God’s Holy Spirit helps to alter our thinking. To be “spiritually minded” brings life eternal and peace. The carnal mind opposes the will of God and refuses to obey him. Because those attitudes can never be reconciled with following Christ, they must be cleansed from all who seek to “please God” (Romans 8:8). So those who have the Holy Spirit, will be spiritually minded, and therefore, this will produce life. The opposite, being carnal minded, will lead to death.
The Holy Spirit dwells in us (Romans 8:9, I Corinthians 3:16, II Timothy 1:14). To discount this fact or to ignore it is dangerous. Jesus promised it (John 14:17) and Peter confirmed it (Acts 2:38-39). Paul consistently taught that the work of the Holy Spirit included dwelling inside of a believer. Clearly there is a difference between dwelling inside the believer and working miraculously to draw attention to God with supernatural spiritual gifts. God has been, and always will be, engaged in nature. However he does not always interact supernaturally or miraculously just because He is still here. He works according to His own plan and it is evident that supernatural works were limited to the early Christian age (I Corinthians 12-13). However, He has promised to live within His people (the new temple) forever.
The Holy Spirit enables us to have the mind of the Spirit (Romans 8:9). It is important to remember that the “Spirit of God” and the “Spirit of Christ” both refer to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). They are all one (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), as already mentioned. In fact, Christ’s prayer proves this in John 17. Many other scriptures also explain this, such as Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9, Acts 17:19, John 1:1ff, etc. Having the mind of the Spirit will allow a Christian to be guided by the spirit of truth.
It is important to note some things concerning “to the flesh.” To live according the flesh is to have fleshly desires (Romans 8:5). It also leads to spiritual death (Romans 8:13). While all Christians are indwelled with the Spirit, they still struggle with and yield to the flesh. However, it is not God’s plan. Some Christians are still carnal and struggle with the presence of fleshly desires (I Corinthians 3:1-4, Romans 7:13-25). This is why they must be filled with the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit enables one to belong to Christ (Romans 8:9). Anyone who is in Christ has the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, Christians belong to Christ if they are in Him. If one is not in Him, then they do not have the Spirit, and are not His. Therefore, all those in Christ have the Spirit, and belong to Him. Notice that if a person doesn’t have the Spirit then they are not His. It is important to remember that those who say that they don’t have the Holy Spirit are actually denying that they belong to God. When a Christian leaves the fold of God and falls from grace they can also lose the Holy Spirit which disqualifies them as children of God. They can fall from God’s grace. It is a dangerous thing to leave the safety of God’s everlasting arms. Christians are reminded over and over again in the scriptures to remain faithful in their walk with God despite the trials they will face.
*** More next week***
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds