- Romans 8:1-17 (NIV) 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 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 through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 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.
I want to start by saying that this passage is descriptive, first and foremost, and not prescriptive. Paul is describing a person who is in Christ Jesus and being controlled by the Holy Spirit. He also describes what it looks like for someone who is not in Christ Jesus or not being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
If I am filled with the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to form the nature and character of Christ in me I will find that from the inside out will flow the nature and character of Christ. I don’t have to conjure up those things, they begin to flow out of me.
Again it is important to understand that the Holy Spirit’s work is to change me, I don’t do the changing and I am not changed if it is simply an outward action with no corresponding inward change. But we have a role to play in this amazing transformation of the Spirit. Throughout the passage we get the picture of a cooperation - there are things that we must do as well.
We must submit to the Spirit’s work in our lives allowing Him control us. It is that understanding of surrender (willingly giving Him the right to tell you what to do).
We must believe the Holy Spirit when He tells us that we are now new creations, made in God’s image and we must now live and act as children of God.
We have an obligation to to actively put to death the old nature - to say no to the old ways when they pop up.
So are you filled with the Holy Spirit and submitting yourself to His work in your life? You must cooperate with Him.
Remember…being filled with the Spirit doesn’t mean I have more of Him, it means He has more of me!