Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 8

When our natural, human thoughts oppose God

Romans 8:7

In Romans 7:22-23, Paul spoke about his love for Godís law. He even called it Ďthe law of my mindí. Now, however, Paul discusses a completely different attitude of the human mind towards Godís law. With this wrong attitude, a personís mind does not accept the authority of Godís law. This person is therefore opposing Godís rule; he is fighting against God.

We might imagine that Paul is describing a very evil person. In fact, he is just describing the normal attitudes that people have. Paul has just shown that he himself knew such thoughts (7:7-25). It is not unusual even for Christians to refuse to accept Godís authority over much of their lives. Few people trust God enough to let him rule over every part of their lives.

Therefore, it is the natural state of people to oppose Godís rule. It is natural - but, of course, it is not how we should behave.

When Christians have these wrong attitudes, they are making a wrong choice. God has given his Holy Spirit to guide and to direct his peopleís lives. When their attention is upon God, they are not trying to please themselves (8:5). However, by nature people place their attention upon their own desires, ambitions and feelings. It is not that these things are themselves wrong. They become wrong when we use them for ourselves and not for God.

For example, it is good and right that we should desire to know God (Acts 17:27). However, it is wrong and evil to have a selfish desire for wealth (1 Timothy 6:9-10). We should have an ambition to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9). However, our own personal ambitions can make us proud and foolish (James 4:13-16).

Next part: Can people please God in this life? (Romans 8:8)

 

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© 2017, Keith Simons.