Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 May 2023 Romans 8:6.

Romans 8:6.         For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

And this Monday has turned out to be a tad cool, but mainly sunshiny with a li’l overhead cloud. However, it most definitely has not spoiled or quelled the celebration of the Victoria Day holiday, in honour of the long reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. And I’m chickling here because many of us don’t like the monarchy, especially with the recent crowing of King Charles 111, but just try and take away the holiday named after a British monarch nuh, and see how they rebel. 

But that’s just our human nature; we might dislike something strongly, but once it benefits us, it’s not easy to take it away. Our fleshly lusts always seem to outweigh our emotional or spiritual convictions. (smile) That’s why Bruh Paul wrote thus to church at Rome. ‘For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh (set their minds on fleshly things); but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom. 8:5-8) 

That says a whole lot there friends! But before delving deeper into the subject, let’s first clarify what we mean by carnal or fleshly lusts. One commentary explains it thus: ‘Carnal feelings and desires are sexual and physical, without any spiritual element. Their ruling passion is that of carnal LOVE.’ Yes, and for our scriptural purposes the scholars explain: ‘To be carnally minded means to have one’s life dominated by the sin nature, (our inherent human instincts and desires). To be spiritual minded is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.’ 

‘For he that soweth to his flesh of the flesh shall reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal. 6:8) And that’s why, if we live by our human instincts and desires, we cannot please God, because God wants us being guided by His Holy Spirit, in reverence, obedience, faithfulness and trust in Him. That’s what He desires of Christians, that’s us, the followers of Jesus Christ. 

And if we are Christians, then according to Bruh Paul: ‘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. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ (Rom. 8:9-10) The scholars explain that our bodies are still mortal and are subject not only to death, but also to temptation of sin. While the Spirit of life anticipates verse 11, which speaks of being resurrected in a new body with Christ, if you belong to Him.

 And in his letter to the Galatians, Bruh Paul spells it out in a little more detail, getting down to the practical side of things. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; Adultery. Fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (licentiousness), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions),emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal. 5:16-21) 

And what does all of that mean? Let’s hear from the scholars. Walking in the Spirit means ‘That Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit?’ (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. (3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (vs. 5) (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. Thus the believer who “lives by the Spirit,” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living by the Spirit when the devil and his evil cronies are always on our case, trying to drag us down, but as in most things, we can only get better and stronger by experience, that’s by being patient and persevering in living sincerely for Christ. As our time under the rule of the Spirit grows, then so will our faith and ability to live for Christ grow. So, let’s not ever give up. And to help us do that, let’s go right now to the throne of grace, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for help to keep walking in the Spirit. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do what we know we need to do nuh, so that the heavenly grace and mercy, which our world needs so badly, can flow down to us! Much LOVE!

… the true believer need not fear the lusts of the flesh…for God has given us a spirit of power, LOVE and a disciplined mind… 

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