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Living according to the flesh

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit(Romans 8:5 ESV)

Paul describes a classic feature that distinguishes carnal(fleshly) Christians from those who are spiritual. He says those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, while those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Let me briefly review a few critical truths hidden in this verse.

He begins by telling us implicitly that there are things of the flesh and things of the Spirit. As I have taught before, we often assume flesh always refers to grossly sinful things, as listed in the works of the flesh in Galatians 5. Well, flesh as used in this verse, simply means things that pattern to life on the earth or our common human interests. Living according to the flesh does not always mean living in grossly sinful acts. Sin is always a manifestation of the flesh, but not all fleshly manifestations are sinful.

Living according to the flesh means living a life that is focused on human interests or things of the earth. Can you also remember the times in your life when all that mattered to you was you you and you? That is, it is about your interests, work, family, business, money, pleasure, etc. The things of the Spirit such as growing in the faith, prayer, seeking to win souls, helping to advance the cause of Christ, etc are not usually not part of the daily thinking, interests or concerns of those who live in the flesh. Beware of living according to the flesh. Let your mind and affection be set on the things above.

Read more: You are not in the flesh: what does this mean?

MEDITATE

What happens to us when we set our minds on the things of the flesh? ( See Romans 8:6)

APPLY THE WORD

 Living in the Spirit does not mean severing ourselves from the flesh! You will still have to eat, take a vacation, go to work, take care of your physical body, etc. However, when these things become the main drivers of our lives, we live according to the flesh. Live on the earth with heaven in mind!

PRAY

Ask the Spirit to adjust your mindset and rescue it from the flesh. 

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