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. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
Enjoy the Blessings of the Spirit
Some people are openly disobedient. They seem to delight in daring the authorities by finding ways to break the rules aggressively and defiantly. They do whatever they want, whenever they want.
Other people are quietly, subversively disobedient. They are so sneaky that they are not usually caught. They know that no one suspects them, and they get away with a lot.
Both groups of people do not please God. He wants people to follow his laws happily and obediently, even the laws that are counter-cultural or counter-intuitive. God is not even pleased by good people who follow his laws but for the wrong reasons. God looks for perfect integrity.
Instead, everywhere he looks God sees disobedience and hostility. People resent his high standards. But God has a surprising solution to that problem.
Rather than punishing people, God sends his Spirit into their hearts. The Spirit comes by hearing God’s message from the Bible and the Spirit changes things.
The Spirit causes people to believe that Jesus was punished for their sins even though he had done nothing wrong. People are grateful when they hear that they are forgiven and that they are going to have eternal life in heaven through faith in Jesus. People like to know that they are at peace with God and that he is not going to punish them because he has already punished Jesus in their place.
Because the Spirit gives people joy and peace, they set their minds on what the Spirit desires, which is faith in Jesus and from that faith flows love and kindness. Hang around those people and enjoy the blessings of the Spirit.
Martin Luther, whose birthday is celebrated today, often prayed: Heavenly Father, keep me this day from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please you. Amen.