Walking in the Flesh
The sinful mind is hostile to God (Romans 8:7).
It is impossible for a person who does not know Jesus Christ as their
Savior to please God.
Two different mindsets have two entirely different end results. One
produces peace with God and the other hostility toward God. Everyone needs to ask a
critical question of ourselves: Is my mind dominated by sinful nature, or is
it under the control of the Holy Spirit?
The sinful mind is hostile toward God. That is the
result of total radical depravity. There is no way it can possibly
The apostle Paul said, “They that are in the flesh
cannot please God” (v. 8). “The mind of the flesh is enmity against God”
(v. 8). It is hostile toward God. It hates God. It is impossible for
anyone who is dominated by the flesh to gain divine approval.
It is the total inability of the natural man to be
well-pleasing to God or to do what is well-pleasing to God. "Enmity
against God" is nothing other than total depravity and "cannot please
The governing principle of the mind of the flesh is
“enmity toward God.” All sin is against God.
Underlying all activity of the “mind of the flesh”
is opposition and hatred of God.
After the flesh (vv. 4, 5) and in the flesh
(vv. 8, 9) have the same effect of the human nature that is corrupt, directed, and under
the control of sin.
On the other hand after the Spirit (vv. 4, 5), and in
the Spirit (v. 9) are of the same effect as one is under the control and conditioned
to the Holy Spirit.
The mind of the flesh (v. 5) is to have the things of the
flesh as the preoccupation of thought, interest, affection, and purpose.
The mind of the flesh includes the cognitive activities
of reason, the emotional responses, and volition controlled by the sinful flesh.
The things of the Spirit (v. 5), after the Spirit,
in the Spirit, the mind of the Spirit, and walking in the
Spirit, or after the Spirit takes in the opposite direction with
completely different principles. It is to be under the habitual control of the Holy
The outcome of both principles is also very clear. The mind of
the flesh is death (v. 6). It has the effect of separation from God. The mind
of the Spirit is life and peace (v. 6). It produces fellowship with God. When we are
at one with God we experience His deep, deep peace. The opposite of enmity and death is
Are you walking in the sinful flesh or in the Spirit? This is a very
serious question. It is not something in which we can be careless. Eternity hangs in the
balances. Only you can decide as the Spirit of God speaks to your heart.
But the Holy Spirit will never contradict the written Word of God, and
will always lead in ways that conform us to the likeness of Christ. He
will never lead us into sin or compromise behavior.
Are you a saved person? Have you been born again? Do you have the
testimony of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit? What is in habitual control of
your life? Is it the sinful nature or the Holy Spirit? If our minds are set on
sinful nature we had better ask some serious questions about our relationship
with Jesus Christ. Do you have spiritual life? Are you responsive to the things of God?
What is your response to the pricking of your conscience by the Holy Spirit? Are you alive
spiritually or spiritually dead to God just as if you were physically dead?
The Christian has his mind set on what the Spirit desires.
Is this your habitual thinking? Do you desire to please Him? The unbeliever has his mind
set on what the sinful nature desires. The action of one is spiritual life and
peace, whereas the other is spiritual death. Have you passed from death to life? Have you
been born again?
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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