Summary: Romans 8:5-8
STRAIGHT FROM ROMANS 8 - What Mindset Do We Have?
July 14, 2019
Romans 8:5-8 (p. 786)
I did a survey with some folks I really trust with only one question. Ready…“Who controls your thinking?”
And over and over again I got back this answer…“I do…but sometimes I can’t control all the thoughts that enter my head. Especially after I’ve had encounters with certain people.”
And every single one of us know exactly what they mean. “How people treat me sometimes influences the thoughts I have.”
We’ve all walked away from some encounters thinking: “Man, I really feel encouraged…I love that person…they have such a good heart.”
But each of us have had other encounters where our thoughts have a tendency to run down a much darker rabbit hole…“What a jerk! I feel really angry right now…I feel really guilty…I feel really hurt”…or a combination of these feelings…and then we replay the conversation over and over again in our thoughts…
Wishing we’d said “this or that” or wishing we hadn’t said “this or that.”
Does Satan try to influence our thinking? Absolutely!!! It’s where lust, greed and hatred begin.
Temptations always begin in our desires…and they find a ready helper in our thoughts if they are not controlled.
James tells us…“Each one is tempted when by his own evil desire he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15)
It’s important we all remember that temptation in itself isn’t a sin…Hebrews 4:15 tells us “Jesus was tempted in every way, as we are, but never sinned.”
Anyone who tells you that Christians don’t sin hasn’t read scripture and they haven’t been honest about real life.
Paul writes to the Galatians and says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore that person gently. But (Big warning!!!) watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. (Gal 6:1)
But Romans 8 is about ownership…Christians aren’t owned by sin anymore. Those chains were broken by Jesus at the cross. Paul is shooting straight in Romans 8 when he paints a contrasting picture between sin’s ownership of us or the Holy Spirit’s ownership of us.
Let’s look at this contrast…
I. THE MIND CONTROLLED BY THE SINFUL NATURE
Romans 8:5 clearly says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires.”
[My father-in-law, Ken, has this metal detector that’s really cool…I mean it’s high tech and expensive…you can set it to identify the metal you want to find…you can get really specific with it…He’s found gold chains and coins because he can ignore all the beer bottle caps.]
The human heart, because of Adam & Eve’s fall in the garden, is set on “sin,” my natural desire because of my disobedient grandparents. Seek the things that make me happy, that feel good, that I want…my thoughts work that way. I can begin to formulate a plan and a scheme…and the beeper starts going off stronger and stronger the closer I get to what I passionately desire.
Yes, I might know the law. Yes, I might know what’s right and what’s wrong…but my nature says “forget that…do what you want…”
A popular songs in our culture today says “F-you” that’s really it’s title…and the theme is…I’m here for me…F-you. (Cee-lo Green).
For the individual who has not been set free from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of Life, sin is the driving force for your decision making…selfishness is the filter for your direction…and it leads to one destination…DEATH.
?“The mind of sinful man is death.”
Listen…“The sinful mind is hostel to God…It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”
One of the most powerful sentences in the Bible is…“Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”
If you are owned by your sinful nature you don’t make God a little upset, or make Him unhappy…or mad every once in a while. You cannot please Him…You are still subject to His wrath…YOU CANNOT PLEASE HIM…PERIOD!!!
Paul makes it really clear in Ephesians 2:1-5
EPHESIANS 2:1-3 (p. 814)
Pretty clear huh…before Christ we had our minds set…we were living according to what the flesh wanted…we were under the ownership of the god of this world.
The two words that jump out at me are in verse 5: “minds set.”
For any of you that have ever worked in concrete…or ladies if you’ve glued something and you’ve waited for it to dry…you get what Paul is trying to communicate in the text…“Minds set…phroneo.”
Like concrete or set glue…someone who lives according to the sinful nature has a thoroughly hardened, predicted, set way of thinking…sin is approached, accepted and persuaded in the same pattern of thinking over and over and over again…(It’s easy for the truck tires to fall into the rut they’ve made in the road over time.)