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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Author: Bob Flynn

Bob Flynn was born and raised in Los Angeles County, California.  He is the son of a watchmaker and jeweler.  He spent 23 years in the Navy where he enjoyed flying on the P-3 Orion as a flight engineer and serving as a manager in aircraft maintenance.  He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy, for 49 years and they have two grown sons.  Bob came to the day of salvation as an adult while caring for his mother as she was dying of cancer.  Bob joined the Christian Military Fellowship in 1981 and served as Local Representative and then later as President of the governing Counsel.  Upon retirement from the Navy, Bob was called to serve on the staff of CMF as the Coordinator of Ministries, later Chief Operating Officer, and now President and Chief Executive Officer.  His undergraduate and graduate university studies include business management, human resource management, church ministries, Biblical studies, and information technology management.


Romans 8:16 - Children of God

Romans 8:16 - Children of God

Romans 8:16 — Children of God

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (NASB)
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (KJV)
For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children (NLT)
The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God's children. (NET)

It is a providential act of Grace that allows such testimony to our hearts.  Were it not so we would be in the same situation as those who remain under the law.  C. S. Lewis hits the nail on the head with his comparison of gravity with human nature.  The fact that we do good proves nothing.  The fact that we do evil proves everything!  Left to ourselves we remain helpless.  As children of God we are blessed.  Our blessedness is totally undeserved yet complete in everyway.  Our witness is God Himself testifying in the most personal way.  Without His testimony we would not be able to comprehend our adoption let alone the length, breadth, and depth of His loved conveyed—the ever expanding universe of Grace living within our heats.

“The law of gravity tells you what stones do if you drop them; but the Law of Human Nature tells you what human beings ought to do and do not.” C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

G4828
συμμαρτυρέω
summarturéō; contracted summarturṓ, fut. summarturḗsō, from sún (G4862), together, with, and marturéō (G3140), to witness. To witness with another, testify with. With the dat. (Rom_8:16; Rom_9:1; Rev_22:18 [TR]); used in an absolute sense (Rom_2:15).

Beareth witness with our spirit (συμμαρτυρεῖ τῷ πνεύματι ἡμῶν). This rendering assumes the concurrent testimony of the human spirit with that of the divine Spirit. Others, however, prefer to render to our spirit, urging that the human spirit can give no testimony until acted upon by the Spirit of God. Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament

Rom 9:1  I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, (NASB)

Rev 22:18  I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; (NASB)

Rom 2:15  in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, (NASB)

Gal 5:22-23  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)

But Paul means, that the Spirit of God gives us such a testimony, that when he is our guide and teacher, our spirit is made assured of the adoption of God: for our mind of its own self, without the preceding testimony of the Spirit, could not convey to us this assurance.  There is also here an explanation of the former verse; for when the Spirit testifies to us, that we are the children of God, he at the same time pours into our hearts such confidence, that we venture to call God our Father.  And doubtless, since the confidence of the heart alone opens our mouth, except the Spirit testifies to our heart respecting the paternal love of God, our tongues would be dumb, so that they could utter no prayers.  For we must ever hold fast this principle, — that we do not rightly pray to God, unless we are surely persuaded in our hearts, that he is our Father, when we so call him with our lips.  To this there is a corresponding part, — that our faith has no true evidence, except we call upon God.  It is not then without reason that Paul, bringing us to this test, shows that it then only appears how truly any one believes, when they who have embraced the promise of grace, exercise themselves in prayers. (John Calvin)

Romans 8:15 - Daddy

Romans 8:15 - Daddy

Romans 8:15 — Daddy

In New Testament times adopted sons enjoyed the same privileges as natural-born sons. So, instead of cowering in slave-like fear, Christians can approach God in an intimate way calling Him Abba, Father.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"  (NASB)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (KJV)

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." (NLT)

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father." (NET)

Once again we see the illustration from adoption used.  We have entered into a relationship of intimacy wherein the Creator of the universe has become our daddy.  We ought not to cower in fear but appreciate this matchless Grace bestowed.  Grace that liberates us from bondage to sin where we were once slaves but are now freemen.  Seal an empowered by the Spirit that we may know we are now His children whether we "feel" like it or not.

“It was not the spirit proper to slaves, leading them again to shrink from God in fear as they had done when under the law of sin and death, but a Spirit of adoption, a Spirit proper to those who were being translated from the servile to the filial relation to God.” (Denny, as quoted in:  Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)

“The Spirit has you!” (vv. 12–17) It is not enough for us to have the Spirit; the Spirit must have us! Only then can He share with us the abundant, victorious life that can be ours in Christ. We have no obligation to the flesh, because the flesh has only brought trouble into our lives. We do have an obligation to the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit who convicted us, revealed Christ to us, and imparted eternal life to us when we trusted Christ. Because He is “the Spirit of Life,” He can empower us to obey Christ, and He can enable us to be more like Christ.  Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Ro 8:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Gal 4:5  God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. (NLT)

1Co 2:12  And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. (NLT)

2Ti 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)

1Jn 4:18  Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. (NLT)

Romans 8:14 - For...Next

Romans 8:14 - For...Next

For as many as are led by the Spirit, etc. - No man who has not Divine assistance can either find the way to heaven, or walk in it when found. As Christ, by his sacrificial offering, has opened the kingdom of God to all believers; and, as a mediator, transacts the concerns of their kingdom before the throne; so the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ; and all that are born of this Spirit are led and guided by it; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (NASB)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (KJV)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (NLT)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. (NET)

Here is a great FOR…NEXT statement.  All who are led (presumes that there are indeed followers).  The followers must then recognize whom it is they follow.  Since we live in an age when even the saints will be deceived one should consider with great care what is deemed of the Spirit lest deception have its way and we unknowingly become the offspring of sin and death.  There was a segment on National Geographic that told a tale of Christian nudists.  The naked and unvarnished truth was nowhere to be found in the beliefs to which they ascribed (pun intended).  Nevertheless, they are deceived still!  Not all excursions into deception are as patently obvious.  A short sojourn in church history will glean a navigational chart replete with a constant drift until the culture inside the church obfuscates her former glory.  We too quickly focus on the NEXT, "are the children of God," without recognizing our duties as followers. I am sure the folks of Jonestown could not foresee of the day when they would be partakers of Guyana grape juice however, many died deceived.  We have a wonderful navigational chart that has been preserved for us (at no small cost) that we may test every leading.  The Bible remains the standard by which all things are measured.  When I offer the Philippian quote, the question most often offered is, "What is truth?"  But that is not what it says!  Whatever is true, is that which is not crooked!  About 30 seconds at the Lowe's lumber pile will become enlightening as you gaze down the length of an eight foot long board.  The untrained human eye can distinguish distances smaller than one quarter of an inch.  Imagine the trained eye of a master carpenter assessing the work of his hands.  Will he not see even the slightest of imperfection?  To be led by the Spirit is not a mindless meandering nor is it necessarily the shortest distance between two points.  It is however, a constant reckoning!

Col 1:23  But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.  Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.

Heb 2:1  So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

Phil 4:8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Isa 53:6  All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.  We have left God's paths to follow our own.  Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.

Eph 5:9  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,.... Not by the spirit of the world, or of the devil, or by their own spirits: the act of leading ascribed to the Spirit is either in allusion to the leading of blind persons, or such who are in the dark; or rather to the leading of children and teaching them to go; which supposes life in those that are led, and some degree of strength, though a good deal of weakness; and is a display of powerful and efficacious grace, and is always for their good: the Spirit of God leads them from sin, and from a dependence on their own righteousness, in paths they formerly knew not, and in which they should go, in the paths of faith and truth, of righteousness and holiness, and in a right, though sometimes a rough way; he leads them to the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ, and to the fulness of grace in him; into the presence of God, to the house and ordinances of God; into the truths of the Gospel, from one degree of grace to another, and at last to glory; which he does gradually, by little and little he leads them to see the iniquity of their hearts and natures, to lay hold on Christ and salvation by him, into the doctrines of grace, and the love and favour of God, and proportionally to the strength he gives. (Dr. John Gill)

Romans 8:13 - Choose Your Path

Romans 8:13 - Choose Your Path

Romans 8:13 - Choose Your Path

for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (NASB)

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (KJV)

For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. (NLT)

(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. (NET)

Rom 7:14  So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. (NLT)

Rom 7:23  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (NLT)

Rom 6:21  And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. (NLT)

Rom 6:22  But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (NLT)

Now that we are part of Christ's body will we continue to live unto death in the old way?  For if we do we will reap its just reward.  Gravity has not been suspended!  If anything, it has been enhanced by our ability to see the death and destruction that it wreaks.  But now we have a real choice!  A new chooser powered by the Holy Spirit that will lead us to choose life.  If we take an honest look at our "habits" will we see ourselves habitually under the control of the flesh OR will we see ourselves habitually under the control of the Holy Spirit?  An opportunity for confession or praise daily.

Ye shall die (μέλλετε ἀποθνήσκειν). The expression is stronger than the simple future of the verb. It indicates a necessary consequence. (Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament)

Assuming that a person lives habitually under the dominion of the evil nature, Paul says, that person is about to be dying. The verb is present in tense, and therefore durative in meaning, indicating habitual action. The individual who lives habitually under the dominion of the evil nature is an unsaved person. That one is on the way to final death in the Lake of Fire. But the person who by the Holy Spirit habitually puts to death the deeds of the body, will live. That person is a saved person.

Translation. So then, brethren, we are those under obligation, not to the flesh, to live habitually under the dominion of the flesh. For, assuming that you are living habitually under the dominion of the flesh, you are on the way to dying. But, assuming that by the Spirit you are habitually putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader

Gal 5:19-21  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (NLT)

Romans 8:12 - We Are Debtors, Not to the Flesh

Romans 8:12 - We Are Debtors, Not to the Flesh

Rom 8:12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

An exhortation to oppress the flesh daily more and more by the power of the Spirit of regeneration, because (he says) you are debtors to God, in that you have received so many benefits from him.

 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (NASB)

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (KJV)

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. (NLT)

So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (NET)

We are no longer obligated!  Why?  Because we have been adopted into a new family!  Paul here introduces us to a new metaphor that is in keeping with Roman law and adoption.  We have lost all rights and obligations to the old family and have received a new father and are now heirs to a new estate.  Our old self has been wiped out and all debts cancelled.  This is demonstrated in history when the Roman Emperor, Claudius, adopted Nero so that he could be his successor (they were not blood kin). (William Barclay, paraphrase mine)  Calvin adds that Paul's sentence leaves out the contrast (perhaps because it should be obvious) that we are now debtors to the Spirit.  Calvin goes on to warn us against contempt and negligence in our walk lest we again find ourselves fighting against God.  Darby equates this with the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt and into a new life where we participate with Christ.  The flesh will continue to assert itself saying we must follow its desires but the completed work of Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit will testify that we are participants in a new life and joint heirs with Christ whose power gives us the victory!  Perhaps John Wesley says it best: "We are not debtors to the flesh — We ought not to follow it."

But it is as it were to fight against God, when we extinguish the grace offered to us, by contempt and negligence. (John Calvin)

Eph 4:30  And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. (NLT)

Gal 5:25  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. (NLT)

The key to all this doctrine of the apostle's, and that which unites holy practice, the Christian life, with absolute grace and eternal deliverance from condemnation, is the new position entirely apart from sin, which death gives to us, being alive in Christ now before God. The power of God, the glory of the Father, the operation of the Spirit, are found acting in the resurrection of Christ, and placing Him, who had borne our sins and been made sin for us, in a new position beyond sin and death before God. And by faith I have part in His death, I participate in this life. (Dr. John Darby)

Php 3:21  He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control. (NLT)

Psa 116:16  O LORD, I am Your servant; yes, I am Your servant, born into Your household; You have freed me from my chains. (NLT)

1Co 6:19-20  Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (NLT)

1Pe 4:2-3  You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.  You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. (NLT)

Romans 8:11 - Christ is in Us

If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure forever. (Matthew Henry)

John 14:17  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you. (NET)

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (NASB)

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (KJV)

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. (NLT)

Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. (NET)

Translation. And assuming that the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus out from among the dead is in residence in you, He who raised out from among the dead Christ Jesus, will also make alive your mortal bodies through the agency of the Spirit who is resident in you.  Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader.

Here we have a conditional statement that, along with a great many other conditional statements, is often overlooked.  In the information age we could easily relate this to and If…then…else statement.  If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead (dwells, houses, cohabitates) in you…then…will also give life…  The question then that should be answered is, "Does the 'Spirit of Him' dwell in me?"  How can I know?  These questions should have been answered textually in chapter six.  But the real question is found in our own hearts.  The person of the Holy Spirit is the only one who can give the answer.  For He is the assurance and earnest of our faith!  This then is speaking of the quickening (regeneration) of our lives that is to be followed by sanctification.  This is not necessarily without struggle.  There have been many who have passed before us in time that have struggle mightily.  Two dear souls that come to mind are John Bunyan and John Newton.  The former wrote the book, "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners," that give an at length account of his personal struggle.  The latter is the author of the time-honored hymn, "Amazing Grace."  So then struggle in victory rather than defeat till the day when all of our struggles are over.  Be earnest in your endeavor so that you will be found faithful to the end not striving in the power of the flesh but confessing the failures of your faith and belief to Him who will  cleanse you from all unrighteousness and give you the power to do those things that please him. (1 John 1:8-9, Philippians 2:13, paraphrase mine).

He who here receives the grace and Spirit of Christ, and continues to live under its influence a life of obedience to the Divine will, shall have a resurrection to eternal life; and the resurrection of Christ shall be the pattern after which they shall be raised. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Rom 8:11  (13) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that (o) dwelleth in you.

(13) A confirmation of the former sentence. You have the very same Spirit which Christ has: therefore at length he will do the same in you, that he did in Christ, that is, when all infirmities being utterly laid aside, and death overcome, he will clothe you with heavenly glory.

(o) By the strength and power of him, who showed the same might first in our head, and daily works in his members.

These words are not to be understood as they are by some, of the continued work of sanctification in the heart by the Spirit of God; for regeneration, and not sanctification, is signified by quickening, which quickening occurs when the Spirit of God first takes up his dwelling in the soul; besides, the apostle had spoke of the life of the spirit or soul before; and they are mortal bodies, and not its mortal souls, which are said to be quickened, for these cannot mean the body of sin, or the remains of corruption, as they are said to be, and which are never quickened, nor never can be. To understand the words in such a sense, is not so agreeable to the resurrection of Christ here mentioned; whereas Christ's resurrection is often used as an argument of ours, which is designed here, where the apostle argues from the one to the other. (Dr. John Gill)

What a difference it makes in your body when the Holy Spirit lives within. You experience new life, and even your physical faculties take on a new dimension of experience. When evangelist D.L. Moody described his conversion experience, he said: “I was in a new world. The next morning the sun shone brighter and the birds sang sweeter... the old elms waved their branches for joy, and all nature was at peace.” Life in Christ is abundant life. (The Bible exposition commentary)

This verse affirms one of the most exciting of the Spirit’s ministries. He vitalizes us here and now, even though we are sinful human beings, infusing us with that same power which raised Jesus from the dead, enabling us to live holy lives. Every one of our spiritual failures shouts out, “We can’t.” And every spiritual victory affirms, “But He can!” (The Bible readers companion)

Romans 8:10 - The Spirit is Life

Romans 8:10 - The Spirit is Life

Sins are not a list of petty irritations drawn up for the sake of a jealous God. They are, rather, a description of the impediments to spiritual growth.  We are the ones who suffer if we sin, by forfeiting the development of character and Christlikeness that would have resulted if we had not sinned. Muck, T. C. (1989). Vol. 19: Sins of the body : Ministry in a sexual society

 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (NASB)

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (KJV)

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. (NLT)

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. (NET)

Two natures remain in every believer: the flesh and the Spirit.  They are diametrically opposed to each other.  To live in the Spirit brings life.  To live in the flesh brings death!

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (Galatians 5:17 NLT)

But even though the believer the believer remains in the flesh (en sarki) he does not have to live according to the flesh.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.  (Romans 8:12-13 NLT)

The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers the believer to gain victory over sin and if they remain (abide) the victory will be continuous.

When a person becomes a Christian, he or she receives the Holy Spirit within. Often, however, the Holy Spirit does not have control of that life even though He resides there. The Scriptures teach that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we are to live overcoming lives. This is not some emotional, mystical event. To be “filled with the Spirit of God” means in a very practical way that a believer has surrendered completely to the Lordship of Christ and sincerely desires to be directed by the Holy Spirit in order to worthily exalt Christ and be an effective representative for God. One of the most compelling evidences of a Spirit-filled life is our consistent, Christ-like daily living. (Edwin Hatch, 1835–1889)

And as we experience God’s work in our midst, we will grow closer to one another.  As we take our eyes off each other and look together toward Christ our guide star, then we will be drawn together in his purposes.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. (Galatians 5:13-26 NLT)

Paul is drawing a contrast between two kinds of life.

     (i) There is the life which is dominated by sinful human nature; whose focus and center is self; whose only law is its own desires; which takes what it likes where it likes. In different people that life will be differently described. It may be passion-controlled, or lust-controlled, or pride-controlled, or ambition-controlled. Its characteristic is its absorption in the things that human nature without Christ sets its heart upon.

     (ii) There is the life that is dominated by the Spirit of God. As a man lives in the air, he lives in Christ, never separated from him. As he breathes in the air and the air fills him, so Christ fills him. He has no mind of his own; Christ is his mind. He has no desires of his own; the will of Christ is his only law. He is Spirit-controlled, Christ-controlled, God-focused.

     These two lives are going in diametrically opposite directions. The life that is dominated by the desires and activities of sinful human nature is on the way to death. In the most literal sense, there is no future in it--because it is getting further and further away from God. To allow the things of the world completely to dominate life is self-extinction; it is spiritual suicide. By living it, a man is making himself totally unfit ever to stand in the presence of God. He is hostile to him, resentful of his law and his control. God is not his friend but his enemy, and no man ever won the last battle against him.  (William Barclay)

Romans 8:9 - Not in the Flesh But in the Spirit

Romans 8:9 - Not in the Flesh But in the Spirit

ROMANS 8:9 — Not in the Flesh But in the Spirit

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (NASB)

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV)

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.) (NLT)

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. (NET)

Translation. But as for you, you are not in the sphere of the flesh but in the sphere of the Spirit, provided that the Spirit of God is in residence in you. But, assuming that a person does not have the Spirit of Christ, this one does not belong to Him.

Here again we have the contrasts presented between life in the flesh (en sarki) and life in the Spirit (en pneumati) with the added dimension of "provided that" (eiper) the Spirit of God dwells (oikeo from oikos - home, therefore to dwell as your home) in you.  The indwelling Holy Spirit becomes our seal of the faith and our comforter.  The other contrast is the unbeliever versus the believer.  Those who do not have Christ's Spirit are not believers at all and do not belong to Christ.  The "motions" of our life are the testimony.  If our lives reflect the vulgarities of sin then we belong to the ruler of this world and our testimony is of death.  If, however, the heart has been made clean and the restoration of the temple has begun then the fruit of the Spirit will be seen as a testimony of life.

The truth is brought out here that the Holy Spirit is given to the believing sinner the moment he puts his faith in the Lord Jesus, and not some time afterwards, as is erroneously taught in some quarters, since that believing sinner becomes the possession of the Lord Jesus the moment he believes and thus must possess the Holy Spirit as an indweller.  Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader (Ro 8:9)

This does not mean that the unsaved person never does anything good, or that the believer never does anything bad. It means that the bent of their lives is different. One lives for the flesh, the other lives for the Spirit.  Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament"

The flesh, the sinful principle, dwelt in them before; and its motions were the proofs of its indwelling; but now the Spirit dwells in them; and its testimony in their conscience, and its powerful operations in their hearts, are the proofs of its indwelling. God made man in union with himself, and his heart was his temple. Sin being committed, the temple was defiled, and God abandoned it. Jesus Christ is come by his sacrifice and Spirit to cleanse the temple, and make man again a habitation of God through the Spirit. And when this almighty Spirit again makes the heart his residence, then the soul is delivered from the moral effects of the fall. And that this is absolutely necessary to our present peace and final salvation is proved from this: that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ - the mind that was in him, produced there by the power of the Holy Ghost - he is none of his; he does not belong to the kingdom, flock, or family of God. This is an awful conclusion! Reader, lay it to heart. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Romans 8:8 - The Flesh Cannot Please God

Romans 8:8 - The Flesh Cannot Please God

ROMANS 8:8 — THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD

The conclusion. Therefore they that walk after the flesh cannot please God: by which it follows that they are not grafted into Christ. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (NASB)

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (KJV)

That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. (NLT)

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (NET)

Literally: in flesh no power to please God

Those who live "en sarki" are "ou dunamai!"  If we are submitted to the fallen flesh then we are governed by fallen flesh and remain powerless to please the almighty.  Then we must consider whether we ought to wait for a holy lightning bolt to free us (the sin of passivity) or whether we ought to proceed with intestinal fortitude and cowboy up (the sin of arrogance).  Perhaps there is another "way" who is Jesus Christ the Lord (I am the way, the truth, and the life) that if we confess our estate will lead us out of this present darkness into the warmth of His everlasting light!

Let us look back in time and hear the words of a grand old saint:

A child may be obstinate, proud, and disobedient; and while in this state, it may be affirmed of him that he cannot please his parent. But whether he might not cease to be obstinate, and become obedient, is a very different inquiry; and the two subjects should never be confounded.

With his present character he can never please him; neither in health nor sickness; neither in life nor death; neither on earth nor in hell. He is engaged in hostility against God; and if he does not himself forsake it, it will be endless, and involve his soul in all the evils of a personal, and direct, and eternal warfare with the Lord Almighty. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

We should contrast this with the real assertion that the latent power of the soul is mightily capable of pleasing self and simultaneously deceiving self into thinking that self is pleasing God!  Clearly 85% of the American population believes they belong to Jesus and thus declare themselves Christians!  Now compare that with the morning news and see if it is true.  NOT!  Jesus did NOT say that the way was wide (like an eight lane freeway) but rather "narrow," "difficult" and "few" would find it!  If you find that your life is "ou dunamai" don't kid yourself!  Either turn up the music of this world, or fall on your knees and find the Way of Hope!

"You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate.  The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT)

 

 

Romans 8:7 - The Carnal Mind

Romans 8:7 - The Carnal Mind

Romans 8:7 — The Carnal Mind

To be carnally minded: To be under the dominion of the fleshly impulses of the body. (The People's New Testament)

Is not subject (ouch hupotassetai). Present passive indicative of hupotassō, late verb, military term for subjection to orders. Present tense here means continued insubordination. (Robertson's Word Pictures)

Originally to arrange under. Possibly with a shade of military meaning suggested by enmity. It is marshaled under a hostile banner. (Vincent's Word Studies)

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  A reason and proof why the wisdom of the flesh is death: because, he says, it is the enemy of God. A reason why the wisdom of the flesh is enmity to God, because it neither wants to nor can be subject to him, and by flesh he means a man that is not regenerated. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (NASB)

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (KJV)

For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. (NLT)

because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. (NET)

It is the question of the dispositions and to whom they are subject.  Interestingly enough the word, hupotasso, is the same word used in Ephesians 5:21 where we are to "submit" (hupotasso) ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ.  For those who have never served in the military, when one gives the distinction (as Robertson and Vincent have above), there is probably a shaded perception created.  Tasso means to arrange in an orderly manner and thus give purpose and utility to the word and further to the concept of subjection.  In the Ephesian passage, we do this out of reverence for Christ.  In the Roman passage, "does not subject (submit, obey)" (ouch hupotassetai) means that we remain "out of order" or "unarranged."  It is the Master's hand that must put us in tune with His will and plan.  And though we have two dispositions that can "lean toward," the fallen disposition may (Romans 7) be dominate until the spiritual disposition is in control.  If we confess that we are (of ourselves) unable to lean toward righteousness then that is the place of honesty where Christ will meet us to lead us and empower us.  The hostility is vanquished by the Peace of Christ.

Rom 1:28  Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. (NLT)

Rom 1:30  They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. (NLT)

Rom 5:10  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. (NLT)

Joh 7:7  The world can't hate you, but it does hate Me because I accuse it of doing evil. (NLT)

Eph 4:18-19  Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. (NLT)

Col 1:21  This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. (NLT)

2Ti 3:4  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. (NLT)

Jas 4:4  You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. (NLT)

1Jn 2:15-16  Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (NLT)


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