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Count Your Blessings

Lent 2023

Read Romans 8:1–11

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 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.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Romans 8:9

This passage contrasts those “in the flesh” and those “in the Spirit.” Those “in the flesh” focus on things of the flesh, are hostile toward God, and, are unable to be subject to him. That applies to every person on their own. They cannot please God or belong to Christ. Those “in the Spirit” participate in an intimate relationship with God. They have no condemnation. They are free from the law of sin and death. They focus on things of the Spirit which dwells in them. Because of the work of Christ, God gives them life through the Spirit.

As a child, my family assisted in a skid-row church on a weekly basis. We handed out sandwiches. I remember a man who was carried through the line to get food. Years later, I attended a mission service in Chicago. I discovered that the pastor of that church was the man to whom we had given a sandwich years before. His life was transformed by God’s grace. We notice dramatic stories like this, but, in reality, they are true for all of us. Our lives have been transformed by Christ and his Spirit dwells in us. We belong to him.


Gracious Father, thank you that your Spirit dwells in us and is always with us. Lead us in your ways. He daily leads every step. Amen.

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