Saturday, March 6, 2021
By Pastor Rob Harding
Passage: Romans 8:6-11
“ 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.”
- Romans 8:9
As we read today’s passage from Romans, it’s important for us to read it and to see it in the context of a larger central theme. At its best, Paul would say, Israel looked to the law – to Torah – in order to embrace their status as chosen people. Paul’s counterargument to that is this: that the law only shows the people of God to be slaves to sin and facing death. It’s only in the death of Jesus and the power and presence of the Spirit that they find an identity beyond those things, one that speaks to freedom and life and hope.
At our best at times, we, too, look to a holy “to do” list, thinking that in doing certain things we seal our identity as followers of Christ. On our list are things like worship and study and prayer. Are those things important as followers? Absolutely, but not as things that prove we are worthy of God’s grace. When we think of them that way, Paul would say we are caught up in the flesh, not the spirit.
Like the Israelites, leaning on the flesh only leads us to see what we lack and our sinfulness. Looking to the spirit leads us to see ourselves rightly (and how God sees us): we are sacred and valuable and special in Christ. Embrace that identity as you continue your Lenten journey.
Prayer: Loving God, we confess that we do often look to the flesh as that which defines us. Lead us daily to live in the realm of the Spirit of Christ, that we might see ourselves as God sees us. Amen.