Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
January 15, 2017
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:
7 because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be:
8 and they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
- I. God's Intention For Giving Us 'Freedom'.
- A. Paul deliberately pitted the absolute, abject "weakness" of our flesh against the action of The Ultimate Executor of Power (what "flesh" could not do, God did).
- B. This "condemnation" of "The Sin".
- 1. Has an immediate "in order that" direction given to it.
- 2. This "direction" points to the possibility (Passive Subjunctive) that "that which was impossible by Law" might actually transpire "in us".
- a. That "impossible thing" was indirectly left unidentified in 8:3; only Paul did simply write of how God's Son "condemned The Sin in His flesh". By implication, then, this "impossible thing" was defeating "The Sin" while "in the flesh".
- b. Now, however, he states it directly as "the righteousness of The Law". The word Paul used for "righteousness" is a word that has these distinctions...
- 1) It is used 10 times in the New Testament and five of them are in Romans.
- 2) Its uses indicate a specific determination that certain actions are to take place.
- 3) All of The Law's determinations of what is appropriate and what is not are summed up as "the righteousness of The Law". As revelation, The Law simply reveals what the character of God implies as "necessities" upon His creation.
- 4) Thus, this direct statement goes further than the indirect statement of the preceding verse: where 8:3 says the flesh could not "condemn The Sin", here 8:4 says that the intentions of God expressed by The Law are performed in the flesh (through the bodies) of those who do not walk according to the flesh. In other words, what Jesus did leaks out through those of us who do not depend upon our flesh to produce for us.
- a) There are those who "walk according to the standard" (kata plus the accusative) of "flesh".
- b) There are those who "walk according to the standard" of "Spirit".
- c) The two are inalterably opposed to each other (Galatians 5:17) and have totally opposite objectives and methods.
- d) The sole difference in these "standards" that the Scriptures continuously identify is that one "believes" the promises of God regarding Christ and His Spirit and the other "disbelieves" those promises. In all of the variations of the gifts of the Spirit for the manifestation of the Life that is in Jesus, and in all the variations of the Grace that God dispenses upon men, there is only one main "issue": whether, or not, the person is "walking" in a state of conscious dependence upon God and His commitments made in words (promises), or is "walking" with a total disregard for both God and His promises.
- i. The metaphor of "walking" is instructive.
- ii. It, on one side, points to the metaphor of "living" (i.e., "walking" through life).
- iii. On the other hand, however, "walking" was chosen because it is an illustration of the "steps" involved in moving one foot ahead of the other in a continuous process. In all "walking" there are only two basics: what is "loved"; and what is "believed". The "love" sets the agenda, and the "belief" seeks to implement processes that will successfully achieve that agenda. So, the first "step" is settling upon what is valuable, and the second "step" is settling upon what is an effective method of pursuing that valuable thing. Those who "walk" according to the standard of "flesh" set the "agenda" exclusively around themselves and their "joy" in life; and those who "walk" according to the standard of "Spirit" set that agenda exclusively around God and His promises to those who will trust Him. Then, having set their agenda, those who "walk" according to the standard of "flesh" set up methods and practices that they intend to enable them to achieve their agenda of being the "god" of their lives and experiences. Contrariwise, those who "walk" according to the standard of "Spirit" with the agenda settled upon God, look to the promises He has made to empower their daily living.
- C. This condemnation rests upon this basic shift of focus.
- 1. "For"...
- a. Those "being" according to the standard of flesh "mind" the things of the flesh.
- b. Those "being" according to the standard of Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
- c. The "being" in both cases is a reference to the base-line facts regarding the persons under consideration. Paul points to this in 8:9. Though those who are "according to flesh" have many abilities to address appearances; they have no ability to actually intend, believe, and do the will of God. And, those who are "according to Spirit" often do things out of "flesh" because of the incompleteness (as of yet) of the historical movement to final redemption. This creates a significant confusion for those who do not make the distinctions that Paul made between the various identities addressed in chapters six and seven. Those born of the Spirit cannot sin; those born of the flesh cannot not sin. But, the reality of these truths are not yet brought to full realization because those who are born of the Spirit are not yet fully free from the residual impacts of The Sin in the members of the body. At this point, "faith" is the determinative factor. When the full reality is accomplished "faith" will have its own immutable nature.
- 2. At the root is the "being" and the "fruit" is the focus of thoughtful intention.
- a. The structure of the grammar indicates that Paul is addressing the actual condition of the individuals: some are "of flesh" and some are "of Spirit".
- b. These actual conditions are the foundations of "the way thinking is focused".
- 3. Does the "fruit" indicate the "root"?
- a. Only in those special cases where nothing but the root could produce the fruit. There are many hypocrites who set forth a "public face" that looks like "fruit", but is, essentially, a deceit intended to get the on-lookers to think in ways that deception desires. On the other hand, those who are true to their "being" reveal "fruit" that may not settle the questions of "reality" because the "fruit" can be fraudulently produced at the appearance level and men have no ability to move beyond that level. We are locked into "appearances" because we cannot see the heart, nor the thoughts of the mind.
- b. At the judgment, when the thoughts of men are revealed and God exposes the intentions of the heart, the fruit will indicate the root.
- D. This condemnation is real, though muddled at present: the children of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, have the capacity to live out the righteousness of The Law.