It’s always an unsettling moment when you pull up to a favorite restaurant only to see one of these signs: Under New Management. A change in managment may mean different servers, different menus, and a different décor.
While it may ultimately be a change for the better, the idea of change is not always welcome.
One of the reasons for that has to do with human nature. The favorite word of a person who seeks only happiness is “I.” These people measure everything by “what I want.”
A good chunk of Romans 8 is about how God offers us new management. He wants to transition us from the destructive patterns of old desires to the new program of the power and peace that comes from doing the right things and living the right way.
Here’s what the change looks like …
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8:5-8
The flesh is our old nature – our old self before coming to know Jesus. As Paul says, the old nature is antagonistic to all that God is and stands for.
It not only refuses to submit itself to the law of God; it cannot.
The person who follows after the sinful nature has an uncanny ability to justify all their behavior.
— Instead of lying, they contend “truth is in the eye of the beholder”
— Stealing becomes “taking what I deserve”
— Immorality is excused with the rationale, “what feels so good can’t be wrong”
— Laziness on the job is explained with “this is what everyone is doing”
These all say the same thing: “Whatever I can get away with is OK”
But – thankfully – we’ve been changed and transformed by the gospel.
10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. – Romans 8:10-11