christ
As we open the new section, I find this opening statement so powerful that it takes my breath away.
Romans 8:12 NLT Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
The KJV version uses a variation from the NLT.
“We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.”
We don’t owe Satan anything, for he has NO hold on us IF we are in Christ. That statement includes all the stupid stunts we have pulled since receiving Christ.
Romans 8:13 Williams “for if you live by such a standard, you are going to die, but if by the Spirit you put a stop to the doings of your lower nature, you will live.”
What standard is the Williams translation speaking of? The one that the flesh sets for us, one in which we do what the flesh demands.
Look, once again, at what Paul said in Romans 8:6.
Romans 8:6 Williams “For to be thinking the things suggested by the lower nature means death, but to be thinking the things suggested by the Spirit means life and peace.”
Is it as “harsh” as what Adam had when God said to him, you are not to eat from, nor touch the tree? If merely pondering the things my flesh suggests means death, then I am surprised that I have lived this long. Obviously, death is something more than just physical?
Romans 8:13b. CJB For if you live according to your old nature, you will certainly die; but if by the Spirit, you keep putting to death the practices of the body, you will live.
Death seems inevitable, that is, unless you, by the Spirit put the practices of the flesh to death.
Things to note here:
- Death does not necessarily mean a physical end to life, although it can. The Complete Jewish Bible added the phrase “keep putting.”
The Greek word is thanatoō, and it means to cause…to be put to death, made to die, and putting to death. The Amplified Bible uses the word habitually to convey the message.
All of these definitions are indicative of a combat-ready attitude or a fighting mentality.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Keep in mind that you are NOT fighting against flesh and blood; you are battling against demonic forces, allied with Satan. The purpose is that you take a proactive stance against the enemy’s attacks against you. These attacks have everything to do with what your body and mind want to do, such as road rage, retaliation, throwing a tantrum, or pursuing some addictive behavior.
Let’s assume that you have taken this proactive behavior, and you are trying to stave off the enemy’s attacks, which often look like people.
Are you winning?
If it seems like you are not, then here is a piece of information that might help.
Ephesians 6:13c-14 NASB Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (14) Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
- Verse 13 ends with “stand firm.” Why? Because you have done everything, you know how to do.
The Moffatt’s translation tells us to continue to hold our ground :
Ephesians 6:14 Moffatt NT (14) Hold your ground, tighten the belt of truth about your loins, wear integrity as your coat of mail,
I suggest you read Ephesians chapter six through to the end, as it defines our spiritual armor in detail.
If you live, what will that look like for you?
You may only see what this world has to offer, and that falls pathetically short of God’s kingdom. But if you said, I will live in eternity, with the Father, wrapped in peace, then you would be correct.
Romans 8:14 Moffatt NT For the sons of God are those who are guided by the Spirit of God.
The NASB states,
Romans 8:14 NASB For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Alternative words for led are driven or induced. Don’t you see the fallacy of you having control? God has His hand upon us, in the form of the Holy Spirit, all the time, and the fact that you are being led proves that you are a son of God.
If you, as Paul did, submitted yourself to Jesus Christ like a slave, then you are guided by that same Spirit of God.
Romans 8:15 NLT So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Yes, I posted a verse that uses the term slave. There is hardly a reasonable human that sees slavery as anything other than fearful. The concept of slavery is nothing less than dismal, that is unless things go well for you, and you long to stay in what you feel is “a protected and loving” environment as a bond-servant. This slavery is the portrayal of the person that we see in scripture voluntarily having their ear pierced as an indication that they have given themselves over permanently to their owners.
Exodus 21:5-6 KJV And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: (6) Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.
Deuteronomy 15:15-17 KJV And you shalt remember that you were a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you: therefore I command you this thing today. (16) And it shall be, if he says unto you, I will not go away from you; because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you; (17) Then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And also unto your maidservant, you shalt do likewise.
Fortunately, our relationship with God is never that harsh, and the idea of being a bond-servant is purely voluntary. Many think they have walked away from God’s ownership, but I do not believe that is possible as God certainly can keep track of those who belong to Him.
Romans 8:16 MKJV The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
- “The Spirit Himself”
- “bears witness with our spirit.”
- “that we are the children of God.”
Children are the Greek word téknon, meaning to bring forth (as in a) child.
So, God, after years of damage and rebellion on our part, still leans on the fact that we were created in His image, that and the fact that we, as believers, have His Spirit in us, that makes us those who have been brought forth. No decent human should throw aside their progeny, and yet we do, but NOT God. He sought us out and made way for our return to His side.