The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 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. 10 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. 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 because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:7-11)
Have you ever worried about whether or not you really are a Christian? A Christian is a person who has the Spirit of God living in him or her. If you have sincerely trusted Christ for your salvation and acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior and you are now willing to obey Him, then the Holy Spirit has come into your life, and your are now a born again Christian.
How do you know for sure, let’s take a look:
- When the Holy Spirit is living within you, you will believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and that eternal life comes only though Him (1 John 5:5).
- You will begin to act as Christ directs because: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5)
- You will find help for your daily problems and in your praying because: The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27).
- You will be empowered to serve God and to do His will because Jesus said: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
- And you will become part of God’s plan to build up His church (Ephesians 4:12-13).
As we see from our text (vs. 7-9), Paul divides people into two categories, those who are dominated by their sinful nature, and those who are controlled by the Holy Sprit. All of us would be in the first category if Jesus hadn’t offered us a way out. Once we are truly born again, the Spirit lives in us by faith and we are certain to live with Christ forever. The Holy Spirit is God’s promise and guarantee of eternal life for those who believe, trust and obey Him.
True believers have a great zeal to daily consciously choose to center their lives on God. They use the Bible to discover God’s guidelines, and then follow them. When perplexing situations arise they ask: “What would Jesus want me to do?” And, when the Holy Spirit points out what is right, they do it eagerly and with confidence knowing that He is guiding them.
The undeniable evidence of a true Christian is a changed life. We need to remember that if we do not change the way we live; our eternal destiny will also never change.
A changed life begins with obedience to God. When a person decides to follow God, a change takes place and there is tremendous joy (Galatians 5:22). We must realize that although sorrows do occur in the life of a believer, the Holy Spirit will give us a joy and peace that cannot be removed.
God has commanded His people to be holy and live a holy life.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” ( Hebrews 12:14)
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Are you living a holy life, or are you ‘pretending’ as the hypocritical Pharisees of whom Jesus warned His disciples about?
Never take advice from anyone who is not living a humble, holy, Christ honoring life; because hypocrites will very subtlety teach you “doctrines of demons,” God has warned us about these people in His Holy Word.
The Lord loves us and told the Israelites through Moses: See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)
Choosing between life and death was also emphasized during the ministry of Jesus. Read John 3:14-21, 33-36.
What awaits the one who rejects Jesus? Eternal separation from Him.
What awaits the one who receives Jesus? Eternal life with Him.
What will you choose?
Remember, God wants to bless our lives beyond our imagination and He will if we choose to obey Him.