Am I focused on God? That is an essential question. It may be the only question worth considering most of the time.
God’s goal is for us to focus on Him and what He wants. That is it. Here is a great short video from John Piper.
For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. | Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Romans 8:5–8). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Paul is not describing two kinds of Christians, one carnal and one spiritual. He is contrasting the saved and the unsaved. There are four contrasts.
- In the flesh—in the Spirit (v. 5). The unsaved person does not have the Spirit of God and lives in the flesh and for the flesh. His mind is centered on the things that satisfy the flesh. But the disciple of Jesus has the Spirit of God within and lives in an entirely new and different sphere. His mind is fixed on the things of the Spirit. This does not mean that the unsaved person never does anything good, or that the believer never does anything bad. It means that the bent of their lives is different. One lives for the flesh, the other lives for the Spirit.
- Death—life (v. 6). The unsaved person is alive physically, but dead spiritually. The inner man is dead toward God and does not respond to the things of the Spirit. He may be moral, and even religious; but he lacks spiritual life. He needs “the Spirit of life in the Messiah Jesus” (Rom. 8:2).
- War with God—peace with God (vv. 6–7). We have seen that the old nature rebels against God and will not submit to God’s Law. Those who have trusted the Messiah enjoy “peace with God”, while the unsaved are at war with God. “ ‘There is no peace,’ says Yahweh [the Lord], ‘unto the wicked’ ” (Isa. 48:22).
- Pleasing self—pleasing God (v. 8). To be “in the flesh” means to be lost, outside of Jesus. The unsaved person lives to please himself and rarely if ever thinks about pleasing God. The root of sin is selfishness—“I will” and not “Thy will.”
To be unsaved and not have the Spirit is the lowest level of life. But a person need not stay on that level. By faith in Jesus he can move to the second level.
Mark Shields said:
Thanks for your post today to help set our minds on the things of God!
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Oh how our flesh war against God’s LAW. But grateful for the Spirit. Thanks for the Piper clip!
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