The Spirit of Life sets us Free
Read Romans 8:1-4 - Our new life in Christ
This links back to Romans 5:12-21, in particular 16-18. Judgement followed one sin and brought condemnation. One trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, 'so, also' one righteous act resulted in justification for all those that believe. Back to Chapter 8, verse 2 - Why?
Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free
The Law was powerless and could not free or save us. The demands of the Mosaic Law could not be met, because we live in the realm of 'flesh,' our sinful nature.
12 times the word 'flesh' meaning sinful desire is used in the first 13 verses of this chapter. One of these is used to show that Jesus became the likeness of sinful nature. If it merely 'became sinful flesh' then Jesus would have been disqualified from being our sin offering and sacrifice - rather He took on the 'likeness' of sinful flesh. An important detail. Because He was born without sin and inherit the penalty of sin, He was unblemished. He also lived without sinning! Because of this God can justly avoid condemning us, those who are 'in Christ'.
Read Romans 8:5-8 - Living by the flesh compared to the Spirit
Here we see the comparison between those that are governed by the flesh versus the Spirit. Flesh brings death while the Spirit brings life. This is linked to our way of thinking. The word 'according' is used here in the same way 'walking' or 'living' is used in other Epistles. It refers to the lifestyle of living by the Spirit that those with Christ rather than having a mind oriented to the flesh. There is similar language linked to God's wisdom in the book of Proverbs. When we walk in our sinful nature we reflect the values of the world and are hostile to God. Therefore we can not obey God's Law, we are controlled by our sinful nature and we can not please God!
Read Romans 8:9-11 - Our future resurrected life
If we are belonging to Christ then, even though our body will die, the Spirit gives life. Every Christian is in the Spirit (an automatic benefit). The Holy Spirit (referenced in verse 10) is the giver of life and therefore means our bodies will not end in the grave, but rather we will share in Christ's own resurrection and we will have bodies again!
Read Romans 8:12-13 - The responsibilities of the believer
Now we begin with the imperatives found in the second half of the book. We have an obligation. Not linked to the flesh, but instead because of our new life through the Spirit of life! We have the converging, the coming together of the indicative of what God gives us and the imperatives of what we must do.
Our response is not an option!
The response is empowered by the Spirit (we can't stop sin in our life, without the Spirit)
Life is not dependent on stopping sin altogether
Instead, we are to make clear, long-term progress in becoming less like the world and more like Christ! So, how are we to have a mindset of the Spirit?
Keeping our biblical disciplines such as our quiet time with God, prayer, and reading and meditating over scripture. Having the Spirit's presence in our lives will produce fruit that is pleasing to God.