Read: Romans 8:5-6
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
When Christ described the wide and narrow ways of life, He noted that one “gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.”
Now, there may be many ways along the wide road, but at the end of the day, if Christianity is true, there are only two paths of life.
John Piper reminds us “the Bible often presents two ways for us to live. In Romans 8:5–6, Paul describes two different lives, two different mindsets, and two different conditions.” Paul contrasts the mindset of those who are dominated by pursuing life their own way with those who are controlled by the Spirit. The Message paraphrases this passage to state that “obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.”
The dead-end is a life that fails to look beyond itself. It focuses on the here and now and the crisis around us and ignores the best that God has for us as we look beyond ourselves and lift our eyes to Him.
Throughout the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul reminds us of what life looks like for those who are filled with the Spirit of God – a fact that is underscored as the Spirit of God is referred to sixteen times in this chapter – more than any other chapter in the New Testament.
Consider this question about your life as we head into the weekend:
What might it mean to set your mind on something (the things of this world or on the things of the Spirit)?