– by Kenneth Berding –
Romans on Living Life in the Spirit
Life in the Spirit is a journey, and while there are many great passages throughout Scripture that discuss the role and person of the Holy Spirit, Romans 8 is perhaps one of the most insightful. Here are 7 suggestions that will fuel a passion for the things of the Spirit and further educate how to live a life directed by him.
1. Walk in the Spirit (Rom. 8:4)
There is no shortcut to learning how to walk with the Spirit. It’s not just for ultra-spiritual people nor is it reserved for charismatic Christians. Life according to the Spirit is not simply trying to do the right thing, nor is it trying to live according to God’s Law. Walking in the Spirit is the central metaphor for describing what it means to live as a Christian. The person who walks according to the Spirit will in fact have the essence of the Law fulfilled in his life.
2. Set your minds on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5)
The question “how does one overcome the pull of the flesh?” sounds like an old riddle: How can someone extract all of the air out of a drinking glass? The most direct way to get all the air out of a glass is by filling it with something else. You cannot extract thoughts that displease God from your mind. Like [the solution to the riddle], you need to be filled up with thoughts—indeed with an entire mindset—that is oriented toward the things of the Spirit (e.g. Gal. 5:22–23).
3. Put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13)
The person who has been regenerated by the Spirit is not stuck in sin. By the Spirit, the pull of the flesh can be resisted. To “put to death the deeds of the body” is pretty much the same thing as “saying no to sin,” but unlike the anti-drug campaign among youth many years ago, just say no by itself will never be successful. Just saying no will never allow you to consistently overcome sin. Then what must you do? You must say no by the Spirit.
4. Be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14)
The Holy Spirit leads us broadly (always) and more specifically (sometimes). He always leads us through his written Word, which was revealed to the prophets by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20–21). We are to prayerfully, carefully, and humbly apply broad biblical wisdom to the situations we face in our lives.