If we have accepted Christ, then we are not seeking to please our flesh. We are living for the spirit, subjected and led by the spirit. If we are not being led by the Spirit of Christ…we do not belong to Christ. All these promises don’t belong to us. “But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” Understand here that we are not given life from the the Spirit because of OUR righteousness. If we have the Spirit of Christ in us, we are given life because of HIS righteousness. Never forget that he took our sins on himself and gave us his righteousness!!!
“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” The bible is consistent. If we continue to live life without Christ, we will get what we deserve for this – spiritual death!! But if we turn from our old selves to Christ and allow him to do the work inside of us, we get eternal life!! We become children of God!! We are his children, he is our father!! “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Co-heirs with Christ?? Who wouldn’t want that?? Share in his sufferings? Not so much!! But if you are in recovery like me, then you already know most of our suffering is self inflicted!! And my own experience is that the little bit of suffering I/we have to go through on this journey is so far outweighed by the free gifts I’ve received and continue to receive on a daily basis. My life is proof that all those promises do come true!!
Yet, so many of us choose the wide road instead of the narrow door. Death instead of life. We choose long term misery for short term pleasure. We choose to fit in and be one of the guys rather than take a stand and change our lives. We choose to stay on our roads of death and destruction because Gods road gets a little bumpy. We secretly fear change that we know will save our lives because we’re comfortable in our habits and addictions – after all, they are ours!! We’ve been justifying them for years. We try to change them, and our “friends” begin to make fun of us. “I know you!! Who do you think you are? You’ve always been one of us!!!” We back down just to fit in with their expectations of us. We choose to stay with them in the suck and the muck instead of trying lift them up out of it too. Sometimes we love our friendships more than we love our friends. Sometimes we love our friendships more than we love ourselves. Like I’ve been told…this walk ain’t for punks!!
“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Romans 8:9-17 NIV