Romans 8:7

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Those who have their minds set on the flesh, set on the things of their fallen sinful nature, are enemies to God.  They are hostile to him and his will.  They don’t keep his laws.  They can’t!  It’s impossible to obey God’s law while a mind is set on the things that are contrary to him.  People who do so are slaves to sin.

The one who obeys God’s law is the one whose mind is set on him.  His mind desires above all else to do and obey the will of God.  That’s the natural result of someone whose heart has been dramatically changed by Jesus.

Do you know this heart change today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 8:6

“For to set the mid on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

You are what you think.  Whatever your mind thinks on, that’s how you will behave.  Paul makes it clear that if you set your mind on the flesh, on things that are not of God, it brings death.  Not only eternal, spiritual death, but God’s disapproval now.

But if you set your mind on the things of God and his Spirit, you will have life the way God intended it.  Moreover, you will have peace.  You will know you’re living in God’s will.  You will constantly hear in your heart, “Well done, my child.  I’m proud of you.”

And that alone brings peace to the heart like nothing else!

Do you know this life and peace today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 8:5

“For those who live according to the flesh set their mind on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

How do you know the victory in Jesus he desires all his followers to have?  The battle ground is your mind.  Whatever you set your mind on, there will your life lie.  If you set your mind on the things of the flesh, your behavior will follow.  If you set your mind on the things of the Spirit, there will your life lie.

If you want to know why you do what you do, look at your thought life.  You are what you think.

Today, throughout all your day, set your mind on the things of God.  Set your mind on things above.  Set your mind on eternal truths.  If ever you start to think about something of the flesh, something contrary to God, capture the thought.  Spear it.  Eliminate it.

Then watch your behavior conform itself to how Jesus wants you to live.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 8:4

“…in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Jesus condemned all sin in his life.  Where we are unable to meet the righteous requirements of the law because of sin in us, Jesus did.  During every moment of his thirty-three years on this planet, he perfectly obeyed all God required of him.  Where we fail in this regard, he succeeded.  Therefore, the full penalty of our inability to obey the law was met at the cross.  The perfect God/man, Jesus, did what we can’t do.  He alone is therefore able to give his life on our behalf.

He who knew no sin, took on our sin, to give us the forgiveness we don’t deserve.

What gracious, loving Savior we have!

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 8:3

“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.  By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.”

The Ten Commandments cannot solve humanity’s problems.  It exposes how great the problem of sin really is.  But there is no inherent power in the Mosaic law to change a person’s heart.  That’s why God sent his Son as a sacrifice for sin.  

God put on the likeness of sinful human flesh, though Jesus was perfect in his human flesh.  In his body, he bore the full penalty of our sin.  All sin was condemned in his body of flesh.  Sin lost its power over us.  We are now free not to sin.  We are now free to live a life fully for the glory of God.  We desire to obey God’s good, moral, righteous law.

Do you know this freedom in Jesus?  It should be the birthright of all who follow him.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 8:2

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

There is a new law that indwells the Christian’s life.  It is the law of the Spirit.  It does not condemn.  That old law that defined righteousness has been broken.  He lives in us.  He is the Spirit of perfect love and forgiveness. He is the most powerful force in the universe.

When indwelling the heart of a follower of Jesus, he sets us free from the ugly law of sin and death.  Sin has no power over us.  Death is never to be feared again.  Freedom is real.  We are free to love God without the bondage of sin.  We are free to praise him without fear of condemnation.

We are free to be who God created us to be!  That’s Paul’s entire point in this verse.

It’s reason to praise the one who set us free forever and ever!

 

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The “therefore” here connects us with what has just been stated.

When Jesus indwells a heart (see 7:25), one of God’s greatest gifts to this person is the fact that condemnation is no longer a part of his life.  The law is no longer what defines a person’s salvation.  If obedience to the law no longer defines a person’s relationship with God, what does?  It’s the person’s personal relationship with Jesus.  He paid the price for all our sins.  He has given us his righteousness  We have been declared “not guilty.” We are “in Christ." 

The condemnation that came because of our disobedience to the law of God has now been absorbed in Christ.  We are forever forgiven.  Jesus has met all the righteous requirements of the law.  We are in him.  He is in us.  Therefore, condemnation cannot be a part of the Christian’s experience. God will never condemn us again.  We are free.  We are not under sin or law.  We are in Christ Jesus.  If we ever feel condemnation, it comes from the evil one, the one who actively opposes Jesus in us.

Thanks be to God!  He who knew no sin became our sin that we may become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

To him alone and always belongs all the glory!

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:25

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

Paul had invited Jesus to dwell within.  He had received Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  Jesus lived within him.  Therefore, he thanked God, through Jesus, for the deliverance he knew from the power of sin and death in his flesh.  

His mind was now focused on his Lord.  His thought life centered on Jesus.  He was the master passion of his life.  His desire to please him and his living presence superseded any other fleshly desire.  And now, in his flesh, he obeyed the law.

Do you passionately thank God for the gift of Jesus?  Does he indwell your heart?  Do you know the victory over your sinful lusts in your flesh?  Does your mind focus on things above in eternity?  Does your flesh desire to obey God’s law?

If you said “yes” to these questions, you know the indwelling power and presence of Jesus Christ.

That’s his desire for everyone who lives here on earth.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:24

“Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

The inner struggle is real.  Paul experiences the desire to obey God’s law but fails to do so.  As the struggle intensifies, he realizes his depravity.  He calls himself “wretched.”  He knows that nothing righteous dwells within him.  He desperately cries out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Notice his question involves a person: “Who?”  Paul knows it’s only the living, personal presence of Jesus who can give the answer to sin in a person’s life.  Only Jesus has the power to crucify the selfish flesh and give his resurrection power that allows a person to desire to delight in and obey God’s law.

Do you know Jesus personally today?  If not, I’d guess you’re continually trapped in your desire to sin.

I pray you’ll receive Jesus today and be set free from the power of sin and death.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:23

“…but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of in that dwells in my members.”

In verse 22, Paul had spoken how he delighted in God’s law.  Now, in this verse he honestly tells how he feels another war going on in his members, his body.  It feels like another law pulling at his heart—one beckoning him to disobey the law in which he delights.  It especially seems to occur in his mind.  There’s a lust in his thought life that makes him want to use his members for sin, not godliness.

Any breathing human knows Paul’s struggle.  Even if we want to do what is right, we don’t.  There is a lustful sin nature warring with every desire to delight in God’s good law.

Tomorrow we will see Paul’s anguished cry to this struggle.  He will be seeking an answer to this inner conflict.  But here’s the sneak preview: there is an answer.  It’s found in a person.  His name is Jesus.  He can and will give you victory over this inward struggle.

I promise.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:22

“For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being...”

Paul loved the law of God.  He knew God wrote it.  He knew it was the way to God’s best life now.  He delighted in every aspect of God’s law in his inner being.

There was just one problem.  Though he delighted in God’s law, he couldn’t obey it.  There was a war within that made him not want to obey it (see the next verse tomorrow!).  This inner struggle was what helped Paul come to realize that he was a great sinner who needed a great Savior.

Have you come to this reality yet?  If not, think about the law of God.  Is it your delight?  Yet do you really obey it, all the time, in every situation?

Your honest answer will reveal to you why you desperately need a Savior.

Please, be honest with your answer!  Your eternity depends on it.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:21

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”

By the word “law” here, Paul probably means two ideas.  First, he’s referring to the Mosaic law—more specifically to the Ten Commandments.  Second, he’s referring to right life principles by which to live.  They are universal and eternal.  All cultures know these right principles.

Therefore, Paul is saying that the eternal, immutable, right principles by which he knows he should live are within him, he also knows that “evil lies close at hand.”  In other words, the desire NOT to obey them is as close as his desire to obey them.

It’s the struggle every human being recognizes.  We want to do what is right.  We know what we should do.  Yet there is something within us all that either doesn’t obey or want to obey God’s truth.

It’s called sin.  It courses through the veins of every human being.  We all fall short of what God intended because of it.

It’s why all need a Savior.

In case you don’t know, this Savior’s name is Jesus.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:20

“Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

Chronic sin proves how in-depth sin dwells in us.  That’s Paul’s point in this verse.  He doesn’t want to sin.  Yet he continues to do it.  No matter how hard he tries to stop, he can’t.  It simply doesn’t happen.

Which proves sin is deeply dwelling in him.  It’s not surface level.  It’s deeply embedded within the fleshly nature.  It can’t be scratched off.  It can’t be rubbed off.  It can’t be disciplined off.

It must be eradicated and eliminated.  It must be completely cleansed away.  It must be crucified.

That’s what Jesus came to do.  It’s what he accomplished on the cross.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:19

“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”

Paul keeps saying the same thing over and over again to make his point.  There is something selfish and evil in his body.  His flesh does not want to obey God’s moral law.  He doesn’t consistently do so.

Even the good that he wants to do, he doesn’t do.  In fact, it’s a chronic problem.  He keeps on disobeying what he knows is good.  It never seems to get better.  It cannot get better!

Paul continues to vividly paint the picture of our sinful condition.  He wants all to come to grips, as he did, with our need for a Savior.  Without this recognition of our utter sinfulness, we will never be set free by the power of love.

This love has a name.  It's is Jesus.  He alone can set you free from the power of indwelling sin.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:18

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”

All human flesh, these bodies in which we live, have nothing good in them.  There is a desire to obey God’s law, a desire to do what is right.  That’s because the image of God is still stamped on each human being.  Even the most selfish person will still express love—most often to friends or loved ones.  But there is no long-term ability to carry it out.  We are selfish beyond words.  We want the world to revolve around us.

Our puny flesh is quickly insulted.  Our selfish pride hates it when we are offended.  This sinful condition dwells in our body’s flesh.  Our constant disobedience proves our sinfulness.

We need a Savior to save us from our sin.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:17

“So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

Paul is not abdicating personal responsibility.  He knew that every individual is ultimately responsible for his own actions.  No one receives a free pass from the choices he makes.

However, Paul is trying to emphasize the power of sin that indwells all of us.  Though personally responsible, all of us have a bent toward self.  We all make choices based on a power within us that moves away from God.

The choices you have made because of your sinful, selfish desires shows how you have broken the perfect, pure, moral law of God.  It proves you need a Savior.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of indwelling sin.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of Jesus’ grace to deliver you from it.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:16

“Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that is good.”

When someone does the right thing, even if he doesn’t want to do it, it proves the law is good.  It proves the entire point Paul is trying to make it this section.

Good can be measured.  Trust is consistent.  It comes from the heart of God.  So does God’s moral law, which is also good.

But there is nothing good within us to make us consistently quest for good.  No one consistently obeys God’s moral law.  That’s why we need God first to pursue us.  We need him first to love us.

He did in Jesus.  When we receive him, his goodness is planted within us.  And we quest after his goodness for the rest of our lives.

Do you know the good and risen Savior?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:15

“For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

Since I am sold to sin, there is nothing within me that desires to obey the law of God.  Even if we have a desire to do the right thing, we end up doing that which we know we shouldn’t.  We don’t do what we know we should.  We even do that which we hate, what we know we shouldn’t do.

Anyone who has lived knows the power of Paul’s words.  It’s because of sin that indwells us.  It overpowers us.  It consumes and controls us.

We will only be free from sin when we hate it.  We can’t be set free from our friends.  We can’t coddle it.  We must know and hate its destructive power to be free from it.

That’s the first step from being set free from the power of sin.  It’s the first step in moving toward Jesus.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

How do we make sense of it? Was it blatant racism that caused someone to shoot nine African Americans while studying the bible? Was mental illness involved? Or some combination of both?

Regardless, the incident causes all of us inwardly to reflect about the condition of our own hearts. Is there any racism? Any hatred of any kind?

If so, especially for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus, take spiritual hatchets and aggressively uproot any racism or hatred. Even a tiny, small root is unacceptable. Don't allow any vestige of any kind of racism to remain. Eliminate it all!

Then choose to plant seeds of love to bloom where hatred once rested. Be certain love conquers all hate. Know that forgiveness overwhelms bitterness.

Do this heart examination today. Give your heart the great gift of hope of eliminating all hatred and racism through Jesus' profound love and forgiveness. When done, you're giving the world the expectant hope that a tragedy like this will never happen again.

In my opinion, it's the best way for us all to respond to the Charleston tragedy. 

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 7:14

“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.”

Paul had said that the law is spiritual.  It is good, righteous and holy.  It expresses the moral, pure heart of God.  

But that is not the case with any of us, including Paul.  We are all burdened with the bondage of sin in our flesh.  Within every human being rests a desire to resist God’s moral law.  Because of sin, we are owned by another power than God.  We’ve been sold to the power of sin and death.  Therefore, we are not good, unrighteous and unholy.  We are impure.

Someone must come and purchase our redemption.  We need to be bought by another who will place us under grace, not sin.

He did come.  His name is Jesus.

Do you know him as the one who saved you from your sin?  Do you know that when you accept him as Lord and Savior you are not your own, but you are bought with a price?

You are now owned by him, a slave by choice, to his will.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick