May 20th, 2016
When I think about inheritance, I think of one of those drawing-room mysteries. You know, where a group of a people gathers in an old mansion. The only thing that unites them is that they all despise their host, and yet all believe they have a legitimate claim to the fortune. In the quiet of night, a shot is heard. Well, you know the rest.
In Romans 8, Paul describes a mystery, not between competing heirs but between different mind-sets: one mind-set is identified as “flesh” and the other as “spirit.” This is not some philosophical dualism where material things are viewed as bad and spiritual things are believed to be good. “On the contrary, the contest is between two dispositional ‘mind-sets’ the same self may exercise toward the competing sovereigns, Flesh (acting as a proxy for Sin) and Spirit.”*
Both mind-sets deliver an inheritance: “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (v. 13). The only thing that must die is death; for those whose mind is set on the Spirit.
* William M. Greathouse with George Lyons, Romans 1-8 in the New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2008), 226. ISBN: 978-0-8341-2362-5.
Author: Duane Brush