In Romans 8:1-4 Paul shares the glory of the gospel by explaining that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. The reason there is no condemnation is because Jesus became flesh for the purpose of being the sin offering for all of mankind. All of mankind broke the law of God but Jesus paid the penalty, which is death, and took upon Himself its condemnation. We all deserve the condemnation but those who have set their minds on Jesus have turned away from the condemnations sentence of death and have set their minds on life; they have set their minds on Jesus.
Paul then goes on to explain in Romans 8:9-11 that if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you, you will have your mind set on Christ, which He talks about in Romans 8:5-9, the Spirit of God will dwell in you, and the Spirit will give you life. This happens the moment you are saved. In fact, the very first act of the Holy Spirit in a believers life is the giving of life; eternal life. Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The very reason we have life is because we have repented of our worldly mindset and have set our mind on Jesus who paid the price for our redemption.
Romans 8:7-8 says of the non believer, “The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” The non believer’s mindset that is on the flesh is hostile toward God and cannot please God. His mind is not only not set on Jesus, Paul tells us here that He is not even able to do so. Why can’t he set His mind on Jesus which is setting His mind on life? Because He doesn’t have the Spirit of God. The man void of the Spirit of God cannot focus on Jesus, and the man not focused on Jesus does not have the Spirit of God. If you have the Spirit you have the Son, but if you do not have the Spirit, you do not have the Son. How do you receive the Spirit? By receiving the Son. How do you receive the Son? By faith; faith in the works of Christ on the cross. (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If one is a believer he is commanded here to take his mind off of the world and set it on Jesus. An important principle here is that wherever your mind is, there your heart will be also. Take for instance the one who is walking in the sin of bitterness. The more they focus on how the person wronged them the more bitter they will become. Even a Christian can be guilty of this sin. But, only the Spirit of God can refocus the wrong that the person did to them and set their mind on Christ thus giving them the grace to forgive the individual who wronged them setting them free from the sin of bitterness. The non believer is incapable of this act because the Spirit of God is not in Him. The more the believer sets his mind on Jesus, the more in love with Him and the more dedicated to Him he will become.
Once a non believer is convicted of his sin and they recognize that they ways of the world are wrong they repent and turn to Jesus in recognition that His ways are right. This initial act of repentance results into salvation. At this point the non believer is converted and receives the Spirit of God that gives Him life. Then, the Holy Spirit helps the believer keep his mind set on Jesus. If the believer loses focus it doesn’t mean that he loses his eternal life. Rather, the Spirit of God who is now in him will continue to convict him until he regains his focus.
Romans 8:5-6 says, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Therefore, repent of the mind set on the flesh and set your minds on Jesus and live according to the Spirit so you can have life and peace.