Romans Bible Study Lesson 22

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Our walk

Romans 8:5—8

You must examine the words in this section carefully to make sure you are not pulled in the wrong direction because of a bad translation. The Greek shows that verse 4 concerns our walk while verse 5 concerns our position. The KJV and NASB have translated these verses correctly while the NIV did a poor job of accurately conveying an accurate meaning. If you are saved you are after the Spirit and therefore you should walk according to the Spirit.

NASB: 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

KJV: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For 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.

NIV: 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live (walk) according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5Those who live (should be are) according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live (should be are) in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Sometimes a very small change can make a big difference.

Verse 5

Verse four states that we need to walk in accordance with the Spirit and not the flesh. It is our decision as to which way we walk and our walk is tied in with the fulfilling of the requirements of the Law. This ability to fulfill the requirements of the Law is made possible because we are in Christ and the Holy Spirit is indwelling us. We can choose to follow the Spirit or choose to follow the flesh. This verse is all about our day-to-day walk and the choices we make each day.

Galatians5:16—17 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

We can see the struggle that ensues internally between the flesh and the Spirit. Without the indwelling Spirit there would be no struggle.

Ephesians 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Verse five now changes our view from earthly to heavenly and focuses not what we are doing but on who we are positionally. If you are a believer you are according to the Spirit. Before you became a believer you were according to the flesh. It is not about your daily walk but about the person God sees when He looks at you—a person who is securely “in Christ”.

Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Ephesians 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Verses 6—8

Now we take a look at the mind controlled by the flesh. This is not the mind of the believer who decides to allow the flesh to control him for a season but the mind of an unbeliever who is controlled by the old nature. This person is living a lifestyle characterized by sin. This unregenerate mind leads only to death because of the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Anything the mind of this person thinks is temporal and therefore will all come to an end. Only things spiritual in nature will have eternal value. Two things are listed as a result of being of the Spirit: life and peace. Our life should be characterized as one of life and peace. We certainly have a peace with God but I believe this refers to a life of internal peace. This is a peace that is always available to us when we are walking in the Spirit. Peace is a natural outcome of keeping our focus on Christ and being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. If we concentrate on following Him by walking in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) we will live our lives centered in His will. I believe the many decisions we need to make throughout our lives will be made within His perfect will if we remain in His will as outlined in Scripture. (Romans 12:1—2; Colossians 1:9) If God wants me in a certain place, He knows exactly how to let me know this because I am remaining within His scriptural will and therefore walking in step with the Spirit.

Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (His will is not about what job you should take or who you should marry but is about living our life in spiritual wisdom and understanding—we need to know how to please God).

Ephesians 5:15—17 15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Our walk is tied to His will. If you know what God’s scriptural will for you is then you will know how He wants you to walk).

This mind can please only the flesh. This mind has no spiritual dimension and therefore cannot comprehend anything on the spiritual level and therefore cannot do anything that would please God. In fact, this mind is hostile toward God, hating anything that is truly from God and hating to hear the truth about or from God. This person may even be religious but if confronted with the truth of God’s Word, they would bristle if it went against what they held to be true (i.e. works as a means of salvation). Their appearance and acts of godliness come from their own idea of what God wants, not His.

This person is not able to submit himself to God’s law because he is not controlled by the Spirit (he is void of the Spirit) and thus incapable of fulfilling the Law’s requirements.