Romans 8:6-11 The Right Christian Mindset


Romans 8:6-11 The Right Christian Mindset
 April 6, 2017

Romans 8:6-11 The Right Christian Mindset


Romans 8:6-11 The Right Christian Mindset


Romans 8:6-11 The Right Christian Mindset

In the 1990s, a group of Washington children participated in an eight-year antismoking-campaign program. The results were not impressive. Of the group that went through the program, 25.4 percent now smoke regularly. And of the control group—those who did not participate in the study—25.7 percent now smoke regularly. The education campaign hardly made any difference at all.

Our society believes education is the answer to our culture’s problems. And for some of them, it is. But for many, it is not. People don’t need new ideas or new techniques but a new power within to change bad behavior or to resist temptations. It is by the Spirit that we gain self-control; it is when we live by the Spirit that we gain life and peace.1

In this section of Romans, we see two kinds of people listed here. As Warren Wiersbe notes, Paul is not describing two kinds of Christians, one carnal and one spiritual. He is contrasting the saved and the unsaved.2 These verses describe two contrasting mindsets. They are the lost and the Christian mindsets. I believe that if we see how these two mindsets work against each other, we will see how important it is to have the right Christian mindset. First, let’s look at the mindset of the lost person.

FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LOST MINDSET



1. Pro-death (Romans 8:6) 


For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, HCSB)

So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification —and the end is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:21–23, HCSB)

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. The characteristic of the lost mindset is death. They work a sin job and it’s paid in death dollars. 

Since they are working for death, their mindset is also pro-death. By pro-death, I mean that the lost promote death. What does that mean?

 John 10:10 says that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So Satan is in the pro-death business.

2. Anti-God (Romans 8:7) 


For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so.” (Romans 8:7, HCSB)

The lost person is against God from the start. They are hostile to God and the things of God. Their mind is set against God and His work. Rebellion is built into the sinful nature. A lost person is incapable of submitting to God.

The “law of God” remains a standard by which the conduct of unbelievers is to be measured and condemned.3 Because a lost person intuitively knows this, a lost person will be anti-God.

3. Pro-sin (Romans 8:8)

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8, HCSB)

Sin prevents us from pleasing God. The person who is lost is incapable of pleasing God. They can’t do enough good works. They can’t make anything right in order to please. God’s pleasure can only happen because of Jesus Christ. Only people who live by faith can please God. Only faith in the correct object – that is Jesus Christ.

Because lost people are anti-God, they are by nature pro-sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, HCSB)

This is also why people who are lost are anti-church.




4. Anti-church (Romans 8:9)

You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9, HCSB)

Although the Spirit may not be comfortable in your life, if you are a Christian, He is still in you. However, if Christ is not in you, you’re not saved.4

The Spirit of Christ creates a sense of belonging. This Spirit of Christ specifically promotes the value of the bride of Christ. The church, which is Christ’s future wife, is expected to come together. 

So anyone who is anti-church is in the lost mindset. The reason is because Christ created the church. A lost person has no desire for the church.

5. Pro-Hell (Romans 8:9)

You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9, HCSB)

If a lost person is anti-church, then they are also pro-Hell. What do I mean by this? It is a binary choice. Either you are pro-God, pro-Christ, or you are anti-God and anti-Christ.

Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28–29, HCSB)

So Jesus claims that you have a resurrection that leads judgment. That judgment is to a place called Hell. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you don’t have the guarantee, because you don’t belong to Christ. Because you don’t belong to Christ, you don’t get the benefit of eternal life with Him. Instead, you have death, judgment, and Hell.

So our mindset has to change. Our attitude has to change when we come to Christ. Here, we have five characteristics of the correct Christian mindset. Every Christian by definition will have the five characteristics.

FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CORRECT CHRISTIAN MINDSET



1. Pro-Life (Romans 8:6)

For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, HCSB)

Jesus said that He came to give life.

A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10, HCSB)

The mindset of the Christian is about life and living it as best as we can. 

This is one of the reasons why a Christian is against abortion. At the same time, a Christian is pro-life and therefore should be so from birth to the resurrection. We should be against murder, but for mercy. We should be against abortion, but for adoption. We shouldn’t just be against things. We want to be for life.

2. Pro-Peace (Romans 8:6)

For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, HCSB)

If we are pro-life, we must also be pro-peace.

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1, HCSB)

We have peace with God. But that means that we also must live out that peace with God through our relationship with others. By this, I mean that we work hard to live at peace with others around us. There may be a time when we need to protect ourselves. But by in large, we live as Christians intending to live at peace with others.

If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18, HCSB)

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness —without it no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14, HCSB)

The New Testament encourages us to have an attitude peaceful relationships.

3. Pro-God (Romans 8:8-9)

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:8–9, HCSB)

Notice the Trinitarian nature of these verses. Those against God cannot please Him. Yet, Christians are different. Christians have the Holy Spirit, who comes from Jesus Christ, and we belong to God the Father. 

As a Christian, I need to have my mind set on the Holy Spirit. We talk about a mindset as if we get prepared to do something right – whether watching a movie or doing a task. Here, Paul describes how to set our minds every day. I need to set my mind to follow God each day.

4. Pro-Christ (Romans 8:9-10)

You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:9–10, HCSB)

This is the reason why we share the Gospel. This is the reason why we live for Him. We belong to Him. He is the Head and we are the body. We submit to Christ and follow Him. Christians are for Christ. As a result, we will want to live for Him. Our expectation and hope is the same as Paul’s.

My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:20, HCSB)

In a world filled with lost people who are anti-God, and anti-Church, we need to be able to stand up about Jesus. We need to be bold in our faith for Jesus.





5. Pro-Heaven (Romans 8:11)

And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11, HCSB)

Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28–29, HCSB)

If I am pro-Christ, then I am pro-Heaven. I look forward to being with Jesus forever. Jesus will lead us to Heaven.

Some people think they can crash any party. In November 2009, Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the White House state dinner given in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The couple bluffed their way through security even though they had no invitation. They had pictures taken with many celebrities, including several with the vice president.

While security at even the most important events can be breached by party crashers, there is one event that is crash-proof. No one will make it into heaven without their name in the book of life.5

So Paul reminds us to have the right mindset. Roger von Oech in his book A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, suggests:

Take a look around where you’re sitting and find five things that have blue in them. Go ahead and do it.

With a “blue” mindset, you’ll find that blue jumps out at you: a blue book on the table, a blue pillow on the couch, blue in the painting on the wall, and so on.… In like fashion, you’ve probably noticed that after you buy a new car, you promptly see that make of car everywhere. That’s because people find what they are looking for.

At times in our lives, God seems strangely absent, but the problem is not that God has disappeared. We simply lack a “God” mindset. When we develop our sensitivity, we soon begin to see his work everywhere.6

1 PreachingToday.com, More Perfect Illustrations: For Every Topic and Occasion (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2003), 81. Originally from: Mark Galli, managing editor, Christianity Today; source: “Harper’s Index,” Harper’s (March 2001)

2 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 539.

3 Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 488.

4 Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 939.

5 Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell, “No Party Crashing in Heaven,” in 300 Illustrations for Preachers, ed. Elliot Ritzema (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015). Originally from: Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, “Reliable Source: Tareq and Michaele Salahi crash Obamas’ state dinner for India,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/25/AR2009112504113.html.

6 Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 539–540.

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