An Important Role of Your Mind. Part Two.
Today we are going to look into Romans Chapter 8. While reading this chapter I noticed something. I found that the Book of Romans carries the message of salvation, what it really means to be saved and what it means to walk by the Spirit of God and not by the flesh. Israel and God’s plan for her is also included in that book. Romans is an excellent book to study!
Let me begin with this; when we are saved we must be aware that we are joining our new kingdom family that have different kinds of people and nations, including Israel that is going to be saved. That being said, let’s begin our study as the second part of the teaching topic I call “The Important Role of the Mind.”
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. As you can see there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus; and to those who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. What happens to the people who are walking after the flesh? The Word of God says plainly–condemnation. Now let’s go to verse 3. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh… Here is my next point that you need to pay attention to because we are going to talk about this a lot. The flesh basically is in the mind of a man. It’s not our physical body which is the temple or the tent, as the Bible says, in which we are living. But the flesh that God is referring to is our mindset.
Let’s continue: For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh... The Law of God was weak in the Old Testament because of people’s mindset. The Word of God is powerful, the Law of God is perfect; so how is it that the Word of God and the Law of God could not do what it was sent for if it is perfect? What is your answer? The mind of man was not set on what God said. So, our mindset is the works of our flesh. Remember one thing: your body is controlled by your brain. Doctors say that when people die the last thing that dies is the brain, because the brain has to shut down every member of our body.
I was reading an interesting article written by doctors on the topic of death. They asked how does it feel? What is the process of death? And this is what the doctors say: that the process of death is the same process of birth. Our body knows what to do to co-operate in our development as well as slowly shut down itself at the end. So, our body is made by God to function this way. So, our brain is our mind. The Bible says what a man thinks of himself that’s the way he is. Our brain is made in such a way by God that it would hold a lot of information. Our brain has a lot of capacity but it is our mind that controls our life.
When we look into the Scriptures we see that the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh; it’s because it was made weak. The Bible says that it can be so weak that it makes the Word of God of none effect. The Bible also says that we can even limit God. Therefore, 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, condemn sin in the flesh.
Let’s read Verse 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. Therefore, in the Old Testament people could not fulfill anything that God said. They were weak; they had no help from within as we have–the Holy Spirit. They were weak. They could not; they tried but they could not. God sent our Messiah in the likeness of the flesh, and condemned sin in the flesh. Jesus came to set us free from sin because when we are set free from sin the Holy Spirit can come into our life. Without this, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in that place. Do you understand? Holy Spirit comes to in dwell the person that is free from Adam’s sin, redeemed from the curse to start a new life.
So, what happens is this…God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemns sin in the flesh so that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. And now Jesus and the Holy Spirit is indwelling us, we are set free from sin and now we are fulfilling the righteous requirements of God’s Word. Now we can do it. But do we? There are two things: We can, and Do we? You see, in the Old Testament it says we cannot, so we did not. In the New Testament it says we can, but the question is do we?
Jesus through His blood, made us ready, able to live by God’s righteousness by the Holy Spirit who came into our life. And now our mind is subject to God and His Word. And now how is our mind involved in our new life?
Let’s go back to Verse 1. Paul made an interesting point; he said, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Condemnation comes from two sources. From God and from ourselves or people. First, let’s clarify that God does not condemn people who are born again because they have passed over from judgment. Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ from God’s point of view. But how about our point of view? Do we walk in the same mindset as God? Well, we may say that we believe what God said about us, and it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we confess that. Is this right or wrong? It’s wrong because we may speak anything we want to ourselves. But the reality is we are only good if we live by it.
Now Jesus looks at the fruit of a believer. If this wasn’t so and if everybody is fine–you’re just born again–no problem—relax–grace is upon you–just don’t worry about anything, then what does the fruit have to do with this? We have the fruit because we believe that we have it. But if we are not walking in it… Imagine if we just believe that the fruit of God is in our life but it doesn’t show. So, our mind has much to do with us. Our mind has to plug itself into that faith that is in us and live by it because faith without works is dead. We can confess, we can speak things but without doing it, it’s not going to work.
So now, what does it mean, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who walk NOT after the flesh? Our flesh is our mind. If you are in Christ is your mind in tune with God? You see, we can walk in the spirit and in the flesh. Here is the question: when we do something wrong does it convict us? Absolutely! Why? It’s because the Spirit of God will convict us in doing wrong. It’s not a condemnation; it’s a conviction! God will speak a conviction because He wants us to be free and different, but we with our own mindset can condemn our self. However, if we are not walking after the flesh but after the Spirit of God, there’s no condemnation.
Let’s go to Verse 5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. I want you to pay attention to a few of things. Those who are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. Therefore, in order to be free in Christ, we must also work on our mind. God already has given us a new heart. The Bible also says that we have received the mind of Christ as well through His Word. The heart change comes supernaturally where the mind is changing through the Word.
Let me say this that by saying NO to wrong things, we are conquering our own flesh. …For they that are after, AFTER. How can you be after the flesh? Which flesh are you after? After your own flesh. Desire. After your own flesh. …Do mind the things of the flesh, so the flesh has its own mindset.
The things of the spirit …they are after the spirit. The things. There is a distinction here in this verse. It says that the things after the flesh that they do mind the things after the flesh. But they that are after the spirit…the things of the spirit. The word things is important because they could be different. They could be spiritual things or be fleshly things, but they are things. …For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. But they that after the spirit the things of the spirit.
Verse 6: For to be carnally minded… (Again, the word mind).
The flesh is explained in a way that it has no interest in spiritual things whatsoever. It has no interest in spiritual things because spiritual things are above and higher than the fleshly mindset is. Therefore, what is the flesh? It could be the flesh is the things that this world has been trained for. Earthly life. And everything that is earthly in this life it’s all flesh. It doesn’t mean skin and bones. The Bible explains this as the flesh; it’s earthly. And how did it develop itself in the earthly things? After the sin of Adam. Therefore, everything that is earthly is sinful. Whether good or bad it’s still sinful. It’s not spiritual. But what is spiritual? Spiritual is something that comes from above from God that gives you the chance and opportunity to live in a different realm while living on this earth. Think differently, perceive things differently.
Now what happens when a person gets struck with sickness? They do everything they possibly can by taking medication. But when God comes and touches a person and are healed instantly. That’s something above the flesh and earth. Spiritual is something that does not die; it’s stronger and better and gives a complete answer for everything. It is of God and is perfect.
So, when we are talking about the flesh, it’s not just about flesh and blood, it’s about our mindset on earth. This is why a lot of people don’t have hope because what happens if this earth is going to fail? What happens if a disaster strike? People will be losing hope because their hope was that this will never happen, but it happened. And if they don’t have Christ in their life, they have no other hope to overcome. Being spiritually minded means that whatever happens on earth, we walk by the spirit trusting God because He’s above all that can happen and He will rescue all who are His. When we are talking about not walking in the flesh but by the spirit, you must understand this principle in order to walk in it.
We have to decide if we are going to believe what the Bible says or what the world offers. Thomas said to Jesus…Unless I will see I cannot believe. So, Jesus said, Thomas look at my hands. Do you see the scars? But He said, blessed is he who believes and sees not, because these people are walking by the spirit. We need to train our mind to walk by the spirit. How do you do this…rightly dividing the word of truth. Proving to God that you are in the Scriptures. It’s the Word of God that changes our mind. We need to change or mind from carnal to spiritual.
What is it that Colossians 3 says? Set your mind on Jesus who is above. Set not your heart but your mind. Your heart is already with God and constantly speaking to you…” Change your mind, change your mind.” The Holy Spirit constantly says, “Don’t do it; don’t think that way. Say no!” This is where the battle is. The Word of God says that we all struggle and we need to continue to struggle; but not against flesh and blood. You see we struggle against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness. We do struggle and this will never stop because we live in our enemy’s territory. We struggle, but at the same time isn’t it wonderful to be in the presence of God?
When you are covered by the billows and waves of God’s glory alone isn’t it wonderful? Yes, but even to get there is a struggle. We struggle even to go and pray. We don’t have time for prayer because by the time we kneel to pray we are tired. We were feeding the flesh with entertainment, playing games, watching television, doing this, doing that, that’s why we neglect our sweet prayer with God. That’s the flesh.
It’s the most difficult thing to say no to that rebellious nature, especially when we are talking to ourselves. The word no is a terrible word; nobody wants to listen to it. The baby learns quickly the word No because we are going against the flesh. It’s our battle ground, but if you could begin to say to yourself No to the things that keep you away from God, you will see how much battle you are going to have with yourself. But you are going to have to start disciplining yourself somehow by saying no. And if you are not going to say no, who will?
So instead of doing something else an extra hour before you go to sleep, why don’t you go and spend time with God. We need to train ourselves. In Romans, Chapter 12:1 the Word of God says: “Bring your body as a living sacrifice.” Just take yourself and bring to the Altar of God as a living sacrifice. Paul was very passionate about this. He said, I beech you, I am seeking after you by the mercies of God do not be conformed with this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind because it is in the worldly realm that’s our flesh operates. Verse 6 says this; …to be carnally minded, carnally minded, is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
If we continue to be carnally minded we are facing death everyday, bringing our spiritual life back to earthly and again becoming partakers of all that the world has. Then it becomes easy to loosen your hope in God, not that God will be losing you but we will be losing Him because of our mindset that can become as unbelievers. That’s where the fear, discouragement, disappointment comes from.
Verse 8 is very important. So, then they that are in the flesh, in the flesh, cannot please God. If we think that no matter what we do as long as we are Christians and under the blood of Jesus we are still pleasing God, according to this scripture we do not. And this is why God doesn’t answer prayers often. We are not pleasing Him; there’s no connection. …But you are not in the flesh, if the spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the spirit of Christ he is not of His. Friends, the truth of the matter is that If we are walking by the flesh we are walking as if we don’t have Jesus and its only God’s mercy that is keeping us. Let’s look at this scripture. And If Christ be in you the body is dead because of sin but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. It is only because of Jesus’ blood why the Spirit of God is alive in us. Therefore, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if you live after the flesh you shall die; but if you, through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body you shall live. For as many that are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption where we cry Abba, Father. And the Spirit of God Himself bears witness with us that we are the children of God.
So what Paul is saying is that we have the support, enough power and strength to deal with our mindset and the flesh to walk by the Spirit. God doesn’t want us to struggle. We do struggle because it’s a war, but struggling with ourselves is the wrong thing. God wants us to be free; He called us to this freedom. Christ has paid the price so we can be free. But if we will try to train ourselves to be with God alone, we will find a place. We will find ourselves in the place where we are totally and completely satisfied because God lifts up His seekers above all things in the world where we can handle and conquer all things. You will become the happiest person. Is it easy to get there? No, not really! But is it possible to get there! Just keep persevering!