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Romans 8:6-8


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Heavenly Father,


Yesterday, I had a little chip on my shoulder...a little attitude that I couldn't shake. It never ceases to surprise me, how I react sometimes, especially when those reactions are not very flattering. So, I poured myself into work around here...doing things that desperately needed to be done. I'm grateful for the progress with those things, but I really need to humble myself before You and knock this attitude problem off.


So here I am Father, confessing it, asking for forgiveness and asking for Your help.


Bless this study today...may You plant the seeds of Your Word deep into our hearts, guarding those seeds, causing them to grow.


In Jesus Name I pray,



6. For the mind of the flesh is death: but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.


7. Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be:


8. And those being in the flesh cannot please God.


Watchman Nee comments on a few words in the 6th verse:


"the mind": "Literally, the mind of the flesh. In vv. 6-8 the crucial item is the mind. The mind is the leading part of the soul, which is man's personality, his person. The mind thus represents the soul, that is, the person himself. In this chapter the mind is neutral, being between the regenerated mingled spirit and the fallen body, the flesh. Chapters 7 and 9 show that the mind may have two different actions, by which it can cause us to be either in the spirit or in the flesh. If it relies on and attaches itself to the regenerated spirit, which is mingled with the Spirit of God, the mind will bring us into the spirit and into the enjoyment of the divine Spirit as the law of the Spirit of life (v. 2). If the mind attaches itself to the flesh and acts independently, it will bring us into the flesh, causing us to be at enmity with God and to be unable to please Him (vv. 7-8)."


"is death": "Life and peace result from setting our mind on the spirit. When our mind is set on the spirit, our outward actions are in agreement with our inner man and there is no discrepancy between us and God. He and we are at peace, not at enmity (v. 7). The result is that we feel peaceful within.


When our mind is set on the flesh and the things of the flesh, the result is death, which causes us to feel separated from the enjoyment of God. We feel uneasy and deadened instead of peacful and living. When we are minding the flesh and setting our mind on the things of the flesh, the sense of death should serve as a warning to us, urging us to be delivered from the flesh and to live in the spirit."


"the mind": "Literally, the mind of the spirit. Setting the mind on the spirit is the same as minding the things of the Spirit in v. 5. Verse 6 and vv. 7-13 show that Christ today is the life of God in the divine Spirit (v. 2) and also the indwelling life of God in God's people, because God's Spirit of life has become the indwelling Spirit in us, the Spirit in both aspects being Christ."


The rvbv writes: "For the mind (phronema - noun form of the verb of verse 5) of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit, life and peace. It is terrible to contemplate a mind, disposition, purpose, so set on death (which is its end) that it can be said to be death. It is a most solemn contemplation that we who are in Christ were once in the flesh, the mind and disposition of which we could not and would not change, and which was death itself!


The King James rendering in this verse is hopelessly obscure. God does not say that "to be carnally minded" is death, but that the mind of the flesh, in which they are, is death. Further, He does not say, "to be spiritually minded is life and peace," as if it were a state into which the believer came; but He does say, the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. In neither case does God speak of people, but of the flesh and of the Spirit. If you are according to Spirit, having been born of God, there is indwelling you a mighty One, the Comforter, whose whole mind, disposition, and manner of being and ruling within you, is life and peace. This "life" is the life of the Risen Christ, which the Spirit, as "the Spirit of grace," supplies (Heb. 10:29, Gal. 3:5); and this "peace" is that of Christ as spoken of in Isaiah: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end."


Verse 7: Because the mind of the flesh is emnity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. Here the disposition (mind) of the flesh is shown to be the reason why that disposition is death. Perhaps no one text of Scripture more completely sets forth the hideously lost state of man after the flesh. For the disposition (mind) of the flesh is enmity itself toward God! There was indeed, as we saw in Chapter 5:10, reconcilement to God while we were enemies, but it did not in any wise consist in changing the nature of the flesh. On the contrary, we were transferred by death with Christ, into the Risen Christ, the flesh remaining unchanged. Your estate while in the flesh was as lost by nature as that of the demons. For nothing worse could be said of them than that they are enmity toward God and are not able to be subject to His law. God certainly has given the flesh up, and nothing but sovereign mercy ever redeemed a human being. (Very many years ago a deep revival was in progress in New Haven, Conn., and in Yale College there. Many, especially of the society class, were falling under profound conviction. Several young ladies who had found peace in the blood of Christ, went to a very prominent friend, - a young woman whose generosity, grace and kindness had endeared her especially to her circle of friends. They besought her to come to the revival meetings. When she objected, they protested, "But God has a claim on you. He loves you. He gave His Son to die for you." Fiercely she burst forth, stamping her foot: "I hate God!")"


In verse 8, Watchman Nee comments on:


"those who are": "If we mind the flesh, or set our mind on the flesh, we become those who are in the flesh."


"in the flesh": "Verses 8 and 9 emphasize the word 'in', showing that the stress here is on the condition and experience more than on the source and position."


The rvbv writes in regard to verse 8: "And those who are in flesh cannot please God - This is God's sweeping announcement concerning all mankind that are out of Christ. In this sense, all in the flesh are out of Christ. Those in the flesh, even if, like Cain, they would worship God, would come in their own way, - the flesh's way, which God cannot accept. Terrible prospect! in a state forever displeasing to Him in whom is all blessing. Such are all not born of God."



Heavenly Father,


That last verse is kind of stunning...it's not 'our' way, it's Your way and Your way alone. Forgive me the times that I have tried to 'bargain' with You. Forgive me the times I have resisted You, whether from fear or stubbornness or downright rebellion. I'm willing to let go of any and all things...that does not mean that I actually know how to let go (Your Spirit will hafta lead and guide), but it does mean I'm willing.


Father, I'm just not seeing how I can sit on the fence any longer, and have not wanted to for a while now...it does nothing short of slicing me in two. But I choose You and while that can sometimes make me feel a little nervous because I don't know where that will lead, I will trust You.


Because I love You and need You.


In Jesus Name I pray,

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