Living According to the Spirit

Romans 8:1-4 ESV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 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, he condemned sin in the flesh, 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.”

Verse 1 in the KJV: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

To be in Christ Jesus and to not be under condemnation requires that we walk (in conduct, in practice) not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, we must walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For you see, we are not saved and on our way to heaven on the basis of a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but on the basis of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ.

For the faith that is required of us for salvation from our sins comes from God, it is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ, and it is gifted to us by God and is not of our own doing (Hebrews 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10). So we don’t get to decide what our faith should look like. God does! We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ (John 6:44).

And the word “faith” means to be persuaded, and since God is the one through whom faith comes, and since he must draw us to Christ, then he is the one persuading us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24).

So, you cannot just make a profession of faith in Christ and then assume you are in Christ and that now heaven is guaranteed you, regardless of how you live your life. That is not God’s design. That idea comes through human beings. God’s design is that we no longer live as slaves to sin but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. For by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (see Romans 6:1-23).

Romans 8:5-8 ESV

“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. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 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. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

So, if we make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but then we continue walking in sin, making sin our practice, then it will end in death, not in eternal life with God. For when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, not like we did before we believed in Jesus, but now in walks of faith and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, in walks of holiness and righteousness, in the power of God, by God’s grace.

But if we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, and we don’t walk in righteousness and holiness, but sin is still our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what faith we professed with our lips.

So, please know that the Scriptures do not teach “once saved always saved.” They teach conditional and progressive salvation. This is not works salvation, as some claim, though, for it is what the Scriptures teach, and we must go by the Scriptures, not by the teachings of human beings. For the Scriptures teach that if our faith is genuine that we are saved (past), we are being saved (present active) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns for his bride and he takes us home with him, which is when our salvation will be complete, and not until then.

But there are biblical conditions to us being the ones Jesus takes home to be with him for eternity. We must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Sin must not be our practice, but righteousness and obedience to our Lord must be what we practice. And we must continue in those walks of faith firm and steadfast to the very end or we don’t have eternal life with God, and heaven is not our eternal destiny.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Romans 8:12-14 ESV

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

You know, we need to pay closer attention to what the Scriptures actually teach for there are so many liars and deceivers out there convincing people that they can just receive God’s grace or affection for them, or that they can just acknowledge what Jesus did for us on that cross, or that they can make a profession of faith in Christ with human-based faith and now they are good to go – their sins are all forgiven (past, present, and future) and heaven is guaranteed them when they die, regardless of how they live.

But that is not the gospel, and that is not biblical faith in action. For if we live according to the flesh, we are going to die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the body, and we are walking in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, then we will live. For it is not all who make a profession of faith in Christ who are the children of God, but it is all who are being led by the Spirit, meaning that we are following the Spirit where he leads us. We are the children of God.

And let me end with this Scripture:

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14; cf. Ephesians 2:10).

Pray, Pray, Pray

An Original Work / September 6, 2012
Based off Various Scriptures

Pray that eyes may enlightened be,
So they may know Christ.
Pray that they may Him better know,
Strengthened by His pow’r.
Pray that they may grasp
How wide and long
And high and deep
Is Christ’s love.
Pray that they may be filled
To the fullness of God’s love.
Pray with thanksgiving.

Pray for an open door for me,
So I may share Christ.
Pray when the gospel is proclaimed –
Shared with clarity.
Pray words are given me so
I declare the gospel fearlessly.
I pray for you to be active
Sharing your faith, too.
Pray continually.

We oft not know for what to pray,
So we ask for help.
The Spirit intercedes for us –
Words cannot express.
Just keep on praying for the saints
With all kinds of requests to God.
Pray they may have faith to
Please their God in ev’ry way.
Pray with joyfulness.

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