Lord, come and dwell in our hearts. Amen.
Romans 8, 5-11. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
No Christian should be able to read this Bible lesson without being impelled by it to institute an earnest and thorough self-examination. To be carnally minded is death; if I have this mind, I live in enmity against God and in antagonism to his law. But if I be spiritual, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ is in me; and Christ himself is then my life. To no Christian can it be a matter of indifference, whether he be a child of death or of life; whether God be his enemy or his friend. — How shall I know, then, whether I am carnally or spiritually minded? “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;” their thoughts and desires are contrary to God and his law; they feel no sorrow and pain on account of sin; and Jesus, the Savior of sinners, is a stranger to them; neither do they know his humble, holy, and loving spirit. Their mind is filled with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; their care is that they may have power, honor, riches, sensual pleasure, or that they may seem to be righteous, and may boast of their virtues. On the other hand, “they that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.” To them God’s grace and favor and the soul’s salvation are more important than all things else; so that this is their first thought and concern. They willingly submit to the law of God, feel that their flesh is evil and corrupt, and acknowledge that their life is sinful, and that they deserve death. But the Spirit of Christ in them works faith in his blood; so that they, being baptized into his death and resurrection, always seek him, on the cross and on the throne, and receive grace. — If you are, then, subject to the law of God, and confess your sin with honest heart; if Christ is your righteousness, and his death and resurrection your hope; if you love him, and always pray for grace to do his will; — this is the work of the Spirit in you, and you are not carnal, but spiritual. Now, let the Spirit himself make you sure of this, and cause you to taste the life and peace of God’s grace. Never mind the how and the wherefore of this miracle, that “Christ is in you but rejoice in it, and be glad to walk the way of self-denial in his strength. You live no more after the flesh; but still the flesh lives in you; now you shall be made aware of its enmity against Christ, and mortify it every day. — It seems a little thing to be a Christian; but it is great beyond measure! “Christ in you, the hope of glory!”
Lord Jesus, save me from the deceitfulness of the flesh; give me thy Spirit, and let me have no peace but in thee. Come, Lord, dwell in me, and let my whole life become pleasing to thee and the Father. Amen.
How blessed, from the bonds of sin
And earthly fetters free.
In singleness of heart and aim
Thy servant, Lord, to be!
The hardest toil to undertake
With joy at thy command,
The meanest office to receive
With meekness at thy hand!
Thus may I serve thee, gracious Lord!
Thus ever thine alone.
My soul and body given to thee,
The purchase thou hast won:
Through evil or through good report
Still keeping by thy side,
By life or death, in this poor flesh
Let Christ be magnified!