Paul continues his theme, contrasting the two possibilities that people face in how they live: either according to the Spirit – that is, the Holy Spirit of God, which is promised to us – or according to their sinful and carnal natures. One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death.
There is no middle ground. Or as Jesus Himself said: “ ‘He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters’ ” (Matt. 12:30, NKJV). It’s hard to be plainer, or more black and white, than that.
Read Romans 8:9-14. What is promised to those who surrender themselves fully to Christ?
The life “in the flesh” is contrasted with life “in the Spirit.” The life “in the Spirit” is controlled by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. He is in this chapter called the Spirit of Christ, perhaps in the sense that He is a representative of Christ, and through Him Christ dwells in the believer (Rom. 8:9-10).
In these verses, Paul returns to a figure he used in Romans 6:1-11. Figuratively, in baptism “the body of sin” – that is, the body that served sin – is destroyed. The “old man is crucified with him” (Rom. 6:6). But, as in baptism, there is not only a burial but also a resurrection, so the person baptized rises to walk in the newness of life. This means to put to death the old self, a choice that we have to, of ourselves, make day by day, moment by moment. God does not destroy human freedom. Even after the old man of sin is destroyed, it still is possible to sin. To the Colossians Paul wrote, “Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col. 3:5).
Thus, after conversion there still will be a struggle against sin. The difference is that the person in whom the Spirit dwells now has divine power for victory. Furthermore, because the person has been so miraculously freed from the slave master of sin, he or she is obligated never to serve sin again.
|Dwell on this idea that the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, is the same one dwelling in us if we allow Him to. Think about the power that is there for us! What keeps us from availing ourselves of it as we should?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons