© Romans
Exposition of Chapter 8:5-17 The Sons of God
Chapter Two
By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

By permission
Banner of Truth Trust
Edinburgh, Scotland
Carlisle, PA
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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. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.    Romans 8: 5-8

Having looked negatively at the difference between the non-Christian and the Christian we now come to the positive aspect. Here the Apostle puts before us a very remarkable picture and description of the Christian man. We shall look at it not only in order to grasp the Apostle's argument but also because there is no better way of discovering our own state, and where we stand, than by examining ourselves in the light of this kind of statement. We must also bear in mind the fact that the Apostle's ultimate objective is to establish the certainty of the final and full salvation of all who are `in Christ'. That is his fundamental proposition: `There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus' there never will be, there never can be. That is what he is proving, and we have here one of his subsidiary proofs. The man who is `in Christ' is safe, eternally safe, because these things are true of him.

We should all be concerned about our assurance of salvation, because if we lack assurance we lack joy, and if we lack joy our life is probably of a poor quality. `The joy of the Lord is your strength' (Nehemiah 8 :10). It is important from two standpoints, therefore, that we should consider this description of the Christian. We must be quite sure that we are in this position, and that we are not still `after the flesh'. But it is still more important that we should have the assurance which results from the `minding the things of the Spirit,' as here spoken of by the Apostle. I stress once more the point that what the Apostle says here applies to every Christian, and not only to certain special Christians who have had some kind of second experience. You cannot be a Christian if you do not `mind the things of the Spirit.' That is finally put beyond any doubt by the statement of the ninth verse where Paul begins to apply his teaching and says: `But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be' which means `assuming what I know to be true of you' `that the Spirit of God dwell in you'. And then, to make it doubly certain: `Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his', that is, he is not a Christian at all. He does not say that if he has not the Spirit of Christ he is a poor Christian or a so-called `carnal' Christian. He says he is not a Christian. We really must get rid of the notion that in this chapter the Apostle is comparing two types of Christians. He is contrasting the non-Christian with any Christian, with all Christians rightly so-called.

What then are the characteristics of the Christian? May God the Holy Spirit grant us understanding here, not only that we may derive assurance, but that we may see something of the glory of being a Christian, the wonder of it all, the amazing thing that God has done for us in Christ Jesus. What is a Christian? It is obvious that he is the exact opposite of the non-Christian, the man we have already considered. But that is not a good way of describing a Christian, although it is done far too often. The Christian's position is essentially positive; and we must follow the Apostle as he puts it in positive terms. The Christian is not merely a man who no longer does what he used to do. Of course that is true of him, but that is the very least you say about him; that is introduction, that is preamble. What we have to say about the Christian is essentially positive, gloriously positive. God forbid that we should be giving the world the impression that we are mere negations, that we are simply people who do not drink, who do not go to cinemas, who do not smoke, and do not do this and that. What a travesty of Christianity that is, and especially in the light of all the glorious positives that the New Testament puts before us.

The first thing the Apostle tells us about the Christian is that he is one who is `after the Spirit'. `They that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.' At this point let us remember that the word `after' carries the same weight and the same shade of meaning as it did in the case of the man who `walks after the flesh'. The suggestion is that he is `habitually dominated by' the Spirit. To be dominated habitually by the Spirit characterizes the trend and tenor of his life. And by `the Spirit' Paul means the `Holy Spirit', so we spell the word with a capital `S'. He does not mean the human spirit. Certain people have gone astray at this point, assuming that when the Apostle described the other man as `after the flesh' he was only referring to certain physical sins, or sins committed by the body, various types of debauchery or open, flagrant, obvious sins. So they assume that by `the Spirit' he means the life of the mind, the intellect, the ability of man to appreciate poetry and art; the spirit of man in contradistinction to his body, his flesh. But we have already shown conclusively that `the flesh' means not simply the body, the animal part, but the whole of a man's life, man in his fallen state and uninfluenced by the Spirit of God. So here the Apostle is contrasting the kind of life which is `after the flesh' with this other life which is dominated by, controlled by, regulated by, determined by the Holy Spirit of God. That is the first thing that is true of every Christian. You cannot be a Christian at all unless this is true of you. The Apostle will say later, in verse 14, the same thing in a different way: `For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God' and that is true of all Christians. If you are a Christian you are a son of God. And if you are a son of God you are `led', Paul says, `by the Spirit of God'. This is simply another way of saying that the Christian's life is under the charge of the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the blessed Holy Trinity.

The next step is that, as a person controlled by the Holy Spirit, he `minds the things of the Spirit'. The word `minds', as we saw in the case of the non-Christian, carries the notion of setting the mind upon something. There is also the element of deliberation, and furthermore, the action is voluntary. So the man who is dominated by the Spirit `sets' his mind in a certain direction. But it is a comprehensive term, as we saw, and it does not stop at the intellect. It includes the emotions, the desires, and the feelings, and so it is indicative of a man's total interests. It tells us about the things which attract him, which interest him, the things which he desires, the things which he pursues.

Once again, for an exposition of the theme we turn to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the second chapter, and especially from verse 6 to the end. As we saw, the non-Christian, when these things are put before him, regards them as foolishness; and that is true of all who are not Christians. But they are not foolish to the Christian; he `minds' them, he desires them, he follows after them. This is now his first and greatest interest, this is the matter which to him is of chief concern. I emphasize this because it is not the case that the Christian comes to these things as a matter of duty or of habit or of custom. No, he `minds' them, sets his, mind upon them, pursues them; they represent his chief interest. We must give full value to the word `minds'; otherwise it can almost be misleading for us.

Here then is the Christian; he is a man who `minds the things of the Spirit'. What are these? I start once more with a negative. They are not merely things that belong to the realm of the intellect. Neither, I venture to add, does the Apostle simply mean that the Christian is `interested in religion'. To be interested in religion and to be interested in the things of the Spirit are not the same thing. There are many who are `interested in religion' who are actually antagonistic to `the things of the Spirit'. The history of every great movement of the Spirit proves that abundantly. The bitterest opponents of our Lord were the Pharisees, the religious people. And so it has continued to be. The people who have been interested in religion have generally persecuted Reformers; they have been much more hostile to Reformers than the outsiders, the uninterested and unconcerned. And this has been still more obvious in the case of revivals. So if we desire to know whether we `mind the things of the Spirit' or not, it is not enough to say that we are interested in religion; it is not enough even to say that we are members of churches. You can be a member of a church and hotly resent `the things of the Spirit'. You may be very interested in religious organizations, in religious activities, in denominations, in activities of your particular church, and so on, but it may have nothing to do with `minding the things of the Spirit'. Indeed, as I say, it can be the greatest enemy of such things.

I go a step further. To `mind the things of the Spirit' does not mean an interest even in theology as an end in itself, for a man can be interested in theology and Christian doctrine and yet not `mind the things of the Spirit.' A man can take up theology as a subject. Many have done so, and have made a career of it. They have enjoyed it, have been expert in it; but it may have nothing at all to do with `the things of the Spirit'; indeed, again, it may be extremely hostile to them. In other words, it is possible for a man with his natural mind to grasp a theological system in an intellectual way only. That may be of no spiritual value to him at all; it can even be the cause of his damnation. A man can approach Christianity as an intellectual system, as a philosophy; and if he has a certain type of mind he can be greatly interested in it. I have known men of whom that is true. Theology was their hobby, the subject they enjoyed reading. As other men have their various hobbies and pursuits, this happened to be theirs; and it can be one of the most fascinating intellectual pursuits that a man can take up. But a man can be interested and immersed in it, and spend his life at it, and yet remain spiritually dead. Now, of course, as I am about to show, the man who `minds the things of the Spirit' in the right way is obviously interested in theology and doctrine and in religion. All I am saying at the moment is that a mere interest in religious pursuits does not establish the fact that we are `minding' the things of the Spirit.

Similarly, to `mind the things of the Spirit' means much more than an interest in religious phenomena. Certain people suppose that because they are interested in religious phenomena they are thereby `minding the things of the Spirit', and this becomes a snare to them. I refer to the cult of `experiences'. There is a type of mind that is very interested in experiences; and again I would add that there is nothing that is more interesting or fascinating. There is great interest at the present time in extra-sensory phenomena. People are interested in human psychology, in the working of the human mind, in human behavior, in different types of human personality. It is a fascinating study; and in the realm of religion, remarkable things have often happened. We read the lives of the saints, of great religious characters, and find that they have had particular experiences. It is an interesting study; but it can be pursued with a purely secular mind, with the `mind of the flesh'. Various people have written books and articles along this line who were not interested in the truth of God so much as in phenomena acts and experiences, miracles, healings and things of that kind. The cults batten on such things,  and are really kept going by them. And when this is done in terms of Christian terminology or in a kind of spiritual atmosphere, where you are no longer dealing with physical healing in the usual manner, but are invoking the unseen world and powers and forces that cannot readily be explained, many assume that they are already in the realm of the truly spiritual. In the same way mysticism can even become at times the greatest enemy of Christian truth and of the Christian faith. To `mind the things of the Spirit' does not mean any of those things in and of themselves. As long as they are the concomitants of the pursuit of the true faith, all may be well, but if a person stops at them he may still be far from `minding the things of the Spirit.'

What then is the test? The things of the Spirit are the things to which the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, always draws attention. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians chapter 2 verse 11, the Apostle describes them as `the things of God': `For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God'. In the same context the Apostle also calls them `a hidden mystery'. `We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom' (I Corinthians 2:7). These are `the things of the Spirit'; They are completely hidden from the world. The man who is `after the flesh' knows nothing about them, and does not understand them; they are `foolishness' to him. It matters not how nice a man may be, nor how superficially godly he may seem to be, nor how religious; these things are `foolishness' to him. `Neither can he know them', says Paul, to make it still more certain. These things are hidden mysteries, `hidden wisdom', altogether outside him; he is living in a different realm from that to which the Christian belongs. The Christian is a man who has been awakened to truly spiritual things; `God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit'. We see them, they are no longer a mystery to us. `Mystery', 'as used in the New Testament, does not mean something mysterious, vague, nebulous, indefinite. It means something that is Inaccessible to the natural mind, but which God in His grace has revealed to the Christian by the Spirit. It is no longer a mystery to the Christian; he now possesses an understanding. And that is why he is interested in these things and wants them. These are the things that he `minds'.

What are these things ? It is not at all easy to determine the best order; but I will start from the experimental standpoint. Christians are interested in themselves as `souls'. Are you interested in yourself as a soul primarily, or are you interested in yourself as a member of your profession, or as a husband, or as a wife, or as parents, or as children? Or does your interest lie in your business, your work, your occupation, your leisure, your hobbies? What is your view of yourself? How do you think of yourself? What significance do you attach to yourself ? The first thing that is true about a Christian is that he is concerned about himself as a soul. No one else has that interest; but the Christian always has it. That is why I was emphasizing that the Christian is never interested in truth in an abstract manner, never! I have known men who have studied, and even taught the Bible as if it were on a par with Shakespeare. A Christian is not like that. A Christian can never be detached and objective. He is concerned as a person; his soul is in his pursuits; he is concerned primarily about his soul; he has this living interest in himself as a soul, as a spirit.

I hasten to add that it is of course himself in relation to God. This is the Christian's supreme interest! God and himself and the relationship between them. This is the thing that he `minds'. His mind always comes back to it; this is the center of his life; this is the real soul of his whole being and existence. He does many other things; he is a husband, a father, a professional man or a man engaged in business. But these do not come first; this man's center is just this, God and himself, his soul and God and their relationship. This is the Christian's prime interest even when theology is involved. To him theology is not just a subject, a detached interest. The same applies to phenomena and experiences and all else. His concern is not primarily even to be a better man or a different man. It is always his relationship to God. He was not concerned about this before; he was at enmity against God. The things of God were foolishness to him, he never thought about them, he did not want to think about them; they were outside him, and he was outside them. That is no longer true.

And of course he is interested in relating what he `minds' to his life in the here-and-now. He is concerned about his soul and his relationship to God in this life and in this world; he does not postpone such considerations to the next world. Certainly he is interested in his final destiny; but he is also interested in life here and now. He wants to be rightly and truly related to God now; and he is ill at ease if anything clouds or disturbs that relationship. This is the thing that he `minds'; this is the thing that he is `after', this is the thing he is pursuing, his `pursuit of God'. Dr A. W. Tozer has used the expression appropriately as the title of one of his books, The Pursuit of God. This is the thing that the Christian man pursues; he wants this relationship to be right now and in eternity.. Indeed, this is so true of this man that we are entitled to say of him that everything else becomes relatively unimportant to him. I do not hesitate to put it as strongly as that. If you cannot say quite honestly that everything else becomes relatively unimportant to you in comparison with this, I do not see that you have any right to call yourself a Christian. In other words, this is the thing that establishes that we are Christians. Everything else falls into position because this now is the thing that matters centrally. And if it means that I have to give up everything else in order that this may be right, I am prepared to do it.

Perish every fond ambition,
All I've thought, and hoped, and known;
Yet how rich is my condition,
God and heaven are still mine own.

Have you got this great concern? Can you say that what matters to you above everything else is your soul? Can you say that it matters more to you than your position, your profession, your money, your husband, wife, children, family, prospects, and everything else? Does it come first? Our Lord has said that `He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me' (Matt.10 :37).

Because the soul interest is the supreme interest, the Christian is aware of and is concerned about his sinfulness. He knows what it is to be in trouble about his soul. He is aware of his weakness, and he spends much of his time thinking about these things. Of course, when he was in the old state, in a mechanical manner he may have got on to his knees by the side of his bed at night to say his prayers, but he rarely if ever stopped to consider his soul truly, and his relationship to God, and his eternal destiny. He wanted God to bless him, of course; he thought that might help him, so he said his prayers mechanically and may have offered up it few petitions; but he never had a concern about himself, he never hated himself because of his sin and his failure and his rebellion against God, and his lack of love. These things had never concerned him. But a man who is a Christian not only is concerned about them, he cannot get away from them; in a sense they obsess him. Something has happened to this man; and the Apostle is about to tell us what it is. But here he shows us the effect, as it were, first. He starts in verse 5 with the man in action and in practice, and says `he minds the things of the Spirit'.

What are the things of the Spirit? They include the soul and its relationship with God, its distance from God by reason of sin, its shame and folly and weakness and inability. These are the things that concern the Christian man. He `minds' them; but he goes further, for the Spirit does not leave a man there. Thank God He does not. He starts with us in that way, but He does not leave us there. The chief work of the Spirit, after all, is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. `He shall glorify me', says our Lord about Him. That is what He is engaged to do. Let me interject a warning at this point. Beware of regarding anything as the work of the Spirit in you, no matter how striking the phenomena may be, if it has not led you to the Lord Jesus Christ in a way that you have never known before. Our great enemy tries to counterfeit these things, and he can produce phenomena; but he never leads to the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Spirit has been sent to glorify Jesus Christ the Lord, and He will always lead us to Him. The Apostle, of course, in that second chapter of First Corinthians makes a very big point of this. He says about the non-Christians, `None of the princes of this world knew him, for had they known him they would not have crucified the Lord of glory'. They did not know Him because they lacked the Spirit. `But God hath revealed [the truth] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.'

What does the Spirit reveal about Christ? He reveals His Person! `The Lord of glory'. The Christian has no doubt about the Person of Jesus Christ; the Spirit has revealed Him to him in the depth of his being, his mind, his heart. `The Lord of glory'. The Christian is not in trouble about the two natures in the one Person. He does not understand, but he believes; nothing else is adequate to explain this Person. He sees He is truly man, he sees equally that He is truly God; he knows that the Babe of Bethlehem is the `Lord of glory' who has come down on earth to dwell. The Spirit has revealed it. There is no question in the believer's mind as to the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. But he is equally dear about His work, and especially His atoning work. The Christian has no trouble about this. It is the people who bring their natural minds and philosophy to these matters who are in trouble and say that they cannot understand, and that substitutionary atonement almost seems immoral to them. Of course it does! The princes of this world did not know Him, and the preaching of the Cross has been `foolishness' to them always; they have always ridiculed it, they are still doing so. Why? Not only because they have never truly seen themselves as sinners, and have never seen the glory and the holiness of God and their need of salvation; they have never had this work of the Spirit in them, a work that opens a man's understanding to see that there is only one way whereby a man can be reconciled to God, and that is, that God should `lay on Him the iniquity of us all', and `make Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin'; that God should smite Him with the stripes that we deserve, as the Spirit has revealed through the various writers in the Scripture. The Christian, the man who is `after the Spirit', delights in these things, and rejoices in them. They are not boring to him, they are life to him. He says with Isaac Watts, `When I survey the wondrous Cross'. He does not merely take a casual glance at it now and again at a Communion Service. He `surveys' it, he contemplates it, he stands in amazement before it, and meditates upon it. It is to this he gives his time; this is where his heart is drawn; this is the thing that grips him and moves him, the thing he wants to understand more and more, and can never understand sufficiently. He `minds' it, he is `after' it. This has been true of Christians throughout the centuries, and, thank God, it is still true.

In the same way the Christian man is concerned about the way of salvation. We are told frequently today that people are no longer interested in such terms as justification and sanctification, And their like. But when has man in his natural state ever been interested in justification and sanctification? When has man ever desired to know the meaning of these terms? These are spiritual matters. The trouble with modern men is not they do not Understand the terminology of the Authorized Version of the Bible, it is that they are spiritually dead. Give it to them in other translations and it will still mean nothing to them. They may be interested in it as literature; but it is not mere literature, it is the Word of God. Here is something which is only `spiritually discerned', and the man who has been convicted by the Spirit and who sees himself as a soul before God, wants to know how a man can be just with God and reconciled to God. And if there is one thing he rejoices in more than anything it is `justification by faith only'. He does not have to go into a monastery and become a monk or a hermit, or take up a great program of fasting and penances. No, he believes, and in a moment he is declared just and reconciled to God. There is nothing so thrilling to the Christian, nothing so marvelous as that! Here the romantic element of the Gospel comes in;`the fool who came to scoff remains to pray'. He glories in the Gospel, he rejoices in it. He does not stumble at it; he thanks God for these great resounding terms, and he wants to go on repeating them. Oh yes! he is interested and fascinated by the terminology of salvation, as well as by the thing itself.

`Union with Christ'! `What are you talking about?' says the natural man, `I do not understand you.' Of course he does not; how can he? `Neither can he', says Paul in 1 Corinthians 2: 14, as he says here in Romans 8:7. Of course he cannot! Try as he will, he cannot. I do not blame the man who comes to me and says, `I see nothing in your New Testament'. I am sorry for him for this reason, he is a man who has not been enlightened by the Spirit. But the moment he is enlightened by the Spirit he will be very anxious to know what `union with Christ' means, what sanctification means, what all these glorious terms mean.

These truths are the interest of the Christian; these are the things in which he revels, on which he dwells; this is his life, his world, his all. Communion with God! He is more concerned to have a true and a living and a real communion with God than anything else. There was a time, perhaps, when his supreme ambition was to enter Buckingham Palace or to get into certain select clubs and circles in the City of London. He would now give them all up gladly if only he could know God in a more intimate manner, and have real communion and fellowship with Him. Am I describing you? This is the man who is `after the Spirit'; these are the things that matter to him. He would give up everything for just one moment of knowing himself dealing directly with God, and of God being real to him, in a living fellowship.

Prayer is another subject that concerns the Christian man. He wants to know more about it; he would like to pray in a more diligent and thorough manner. Then add to that the fellowship of God's people. `We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren', because we are attracted by God's people and like meeting them, and can never meet them too frequently. We are ready to let the world go by with its society and so-called pleasure; our desire is to talk to simple souls who know the Lord and who can tell us about the Lord's dealings with them. We feel then that the feast is rich, the company is glorious. They are God's children, and there is no one on earth to compare with them. `Iron sharpeneth iron'; these things unite us; deep calls to deep as heart unites with heart.

But I must add a further word. The Christian is not only interested in his own soul, he is also concerned about the whole state of the world. It is a libel on us to say that we are not interested in the state of the world. But we are not interested as the non?Christian man is interested. He is interested only politically, socially, and so on. We are interested as we see the world in the grip of the devil. We alone, as Christians, understand what is wrong with the world. We see `powers' and `principalities', `the rulers of the darkness of this world', behind the visible and seen phenomena, and we see perplexed politicians trying to deal with the problems, and failing. We know they must fail because they do not see what is at the back of it all. We see it as the conflict between heaven and hell. So we have a concern about these things, we have a `mind' for these things, a spiritual concern. We say, `This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith'. Nothing else will do so, nothing else can do so. There is no hope of improving the world apart from this, that individuals become Christian, and if large numbers do so, a Christian period or era in history ensues. So we have an insight and an understanding in that respect that the non?Christian cannot claim.

What I am really saying is that the man who is `after the Spirit' Minds the things of the Spirit. In other words, the Bible is his Book. Here is his interest, here is his life; he wants to know this, be wants to understand it. And, let me repeat, he wants to do it in the right way. Certain people seem to be able to gallop through a book of the Bible in one night. That is not studying the Bible in a Spiritual manner. It is not just a matter of headings and classifications and divisions. It is the spiritual content that matters; God's mind is revealed in Scripture. We must seek it there, and not just skim lightly over the surface, imagining that we have `done' one book of Scripture, and then take up the next. No ! Here are `the riches of God's grace' and glory and wisdom; and the Christian is the man who wants to understand the Bible in that sense, and not merely to have a superficial academic acquaintance with the mere letter of the Scriptures.

Speaking about the Christian, Paul says: `He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.' He has an understanding of all things, the world included. The unbeliever fails to understand him, but of him it can be said: `For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ' (I Corinthians 2:14-16). Paul does not mean that we have that mind in its fullness, but that wt have it as regards the character or nature of our minds. If you are a Christian you have a new understanding, `old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new'. You also have new desires. Lest I depress some soul, especially some young Christian, let me make it clear at this point that I am not asserting that the man who is `after the Spirit', and who `minds the things of the Spirit', understands all these matters fully, to his complete satisfaction. Of course he does not! `We see now through a glass darkly'. But the thing I emphasize is that we do see now. The unbeliever sees nothing. We do see, and though it be through a glass darkly, `through a riddle in an enigma', thank God, what I see is of more value to me than the whole universe. My sight is dim, but I thank God for what I am seeing. I am seeing `things that? eye hath not seen, nor ear heard', `things which have not entered into the heart of man', `things which God hath prepared for them that love him'. `Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.'

I am not asking whether you see truth in all its glory and in its absolute perfection. I know you do not; no one does. But what I am asking is this, Have you got a taste for these things? At the risk of being misunderstood, I will even put it like this: Do you enjoy what I have been saying? I venture to assert, in all humility, that if you have not been enjoying what I have been saying, I doubt whether you are `after the Spirit' at all. But if you can say, `Well, I do not understand it all, and very much of it is beyond me but I feel attracted by these things more than anything else. These are what I want to know, I wish I knew more, I am like a newborn babe, I desire "the sincere milk of the word, that I may grow thereby"; that is all I ask.' Have you got a taste for these things? Are these the things that are beginning to `hold' you, and to interest you, to fascinate and to thrill you, more than anything else you have ever known or heard? If so, however young you may be in the faith, however small and weak your faith, however ignorant you may be, I have authority to tell you that you are `after the Spirit', you are a child of God, and therefore an heir of glory.

Table of Contents:  Back to top

Contents: 438 pages…


The contrast between Christian and non-Christian - the so-called `carnal' and `spiritual' Christians - spiritual death and hating God - rebellion against the law - total inability.

The characteristics of the Christian - life controlled by the Spirit - concern for the soul and salvation - having a taste for the things of the Spirit.

New life in Christ - the necessity for understanding regeneration - the test of real Christianity -the artificial and the spontaneous - spiritual life and the backslider.

Why Paul uses `peace' here - peace and righteousness - at peace with God, ourselves and others - the ability to please God.

The Holy Spirit and a!! Christians - the Trinity - the dwelling-place of the Spirit -belonging to Christ - wrong views of `the spirit of Christ'.

Further description of the Christian - the present death of our bodies - the new life of our spirits - the outward man and the inward man - fighting sin with confidence.

Quickening here neither regeneration nor faith-healing - the resurrection of the body guaranteed by the Spirit's indwelling - complete deliverance from sin and its effects -the nature of the glorified body.

Sanctification in practice perfectionism' and `counteraction' rejected - no mention of surrender - a call for action in the light of understanding - realizing and paying our debt.

The inconsistency of living after the flesh - the nature of sin and our new position - mortification, cause or means to an end- the way of sanctification defined - support from the rest of the New Testament.

Wrong theories make these verses unnecessary - regenerate man not `absolutely hopeless' - false analogies and the principle of growth ? true encouragement false argument from results -marching orders.

The work of mortification - sin and the body - false ideas of mortification abstinence from sin - a positive ambition to glorify God.

Relation of this section to Paul's main theme - our divine sonship and assurance universal Fatherhood of God denied - sons and children - adoption and regeneration.

Likeness to the Father - the Father's loving interest in His children - sonship and prayer - certainty of our sonship - the leading of the Spirit.

Leading by persuasion - leading and guidance - special revelations and the Scriptures - the Spirit's anion upon mind, heart and will.

The jealousy of the Spirit - practical tests - a spiritual outlook - a desire to glorify and know God - an increasing concern about sin and temptation - the fruit of the Spirit - applying the tests.

Guidance too subjective as a test - `spirit' or `Spirit'- - the Spirit's use of the law to produce conviction of sin - a sense of guilt, depravity and inability.

The spirit of bondage as a test of true conversion - the case of those brought up in Christian homes - increasing awareness of sin - the sense of sin determined by our knowledge of God.

The son's freedom from bondage and fear - godly fear and craven fear - depression owing to temperament or backsliding - satanic attacks and desertion.

Consciousness of our adoption - sonship and the Son of God - feeling towards God as our Father - the significance of 'Abba' - a deep elemental cry -spontaneous and confident prayer.

Assurance not essential for salvation - assurance in times of revival - the manner of receiving the Spirit of adoption - `taking it by faith' considered taking and receiving.

Arguments for understanding `received' passively - New Testament usage - the laying-on of hands - the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit fit - knowing you have received.

Types of assurance - baptism and fullness - the danger of self-persuasion - a profound experience - agonizing, tarrying and laying-on of hands rejected longing and praying.

The hallmark of true Protestantism - the personality of the Spirit - all Christians sons of God - various commentators considered - the witness of the Spirit an additional testimony to verse 15.

Parallel statements of New Testament experience - light from church history the baptism or sealing of the Spirit - a direct work - the highest form of assurance - effects and accompaniments.

The time of this experience - faith and experience in the Acts of the Apostles - the evidence of church history - the testimony of Puritan and other writers.

The parallel of Christ's sealing - nature and effects of the Spirit's witness - the intensity and durability of the experience - qualifications and conditions.

Further testimonies from different centuries, countries, temperaments and traditions.

Early Brethren testimony - the cases of Paul and the Galatians - distinguishing counterfeit experiences from the true - true and false antecedents, accompaniments and consequences.

Relationship of the spirit's witness to sanctification - `perfect love' and `the clean heart' - sanctification and separation - an indirect relationship with progressive sanctification.

Seeking this experience - Biblical warrant - the manner of seeking, warnings and directions - encouragements to seek, from saints of the past.

The sealing and the earnest - the hope of the children of God - practical value of this doctrine - heirs according to promise - the Christian outlook.

The privileges of God's heirs - the immutability of the promise - God's continuing care for His heirs - present enjoyment of God - sharing in Christ's inheritance.

The pastoral problem of suffering - suffering as a link in the chain of salvation -the fellowship of Christ's sufferings - preparation for glory.   Back to Top

By permission
Banner of Truth Trust
Edinburgh, Scotland
Carlisle, PA
Banner of Truth