Scripture reading – Romans 8-10
Today’s Scripture reading (Romans 8-10) continues to challenge us with great theological terms that define the fundamental doctrines (i.e. teachings) of our faith in Jesus Christ. Today’s devotional will focus on Romans 8.
A Spiritual Struggle (Romans 7:14-25)
Paul identified an internal spiritual warfare that he, and all believers face within themselves (7:14-25). He was conscious of an inner struggle with the power of sin (7:14, 19), which he identified as “my flesh” (7:17) and an “evil…present with me” (7:19). Contemporary with the power of sin and the presence of evil, was the Spirit of God that urged Paul to “delight in the law of God” (7:22).
Identifying the spiritual conflict in his soul between an “evil” that had power, and a renewed heart that delights in the Law of God (7:22-23), Paul exclaimed, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (7:24)
What was the resolution to Paul’s spiritual conflict? Jesus Christ!
Paul wrote, “25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (7:25). In other words, while Paul’s spirit and mind desired to “serve the Law of God,” he found his flesh was not yet free from “the law of sin” (7:25).
The Battle is Not Over; However, the Victory Is Won! (Romans 8)
Paul’s spiritual warfare was not over; however, he knew victory over sin was promised “to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).”
God’s Law and Commandments were not intended to be the means of salvation, but were given to instruct man in God’s perfect standard for moral uprightness and holiness. Men are sinners by nature, and the heart, mind, and affections of the natural (i.e. sinful) man are “enmity against God” (8:7; not only opposed to God, but hostile to Him). Such a heart “cannot please God” (8:8).
The natural man, who by nature follows the lusts and desires of the flesh with which he was born, has no hope unless he turns from his sin to Christ. However, the believer in whom the Spirit of God dwells, will desire “the things of the Spirit” (8:5), and are promised “life and peace” (8:6). What do you desire?
I close inviting you to consider the two mindsets that are contrasted in Romans 8:6.
Romans 8:6 – 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
“Minded” describes one’s attitude, outlook, and bent. While a “carnal mind” seeks and finds its pleasures in sin, and those things that God hates; a “spiritual mind” pursues and finds joy and peace in those things which please God. The carnal mind takes a path that ends in God’s judgment and death. The spiritual mind follows a path that promises eternal life and lasting peace.
Matthew 7:13–14 – 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
What path are you taking?
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith