Romans 8:1-11 (ESV)
Life in the Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a]2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 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. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[d] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Today’s reading reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture
of Dorian Gray. In the novel, Dorian Gray lives life ruled by his
own desires. He pursues his own hedonistic desires, not caring
about how he might hurt others or what the long-term effects
might be. Early in the book he gives his soul to the devil in order
to maintain his youthful, attractive appearance. However, while
Dorian’s body never shows signs of his selfish, sinful living, his
portrait (hidden in the attic) shows all the ravages of life. In the
portrait he grows to look like a weathered, bitter, evil old man,
while his actual face still looks the same as it did at age 19. It is
clear to the reader that the trade-off was not worth it in the end.
Today’s reading from Romans is also pretty clear in its message.
People who live according to their own desires, whose lives are
given to sin, will ultimately be destroyed. In contrast, people
who follow Christ are living a different life. Christ’s body made
the ultimate sacrifice for us. If we follow Christ, we are ruled by
the Holy Spirit. Instead of following only our own desires, we
make a concerted effort to follow Christ’s desires for us. Verse 6
sums it up best. “If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will
die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life
The desires of this world are tempting. Our culture worships
youth, selfishness, and instant gratification. But Jesus offers us
something even better: eternal life and peace. The Holy Spirit
will help us keep our minds on spiritual things so that we can
show the world that Christ lives in our hearts.
Dear Lord, thank you for your sacrifice for us. Help us to keep
our minds on spiritual things so that we may reject the false
values of this world. Let your love shine through us so that
others may be led to know you. In your name we pray, Amen.
Written by Melissa Roselle
Preschool Director of Education