Living in the Spirit

In one of his latest books, NT Wright hammers on the significance of Romans 8. In his view it is one of the most important passages in the New Testament. Here’s a little snippet of it from the NIV. I’ll share a few thoughts after it.

Romans 8 (NIV)
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind of sinful man Or mind set on the flesh}is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7 the sinful mind Or the mind set on the flesh}is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

My reflections this morning:

  1. Living according to the sinful nature does not necessarily mean you are committing huge, horrible sins. It just means you are out of step with the Spirit and are off track from God. The end result surely is sin, but living under the influence of the sinful nature can seem quite innocent. It is very easy to be under the influence of the sinful nature and not even realize it.
  2. There is something mystically wonderful about having the Spirit of God living inside of us. How can we be dead if we have his life inside of us? I find that to be a comfort and a wonderful piece of good news.
  3. Don’t miss out on the last verse and the refence to the resurrection. Jesus, who has already conquered death through the Spirit of God has sent his Spirit to raise us. Interestingly enough, the raising of us from the dead happens now and in the future. We are being raised from the dead today. Every time we live in submission to the Spirit of God and allow his life to flow in us, we are living in the resurrection. But we also look forward to a day when we will be raised to life with God.

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