Summary: Paul lays it out bare about the carnal and Spirit-led lifestyle. He touches on the pros and cons and also exhorts us to make a choice that would lead to eternity in Christ.
Opening Illustration: Lena arrived in the port city of Magadan, Siberia, well before the Iron Curtain was drawn back. Sick and penniless, she went to the dock area to find work. There she met a gentleman who, as she put it, had “a good heart.” He gave Lena a job in his factory, and he and his wife provided her with food and shelter.
Lena had always feared the future. She confided in the couple about her visits to spiritualists and fortunetellers, but her newfound friends assured her that she didn’t need to consult the mediums to be secure about the future. Then they told her about Jesus. Lena had never heard of Him, so they explained who Jesus is and that He could set her free from her fear. A few months later, Lena became a believer in Jesus Christ.
“Now,” she says, “instead of seeking the spirits, I am led by the Holy Spirit.” Her apprehension about the future has been replaced by the peace that God alone can give.
Perhaps you’re worried about the future and preoccupied with what it may have in store for you. There’s only one way you will ever have peace about it. Like Lena, you must put your future in God’s hands. Trust in Christ as your Savior. Then, no matter what the future holds, you will experience the peace that His Holy Spirit brings. (Our Daily Bread, by David C. Egner)
Introduction: In this passage Paul is drawing a contrast between two kinds of life. In fact he lays it out bare about the carnal and Spirit-led lifestyles. He touches on the pros and cons and also exhorts us to make a choice that would lead to eternity in Christ.
What Paul is doing in this section is contrasting a LOST and a SAVED person - we know that although we are no longer "in the flesh," the Bible clearly teaches that the flesh is still in us in these mortal bodies - the difference now that we are in Christ is that we can say "yes" to Jesus and "no" to the FLESH.
In God’s eyes, there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who do not belong to Him and those who do. Obviously there are degrees in both categories. In other words, some unsaved people exhibit high moral standards and behavior, and, on the other hand, many saints do not mind the things of God as obediently as they should especially considering that they possess the Holy Spirit Who enables them to be holy. But every human being is completely in one spiritual state of being or the other and either belongs to God or does not belong to God. Just as a person cannot be partly dead and partly alive physically, neither can he be partly dead and partly alive spiritually. There is no middle ground. A person is either forgiven and in the kingdom of God or unforgiven and in the kingdom of darkness in this world and under the dominion of Satan. In short, every person on planet earth is either a child of God or a child of Satan; all are either in Christ or in Adam. There are no exceptions to this rule.