Don’t try this alone – pray to the Father consistently.
Wednesday October 5,2022
Prayer is a means God uses to give us what He wants.
As we mature spiritually and in prayer we will find that prayer was never a means of getting from God what we want, but a means that God used, and continues to use, to give us what He wants.
I hope we can see this important aspect of prayer – discovery of the truth about God and His will in a manner that impacts us very practically.
We can hear conclusions from the Father or the sin nature.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit [this is who we have been made to be as new creatures in Christ].
Paul’s main focus on the first four verses is the Law. The Mosaic Law has been fulfilled by Christ (not abolished) so that now the requirement of the Law (righteousness) is fulfilled in us who have been imputed with Christ’s righteousness. It is vital to know that we have this standing and are never working towards it.
We are righteous by imputation due to the work of Christ on the cross and so are justified. “Our Father in heaven…”
In our new standing before God we are under a law of a different title. It is misleading to call it a different law since that might convey that it has nothing to do with the Mosaic Law. As I like to say to this question, adultery is still a sin in this dispensation. The morals and ethics of the Law of Moses are still in effect in our law, and in fact are very intensified and exalted, as Jesus clearly revealed in the Sermon on the Mount (“You have heard it said … I say to you …”). That said, our law has some major differences, the great one is the Holy Spirit. God Himself is within us to guide, empower, lead, teach, etc. when we decide to follow the law of Christ. So then, the name of our law is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
The law of the Spirit of life – the power to fulfill our law.
In Christ Jesus – our position that sets us under this law.
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done.”
Nothing was given with the Mosaic Law to aid in its fulfillment. Anyone under that Law was on their own, by faith, to attempt to fulfill it.
This law is certainly the law of the kingdom of heaven. Though that kingdom is not yet established on the earth, we are members of it and are under its law. We are citizens of heaven, alien sojourners in this fallen, temporal, and condemned world.
Verse four is a transition from Mosaic Law that had not divine assistance to the law of the Spirit of life which is full of divine assistance.
in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Vs. 4 transitions from the Law to the life in the Spirit. Now another player is introduced – the flesh.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit [Christ and the Father, Joh 16:14-15]. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace [Christ’s life and peace], 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
We are according to the Spirit – so we set our minds on the things of the Spirit – Christ and the Father (life, peace, obedience to His law).
What Paul is saying here is not about our performance at any given moment, but about a truth concerning the new creatures God has made through the incredible sacrifice of Christ. He has fulfilled part of the New Covenant that promised men and women who would be indwelled by the Spirit, washed clean of all sin, and hearts softened to obedience. There are other promises to that covenant that have not been given in this age, so we can say that the New Covenant has begun to be fulfilled but not yet completed.
Life and peace:
your life is hidden with Christ (Col 3:3).
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (Joh 14:27).
Subject to the law of God:
whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (1Jo 2:5).
The Spirit gives us the power to keep the word of God if we desire to do so. We don’t always because temptation not to keep the word is mixed with pride and desire, which gives birth to sin.
Paul continues to encourage us in our position, saying, if you are righteous, and in the Spirit, you have the power in you to overcome the flesh.
Vv. 9-11; Still on the topic of Spirit and flesh, Paul states that the Spirit is more powerful if He is chosen, even to use the body for righteousness.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
People are often looking for an easy way to get what they want. The get rich quick scheme, getting the invention right on the first try, quick promotion at work – and all without the work and tenacity that these all need. Christians fall into the same trap. Some will say that the Holy Spirit will just do it all if you let Him. This statement is true on some level, but it leaves out a very important part – our own decisions in the face of the flesh that cannot even keep the law of God. The Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies if we are diligent to use the body for God’s righteous will, developing habits that tame the body, choosing to do the things (like study, prayer, and self-discipline) that train the body; or as Paul put it, “I beat my body and make it my slave.”
Vv. 12-17; Paul now draws his conclusion – we are under obligation as sons of God and as such in this world and wrapped in this flesh, it demands that we cry out to Him.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live [harkens back to vs. 11]. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God [all believers], these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again [slavery to sin and death which lead to fear of punishment], but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"