Friday, November 29, 2013

Romans 8:5-8 - Walking in the Flesh

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It is only through Yeshua's death and resurrection and the enabling of the Holy Spirit, that the believer is able to follow Torah. Believers are to walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh.

Romans 8:5-8 (KJV)
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul continued his thoughts in verse 5. Those that walk in (or live according to) the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh. However, those that walk in (or live according to) the Spirit are concerned with the things of the Spirit. Although the flesh is not evil in itself, having such an orientation causes the unregenerate person to be occupied with the pleasing of the flesh. They can do no other. It is only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that the believer can be oriented to being occupied with the things of the Spirit.

Being carnally minded (unregenerate, occupied with pleasing the flesh) results in death, but being spiritually minded (born again, occupied with the things of the Spirit) results in life and peace (verse 6).

The carnal mind is at enmity (like an enemy or is hostile) with God because it is not subject to Torah (verse 7). In fact, it is impossible for the carnal mind to be subject to Torah.

So, those that walk in the flesh cannot please God (verse 8).

Paul was describing the two differing states of mankind. Either a person is in the flesh or he or she is in the Spirit. If he is in the flesh, his carnal mind is hostile to God. Notice that the reason the carnal mind is hostile to God is because it is not subject to Torah. Yet, this is not the understanding of traditional Christianity. The vast majority of Christians are hostile to Torah, believing that Paul taught that Christians were no longer subject to Torah. Obviously, this interpretation is incorrect. Walking in the Spirit, which results in life and peace, means being subject to Torah and being enabled to fulfill it by the Holy Spirit. If there are only two states, are traditional Christians actually walking in the Spirit or are they still walking in the flesh? This is a very sobering thought and should be examined carefully.

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