Romans 8:6-11

Romans 8:6-11
Lent A18


To set the mind on the fleshA is death, but to set the mindB on the SpiritC is lifeD and peace.E 

Notes on verse 6

A “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refer to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
B “mind” = phronema. 4x in NT. From phroneo (to think, judge, use one’s mind, have an opinion, shape one’s opinion through action); from phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is thought, purpose, mindset, inner perspective. It can also mean acting on gut insight.
C “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
D “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
E “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)

For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostileF to God;G it does not submit to God’s lawH—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot pleaseI God.

Notes on verses 7-8

F “hostile” = echthra. 6x in NT. From echthros (hated, an enemy; someone at enmity – deep, personal hatred that cannot be reconciled because it is determined to cause harm; often refers to Satan); from echthos (hatred). This is enmity, hostility, or alienation.
G “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
H “law” = nomos. From nemo (to parcel out). Literally, this is that which is assigned. It can be usage, custom, or law. This word can be used for human or divine law. It can be used specifically for the law of Moses or as a name for the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Sometimes it is used for scripture as a whole, used of the Gospel, or of any theology. It is also used for the “tradition of the elders,” which would be the oral Torah – the tradition of the laws plus their interpretations as they were passed down over time. We must carefully consider which meaning of “law” is meant when we interpret passages the word is found in.
I “please” = aresko. 17x in NT. Root means to fit together. This is to please or be agreeable. It implies voluntarily serving others, satisfying others, or making good to win their favor or approval. It is often used for moral agreement. It can mean being agreeable or trying to be agreeable. Used 9x of pleasing people in a negative way, 5x of pleasing people in a positive way, and 3x of pleasing God.

9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwellsJ in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of ChristK does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you,L though the bodyM is dead because of sin,N the Spirit is life because of righteousness.O 

Notes on verses 9-10

J “dwells” = oikeo. 9x in NT. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). Properly, this means making a home or living at home. So, this is dwell or indwell, remain, reside, or cohabit.
K “Christ” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
L {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
M “body” = soma. Perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.
N “sin” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin). Hamartano is from a (not) + meros (a part or share). Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
O “righteousness” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.

11 If the Spirit of him who raisedP JesusQ from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give lifeR to your mortalS bodies also through his Spirit that dwellsT in you.

Notes on verse 11

P “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
Q “Jesus” = iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
R “give life” = zoopoieo. Related to “life” in v6. 11x in NT. From the same as zoon (something alive, animal); {from zao (see note D above)} + poieo (to do, make, act). This is to make alive, vivify. It could be vitalize or revitalize.
S “mortal” = thnetos. Related to “death” in v6. 6x in NT. From thnesko (to die in a spiritual or physical sense; also being mortal). This is mortal, subject to death.
T “dwells” = enoikeo. Related to “dwells” in v9. 5x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + oikeo (see note J above). This is to live is a state or condition, to inhabit or be settled in in a literal or figurative sense.

Image Credit: Mural from Mănăstirea Voroneţ, România (1488)

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