(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 (or, fleshly minded) is death – but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace.(7) Because the carnal mind (or, the fleshly 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! (9) But ye are not in the flesh – but in the Spirit – if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you! Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ – he is none of His!” [Ro.8:5-9]
(16) “This I say then – walk in the Spirit — and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit – and the Spirit against the flesh – and these are contrary the one to the other so that ye cannot do the things that ye would! (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit – ye are not under the law.” [Gal.5:16-18]
(19) “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (20) idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like – of the which I tell you before, as I also told you in time past – that they which do such things – shall not inherit the Kingdom of God!” [Gal.5:19-21]
Dear ones, the Word of God is a mirror from which we can see the spiritual reality of our own lives. Are we walking “after the flesh”, or “after the Spirit”? Whichever is the reality between the two – the “flesh” or the “Spirit” – will be the foundation of all our thinking and living while we are in this fleshly, fallen-in-sin world. Only by being “spiritually minded” – will we successfully walk right through this worldly waste land and ultimately right into the eternal Kingdom of God! To be “spiritually minded” is to “have the mind of Christ”! [see: 1Co.2:15-16] This should be the earnest prayerful plea of our daily lives right now – that we be granted the grace of God to persevere and continue being led through this world by the Holy Spirit of Christ, our Lord and God.
If we are walking through this world “after the flesh” – then while we are walking physically – we are, nevertheless, spiritually — dead! At the same time, if we are walking through this world “after the Spirit” we are experiencing through God’s grace spiritual “life and peace”. Is.26:3 declares dogmatically: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace – whose mind is stayed upon thee”. Remember, the fleshly mind “is enmity against God”! There is no peace in being God’s enemy!
Quite simply, the “flesh” pertains to anything and everything that is a part of this sinful and cursed world. This is why 1Jn.2:15-17 says: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world – the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father – but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof – but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” This world is not our home. This world is a battleground that is entirely behind enemy lines! All of us were born into this fallen-in-sin world as fit sinner constituents to populate it – because we are all sinners! This world is the very stage upon which is being lived out all of the works of the flesh of this age of sin and death.
May the Holy Spirit of our God bear witness with our spirit that we are truly His children and heirs of His Kingdom [see: Ro.8:16-17]. Then also, we shall know that we are being led by Him.
For Christ’s Glory Only! -John Carpenter
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above – not on the earth.(3) For ye are dead – and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Col.3:1-3]
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world – the love of the Father is not in him! (16) For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away and the lust thereof – but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever!” [1Jn.2:15-17]
“For what the law could not do — in that it was weak through the flesh — God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh – and for sin – condemned sin in the flesh (4) that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us – who walk not after the flesh – but after the Spirit. (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 (or, fleshly minded) is death – but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace.(7) Because the carnal mind (or, the fleshly 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! (9) But ye are not in the flesh – but in the Spirit – if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you! Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ – he is none of His!” [Ro.8:3-9]
The evil man (or, woman) of this world is described in the Book of Proverbs in this way: “as he thinketh in his heart – so is he!” Therefore, from the above descriptive declaration he would fit the bill of one who loves this world and the things of this world. The way of this world – and the desires of this world – are motivated by -and oriented towards — what the Word of God refers to as the flesh. The flesh of this fallen world and its corrupt system. However, everyone whom God the Father has sent God the Son into this sinful world to seek and to save them from their sins has been united with the Lord Jesus Christ in His sin atoning death and resurrection. Therefore, if we have been raised up with Christ – then we will not seek the things of this sinful world, but rather we will seek those things which are above where Christ sits on the right hand of God the Father! We have died with Christ and our new life is hid with Him – where He now is – in God.
This is why we, who are Christ’s, do not love this sinful world – nor the fleshly things of it. The things of this world are not at all “the things” of our holy God – nor “the things” that are in our holy God! For “the world passeth away and the lust thereof – but He that doeth the will of God abideth forever!” And, the He that doeth the will of God – is the God/man, Christ Jesus, our Surety – in whom we have been placed from before the foundation of this world! [see Eph.1:3-5]
This brings us to the Ro.8 context and its wonderful descriptive declaration. When God gave His Law unto Moses on Mt. Sinai, He did not give it in order for fallen sinful man to achieve keeping it in their fallen and sinfully fallen flesh. No! It was to manifest clearly and completely how miserably weak our sinful flesh really and truly is! As God’s Word declares from Ro.3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight – for by the Law is the (full) knowledge of sin.” This is why God sent His own Beloved Eternal Son – “in the likeness of sinful flesh – and for sin – condemned sin in the flesh”! He condemned His people’s sin – in His own Son’s flesh – so that – “the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us – who walk not (right now, through this sinful, fallen and passing away world) after the flesh, but after the Spirit!” Praise the Name of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus! We shall continue to elaborate on this wonderful pure gospel truth in even more detail. Until then – may God be glorified!
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter
(6)“The Lord is on my side. I will not fear. What can man do unto me? (7) The Lord taketh my part with them that help me.” [Ps.118:6-7]
(31) “…If God be for us – who can be against us?” (38) “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) nor height, nor depth, not any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Ro.8:31,38-39]
(3) “What time I am afraid – I will trust in Thee. (4) In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my trust. I will not fear what flesh can unto me.” “In God have I put my trust. I will not fear what man can do unto me.” [Ps.56:3-4,11]
In these present times there is obviously a lot of fear being exuded among the masses of our whole society. In some places it is proving to be more extreme than in others. This kind of thing naturally happens when something occurs that threatens the health and well being of the world around us. This sort of thing also establishes a platform of confusion – even for many Christians.
That is why the texts that are reflected above – all tend to point us in one true and certain direction. They all remind us of the eternal truth of Who is in control – Who is sovereign overall – Who is God! And, in the first two verses from Ps.118 – the underlined phrases may be more literally translated: “The Lord is for me”. This makes their message completely compatible with the next text from Romans 8, which, in turn, makes God’s faithfulness descriptively declared from vs.28 even more blessed unto us! There is no situation in all of creation that can separate us from our wonderful and eternal Savior/God! He confirms the reality – in times just like these – of the pure gospel truth that: “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Along with that which is also written: “Jesus Christ – the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” [He.13:5,6,8] Praise God!!
So then, dear child of God — as far as right now is concerned – we can confidently rejoice in these times for we can say with the Psalmist: “What time I am afraid – I will trust in Thee! In God – I will praise His Word. In God – I have put my trust! I will not fear – what flesh can do unto me! In God – have I put my trust – I will not be afraid what man can do unto me!” But, why is this true? The answer is found in Is.43:1-3,5: “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear Not: for I have Redeemed thee! I have called thee by thy name – thou art mine! (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overthrow thee! When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For – I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior…”! (5) “Fear not! For I am with thee!”
Hear (!) the Word of God from Is.44:2,8! “Thus saith the Lord that made thee and formed thee from the womb – which will help thee: Fear Not – O Jacob, my servant – and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen!” (8) “Fear ye not – neither be afraid – have not I told thee from that time – and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses! Is there a God beside Me?! Yea, there is No God! I know not any! Praise and Glory and Dominion – Only – unto the – Savior/Lord – our God! Note what is also written in Is.54:14: “In Righteousness shalt thou be established! Thou shalt be far From Oppression – for – Thou Shalt Not Fear – and From Terror – For It Shall Not Come Near Thee!” Indeed, there is no God – like our God! Praise His Name!
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light: (13) who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: (14) in whom we have redemption through His blood – the remission of sins!” [Col.1:12-14] “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth – wherein dwelleth Righteousness.” [2Pe.3:13] “For we through the Spirit – wait for the Hope of Righteousness by faith.” [Gal.5:5]
We ended last month’s devotional with He.1:8: “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.” So, therefore, Christ Jesus sovereignly rules His Kingdom with the sceptre of the Righteousness of God! Christ our God right now sits upon His eternal throne and rules over us in this fallen-in-sin world – with a Righteous Sceptre. This is why Ro.8:28-29 says: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God – to them who are the called – according to His purpose. (29) For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” The man, Christ Jesus, is the image of the eternal Son of God, and it is unto His all Righteous and holy image – unto which — all of God’s loved and chosen from eternity are divinely purposed to be conformed. Christ truly is our all and in all!
Christ Jesus was purposed and decreed from eternity, in eternity and for eternity to sovereignly rule over us in all His holy authority over heaven and in earth. He – having been raised from among the dead by the glory of God the Father (Ro.6:4) – right now sits upon His sovereign holy throne (He.1) governing over all the things that pertain to the eternal salvation of all His people (Mt.1:21). We owe all our thanks unto God the Father — for it is He who has qualified us – or, “made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light”! This He has done by His placing us in His Son in eternity (see Eph.1:3-4)! Praise His Name! And, it is the Father that has also delivered us from Satan’s present ruling authority and power in this world! “And has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son!” In whom we, according to the holy and precious blood of His Son, Jesus — right now – have forgiveness and freedom from our sins. Praise, again, unto our Savior/God!
While we are now still in this fallen-in-sin world we do not yet completely realize the victory that we have in and through our Lord Jesus Christ — but there is promised to us in God’s Word that it is certain we will realize it when, once, we are finally completely freed from this corrupt world of sin and death. This is exactly what the text from 2Pe.3:13 declares unto us that we “look for”! The “Righteousness of God” — in the spiritual “Kingdom of Christ” — right now eternally reigns and rules – apart from its being completely and presently realized! But, this is only while we are still confined in this passing away world. 1Co.15:50 says: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Vs.54-57 go on to say: “…when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written – Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So then, right now we are living out the descriptive declaration of Gal.5:5: “For we through the Spirit – wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” We do not perform the Righteousness of God, we wholeheartedly trust in the perfect Righteousness of “the obedience of Christ” – on our behalf!
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter
“…to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in Everlasting Righteousness…”[Dan.9:24]
“Therefore, by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be Justified in His sight! For by the Law is the knowledge of sin. (21) But now the Righteousness of God without the Law is manifested being witnessed by the Law and the prophets, (22) even the Righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…(23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) being Justified freely by His grace, through the Redemption which is in Christ Jesus, (25) whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His Righteousness for the Remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God. (26) To declare, I say, at this time, His Righteousness – that He might be Just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” [Ro.3:20-26]
These two portions of scripture declare the pure gospel truth regarding the Righteousness of God. The Word of God refers to the Gospel of Christ as an “Everlasting Gospel” (Rev.14:6). And, the Word of God also refers to the Righteousness of Christ as an “Everlasting Righteousness” (see above Dan.9:24). The other three scriptural prophetic descriptives of Dan.9:24 right before the one just mentioned, make it absolutely obvious that this points directly to the historical fulfillment of the death and resurrection of the eternally accomplished atonement through the person and performance of the Lord Jesus Christ!
This brings us to the context of Rom.3:20-26. Right up front, it is made clear and plain that there is no justification – or, divine declaration of any among fallen-in-sin mankind — as being righteous before Holy God by doing the works of the Law. All that can be accomplished out of the Law is a full knowledge and understanding of sin! In fact, 1Co.15:56 says: “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin – is the Law.” Hence, there shall no one from among all of fallen flesh that — shall be justified in the sight of Holy God – from doing the deeds of the Law. We absolutely need Eternal Justification or, Everlasting Righteousness in order to be eternally saved! In other words, we absolutely need our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to be our advocate and our propitiation before holy, holy, holy God – where our eternal salvation is concerned!
This brings us to Ro.3:21-26. Christ Jesus, is the promised Seed of the woman that God declared would come and crush the head of the devil-serpent! He is announced in vs.21 as having been manifested – or, as having showed up! The Truth that Jesus, the Christ of God, is our Everlasting Righteousness is substantiated from Jer.23:6, which says: “…and this is His Name whereby He shall be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” And, this is verified by God through His two witnesses: 1. His divine Law – which Jesus obeyed perfectly during His walk through this fallen-in-sin world, and 2. His prophets — through whom He foretold the coming of Christ into this world. This Righteousness which Christ was – and is – and forever will be, is the “Righteousness of God”! This is what the faith of Abraham exhibited. Consider Ro.4:2-5: “For if Abraham were Justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace – but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not – but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly – his faith is counted for Righteousness.” For it is God’s grace of saving faith — that is“the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ”! Praise The Holy Name Of The Savior!
For Christ’s Glory Only – John Carpenter
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees – ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Mt.5:20]
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God – but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” [Ro.10:2-4]
Where the pure truth concerning “the righteousness of God” is concerned there is a great deal of misunderstanding. The consequence of being sinners in this sin filled world makes it impossible for anyone (lit.) “to come unto a full knowledge of the truth” [1Tim.2:3] – apart from the free grace of God and the Holy Spirit of God. Sin adversely affects the judgment of even the most religious – the most intelligent – or, the most all around gifted sinner. There is no exception! We need the Spirit of Christ for all our spiritual understanding needs! [see: Pr.16:22; Jn.7:38; Eph.1:17-18]
Where the righteousness that we need for eternal salvation is concerned, Jesus, Himself, said what has been recorded from Mt.5:20 (see above) — and this text is still the Truth. The righteous-ness that we need in order to be accepted and approved by holy, holy, holy God for heaven…or, to put it another way — for us to be “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light” [see: Col.1:12] – is none other than the righteousness that only God the Father can give us by His great grace – through the person and work of His incarnated only begotten and beloved Son – the Lord Jesus Christ!
We need what the Word refers to as “the righteousness of God”. For example, “the righteousness of God” is like that which is described and recorded in Ro.1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ – for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…(17) For therein – is the righteousness of God revealed…”. Therefore, “the righteousness of God” is made known unto us by personal divine revelation through hearing “the gospel of Christ” which is “the power of God unto salvation.” [see: Ro.10:16-17] This is why Col.1:12 completely says: “Giving thanks unto the Father – which hath made us meet (or, qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light..” And, Christ is, also, the Light – Praise His Holy Name!
So then, it is only by the will of God the Father that anyone has been made to be qualified, approved and “accepted in the Beloved”. [see: Eph.1:3-6]
Ro.10:2 refers all those who like the scribes and Pharisees – have a real zeal for God, but it is a zeal that is not in accordance with (lit.) a “full knowledge” of who God is!
And why is that? Jesus, Himself, explains why from Mt.11:25-27: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, (the scribes and Pharisees) and hast revealed them unto babes. (newly “born from above” infants!) (26) Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father – and no man (lit.) fully knoweth the Son, but the Father – neither (lit.) fully knoweth any man the Father – save the Son – and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Of course, all of this revelation experience is brought to pass by the Holy Spirit of God. We will try to delve deeper into this wonderful subject of the “everlasting gospel.” [see: Rev.14:6]
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter