12/19/14 In the Flesh or in the Spirit

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Part 4

Romans 8:7-9

Morning Meditation 12/19/14

Verse 7-9 says, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 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.”

I commented on verse six in our last lesson. It says, “For to be carnally minded it death . . .” This defines death. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Our conclusion is that God has defined faith in this verse. It tell us what faith is.. Well, this verse tells us what death is. Death is not just life going out of the body. That is death also. But there are other kinds of death that the Bible speaks of. This verse identifies a death from which the unsaved must be resurrected if he goes to heaven. It is also a death that the saved person needs to understand. It is possible for the saved man to be alive Spiritually and manifest death. We are going to learn about that in Romans eight.


THE DECLARATION: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God . . .” The word “because” is giving a reason for the truth declared in verse six.. “For to be carnally minded is death” Paul says. Why? “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God.” That’s the reason. The word “carnal” translates “sarx” and is the fallen nature of man. It is not the body but the nature that sends desires out to the body and controls it in this manner until one is saved and comes under the control of a higher power. Every unsaved man has this nature. It is passed to him by natural birth: Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” This is what is called “original sin.” It is inherited and therefore theology speaks of total hereditary depravity of man. And they are right. That fact is definitely taught in this passage.

The word enmity” translates “echthra” and means “enmity or hatred.” Man may deny that he hates God. But God declares that man does hate Him. God knows man’s secret thoughts. Just take man’s explanation of origins. Where does the public school system teach man came from? Do they use the Bible? They do not want the Bible on the premises. If a Christian suggests that the Bible be studied alongside the teaching of evolution, they will not allow it. Why? Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. The world expresses their hatred toward God by rejecting His Word. I would not waste my time studying evolution. It is not scientific and is the stupidest thing that has ever been pawned off on mankind. Satan laughs when man teaches evolution as to his origin. This way the world gets rid of God for NOW. But the world will stand before God and give an account and will be judged and the penalty of its rejection of God will be administered by Him. That penalty is a literal lake of fire forever. This brings us to,

THE EXPLANATION. The explanation is stated in the words “ . . . for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” This explains the enmity. The word “subject” translates “hupotasso” and means “to arrange under, to subordinate.” It is a military term and speaks of soldiers under their superiors. It is a present passive indicative verb. The present tense refers to continuing action in the present. The passive voice is where the subject (the carnal mind) is acted on from an outside source. The carnal mind will not take orders from God. It can’t. It is not “subject to the law of God.” This tells us how far man fell in Adam’s fall and how impossible self help is. This means that man’s mind is so perverted it cannot be employed to serve God. This is the root reason that man can never be right with God by keeping the law. God’s law is His demands. It is that by which He gives orders. The fleshly mind “CANNOT” be subjected to His law. If it cannot be subjected to God’s law, and this is what God says, then man can never get to heaven by his attempt to keep God’s law. God tells him before he starts that it won’t work. But like Cain he insists and refuses to change and will have to suffer eternally for his WILLING IGNORANCE.

The words “neither indeed can be” just simply nails it down in another statement The words “Neither indeed can be” translates a word that means “totally unable or totally powerless.” This brings us to,

THE CONCLUSION. Verse eight says, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” The word “please” means “to accommodate oneself to the opinion of another.” It is an aorist tense verb and means that at no point of time, not even for a second, can one ever please God. Now that is WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS. An unsaved man is wasting his time trying to please God by human effort. It is only by repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ that one can please God. Then it is his faith that is counted for righteousness (Rom. 4:5).

2. THERE ARE THREE THINGS PAUL SAYS ABOUT THE SAVED MAN. Paul is assuming that those to whom his is speaking are saved. He makes a,

DECLARATION OF ASSURANCE: Verse nine says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you . . .” The plural personal pronoun “ye” is not just a verb ending which is the way it is many times in the Greek. Paul emphasizes “ye” by using the personal pronoun meaning “ye.” He is saying “What I have been saying does not apply to you because you (ye) are God’s children indwelt by the Holy Spirit.” The words “in the flesh” means “in” in the same way as the unsaved man is “in Adam.” It is referring to where a person is as to PLACE. A person that is in Adam can’t be IN CHRIST at the same time. A saved person has been taken out of the flesh and put into Christ, i.e., the Spirit.. A saved person is not nor ever will be in the flesh again. You can’t transfer back and forth! A saved man can be in the Spirit and walk AFTER THE FLESH which is what the carnal Christian does. But he is not “in the flesh.” The test of Scriptural assurance is revealed in the words, “if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” That is the test. The word “dwell” translates “oikeo” and means “to dwell in a home.” It is actually from a word that means “inhabited house.” Paul’s word is that the believer’s body is the house in which God the Holy Spirit lives and is at home.


Then he adds, just in case some have come short of true repentance toward God and faith in Christ, “if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” This is how we know that we are saved. 2 Cor. 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Some people have difficulty identifying the time and place of their salvation. To those of us who can clearly identify the time and place, it is sometime difficult for us to understand how such an event as salvation could take place without one knowing the VERY TIME AND PLACE. Let me make a statement so I won’t be misunderstood. THERE HAS TO BE A TIME AND PLACE. But the MEMORY of the time and place is not a condition to salvation nor a condition of assurance. That is, the Bible does not make it a condition. Man comes along and imposes his views on the Scripture and preaches it like it were the Word of God. If it were the condition of salvation the man who got a bump on the head and had amnesia would lose his salvation. Then next we have Paul stating,

A CONCLUSION: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” The words “have not” is the negative of “I have” in the present tense. The early church had no problems identifying a person indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We shouldn’t either. We should be able to say positively that the Holy Spirit indwells us. The words “he is not of his” means that he does not belong to Him. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” The believer belongs to God. The unbeliever does not. God says if you are indwelt by His Spirit you are His. What great assurance.

In the flesh or in the Spirit? This is the difference between being saved or lost. May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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