All of us have within ourselves the war of the flesh versus the spirit. Romans 7:21-23 “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” What a miserable condition we can find ourselves in – a spiritual war going on within us and sin claiming victories.
The apostle Paul follows the above description of our inner war with the following: Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” I want to be free from condemnation before God and I am sure you do too. The apostle Paul here lists two conditions for having no condemnation. First, we must be in Christ Jesus. I have searched throughout the Bible and I have found only two scriptures that tell us how we get into Christ Jesus. Romans 6:3 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” Also Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” I therefore conclude that for one to have no condemnation, one must be in Christ and the way to be in Christ is to be baptized into Christ.
The second condition to be free from condemnation is to “not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”. What does that mean? Romans 8:5-8 “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, 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, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” If one is fleshly or carnally minded, he does not subject himself to the law of God, he is an enemy of God, and therefore he cannot please God. To be carnally minded means to have our minds and thus our thinking on fleshly, physical, sensual things. The evidence that one is fleshly minded is obvious. Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Are you fleshly minded? What evidence can be found in your life? Remember that Jesus taught that sin occurs in the mind and heart even before there is outward evidence (Matthew 5:28, Matthew 15:19).
To be spiritually minded is to have our minds set on the things of the Spirit. The evidence of walking in the Spirit and being spiritually minded is also obvious. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
I will let the following scripture conclude this encouragement. Galatians 5:16-18 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”