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Romans 8:5-9 Two Kinds of People

Posted by Matt Postiff November 21, 2009 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Bible Texts 
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally [fleshly] minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal [fleshly] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

God sets forth in this passage the extreme difference between two types of people. On the one hand is the carnal or fleshly person. They a) live according to the flesh; b) have a fleshly mindset; c) live a life that is spiritually dead; d) are at enmity against God; e) are not subject to God's law; f) are unable to be subject to God's law; g) are "in the flesh"; h) cannot please God; and i) do not have the Spirit and therefore do not belong to Christ. This is none other than the unsaved person.

On the other hand is the spiritual person. They a) live according to the spirit; b) have a spiritual mindset; c) live a life that is spiritually alive and at peace with God; d) are in the Spirit; e) have the Spirit of God dwelling in them and therefore belong to Christ. This is none other than the saved person.

Dear reader, please know that you fit into either one or the other of these categories. Some have suggested a three-fold division of people: spiritual, carnal, and natural (based on 1 Cor. 2-3). Certainly a spiritual person (one who has the Spirit) can sometimes behave carnally; but it is very dangerous to suggest a third category of people who are supposedly saved but live according to the flesh, who look no different than the unsaved person. Romans 8 clearly portrays only two types. Don't rest if you think you are a "carnal Christian" and therefore will be OK in the end. What sometimes passes as carnal Christianity is not really Christianity at all. MAP

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