“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God” Romans 8:1-4, 14.
LIGHT FOR NOW: The man in “the spirit” is not the same as the man in the flesh.
From our careful investigation of Paul’s words in Romans 8:1-4, 8:4-7 coupled with his words in the previous chapter (Romans 7:5, 6 and 13), it is thus clear that Paul drew a dichotomy between the term “the spirit” and the term “the flesh”. Most importantly, we observed that each time the phrases “the spirit” and “the flesh” were used by Paul, it was in repentance to man (we, us, those, them). In other words, the terms or phrases “the spirit” and “the flesh” were used by Paul, they were in reference to man (we, us, those, them). In other words, the terms or phrases “the flesh” and “the spirit” were in reference to “the man not in Christ” (the unbeliever) and “the man in Christ” (the believer). In verses 5 and 6 of our key text, Paul makes this so clear by giving a description of two “humanity”:
- “They” that are after “the flesh”; they are carnally minded.
- “They” that are after “the spirit”; they are spiritually minded.
Hence, in verse 8, He (Paul) categorically said, “so then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God”. In verse 9, he explained those who he said are “those in the flesh”. Verse 9 reads “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 has not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his”. So, those who are “in the flesh” are those who do not have the spirit of Christ. In other words, by the indwelling of the spirit, a man is in the spirit. Invariably, a man who is not indwelt by the Spirit of God is in the flesh. Hence, within the same chapter, Paul calls those who are indwelt by the Spirit sons of God (verses 14, 15, 16 and 17). So, by the indwelling of the spirit, a man is in the spirit and thus the absence of this (that is, the indwelling of the spirit) means a man is in the flesh. Therefore, we can safely say that the phrases “the flesh” and “the spirit” as used by Paul in Romans 8 was to describe two humanities:
- Humanity not in Christ.
- Humanity in Christ.
Humanity not in Christ will thus be the flesh (they are carnally minded). And humanity in Christ is “the spirit” (they are spiritually minded). I am in Christ; I belong to the humanity of men in Christ and by implication, men in “the spirit”.
INSTRUCTION: Acknowledge your realities.
PRAYER: The eyes of my understanding are enlightened, in Jesus Name, Amen.
QUOTE: Humanity not in Christ and humanity in Christ are two different humanities.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 3; EVENING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 3