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Romans 8.7-The Mind-Set Produced By The Flesh Is Antagonistic Toward God And Has No Capacity To Obey God's Law

Romans Chapter Eight  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:08:43
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Romans: Romans 8:7-The Mind-Set Produced By The Flesh Is Antagonistic Toward God And Has No Capacity To Obey God’s Law-Lesson # 248

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Sunday October 26, 2008

www.wenstrom.org

Romans: Romans 8:7-The Mind-Set Produced By The Flesh Is Antagonistic Toward God And Has No Capacity To Obey God’s Law

Lesson # 248

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 8:1.

This morning we will note Romans 8:7 and in this passage, Paul teaches that the mind-set produced by the sin nature is antagonistic toward God and has no capacity to obey His Law.

Romans 8:1-7, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

“Because” is the conjunction dioti (diovti) (dee-ot-ee), which functions as a marker of cause introducing a statement that presents the reason for Paul’s last statement in Romans 8:6.

“The mind” is the noun phronema (frovnhma) (fron-ay-mah), which refers to the Christian’s “mind-set” or “state of mind” or “mental attitude” and is used in relation to the sin nature.

“The flesh” is the noun sarx (savrc) (sarx), which refers to the sin nature from the perspective of its location in the Christian.

The noun sarx functions as a “genitive of production” meaning that this “mind-set” or “state of mind” is “produced” by the sin nature.

It is produced by the sin nature because Paul taught in Romans 8:5 that those Christians submitting to the sin nature are preoccupied in their thinking with the desires produced by the sin nature.

Romans 8:5, “For you see those who at any time exist in the state of being in submission to the flesh are, as an eternal spiritual truth, preoccupied with the things produced by the flesh. However, those in submission to the Spirit, the things produced by the Spirit.”

Therefore, the mind-set “produced by” the sin nature is the direct result of the Christian being preoccupied with the desires produced by the sin nature, which culminates in a loss of fellowship with God.

Romans 8:7, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

“Hostile” is the noun echthra (e&xqra) (ekh-thrah), which means, “antagonistic” and describes the relationship between the mind-set produced by the sin nature in relation to God.

Therefore, the mind-set produced by being preoccupied with the desires of the sin nature is in a state of being openly antagonistic towards God, which is not only true of the unregenerate but also the Christian who is out of fellowship with God since he still possesses a sin nature.

Romans 8:7, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

For” is the “explanatory” use of the post-positive conjunction gar (gavr), which introduces a statement that provides further information that helps to explain Paul’s previous statement that the mind-set produced by the flesh is antagonistic towards God.

“It does not subject itself” is composed of the emphatic negative adverb ou (ou)) (oo), “not” and the verb hupotasso (u(potavssw) (hoop-ot-as-so), “it does subject itself.”

In Romans 8:7, the verb hupotasso, “to subject oneself” is used in relation to God’s Law and its meaning is emphatically negated by the emphatic negative adverb ou, “not.”

Therefore, Paul is saying that the mind-set produced by the sin nature can “never subject itself” to God’s Law.

“The law of God” refers to the Mosaic Law as indicated by the context, the word’s articular construction and the articular genitive adjunct, theou, “of God.”

In Romans 8:7, the noun theos refers to all three members of the Trinity since the word functions a “genitive of possession” indicating all three members “own” this Law or that it “belongs to” them since God is three co-equal, co-infinite and co-eternal persons with the same attributes.

Romans 8:7, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”

“For” is the “causal” use of the post-positive conjunction gar (gavr), which introduces a statement that presents the “basis” or the “reason why” the mind-set produced by the sin nature never permits itself to be subjected to God’s Law.

“It is not even able to do so” is composed of the verb dunamai (duvnamai) (doo-nam-i), “it is able to do so” and the adverb oude (ou)dev) (oo-deh), “not even.”

Now, in Romans 8:7, the verb dunamai means, “to have the capacity, to be able to do something.”

The verb meaning is emphatically negated adverb oude, “not even.”

Therefore, together, they denote that the mind-set produced by the sin nature due to preoccupation with the desires of the sin nature is antagonistic toward God because “it does not even have the capacity to do so.”

In Romans 8:7, Paul teaches that the reason why the mind-set produced by the flesh, i.e. the sin nature is temporal spiritual death, i.e. loss of fellowship with God and that the mind-set produced by the Spirit is experiencing eternal life and peace is that the mind-set produced by the sin nature is antagonistic towards God.

He explains that this is because the mind-set produced by the sin nature never permits itself to be subjected to God’s Law.

The reason for this he states is that it does not even have the capacity to do so.

Now, if the Roman Christians sought to obey the Law apart from the enabling power of the Holy Spirit they would be totally frustrated in their efforts as Paul clearly states in Romans 7:7-25 because the Holy Spirit gives the believer the capacity to obey God’s Law.

The only way that they would be able to obey the Law of God is by being preoccupied in their thinking with the godly desires produced by the Spirit, which would produce in them a mind-set, which gives them the capacity to obey the Law.

Otherwise, if they sought to keep the Law apart from the Spirit, they would not have the capacity to obey the Law since there is no power to obey God’s Law apart from the enabling power of the Spirit.

Therefore, if they attempted to keep the Law apart from the enabling power of the Spirit as he states he did in Romans 7:7-25, this would leave their soul totally under the control of the sin nature.

The sin nature is totally antagonistic to the Law, which is the revealed will of God and has no capacity to obey it nor the desire to.

Paul is teaching in Romans 8:4-7 that if you are not appropriating by faith the power of the Spirit to obey God’s Word, then you will be left to your sin nature, which is antagonistic to the Word of God and has no capacity to obey it.

He is saying to his readers that their souls are either empowered by the Spirit to obey God’s Word or their souls are under the control of the sin nature.

He is describing in Romans 8:5-6 the filling of the Spirit or the mechanics of it.

Romans 8:5-6, “For you see those who at any time exist in the state of being in submission to the flesh are, as an eternal spiritual truth, preoccupied with the things produced by the flesh. However, those in submission to the Spirit, the things produced by the Spirit. In fact, the mind-set produced by the flesh is, as an eternal spiritual truth temporal spiritual death. However, the mind-set produced by the Spirit is, as an eternal spiritual truth life as well as peace.”

When the believer is preoccupied in his or her thinking with the godly desires produced by the Spirit, which would produces in them a mind-set, which gives them the capacity to obey the Law, then they are under the influence of the Spirit or filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”

“Filled” is the verb pleroo, which means, “to be fully influenced by something.”

Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines the word “influence”: (1) capacity or power of persons or things to produce effects on others by intangible or indirect means. (2) Action or process of producing effects on others by intangible or indirect means. (3) A person or thing that exerts influence.

If we were to paraphrase Webster’s definition of the word, we would say that Paul wants the Ephesian believers to permit the omnipotence (intangible means) of the Holy Spirit (Person) to produce Christ-like character (effects) in them.

This is exactly what Paul is teaching the believers in Romans 8:5-6 in that the Christian who is submitting to the Spirit is preoccupied with the desires produced by the Spirit, which results in a mind-set produced by the Spirit resulting in experiencing eternal life and the peace of God.

“With the Spirit” is composed of the preposition en and the instrumental form of the noun pneuma, “Spirit,” which indicates that the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit is “the means by which” the church age believer is to continually allow himself to be fully influenced, possessed or controlled by the Spirit.

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