There are two truths that we will consider as we seek to answer this question. The first one is WHERE WE LIVE and the second one is HOW WE LIVE.

In Romans 8:9 we learn WHERE WE LIVE. It reads, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” This verse teaches us that a person either LIVES IN THE FLESH or LIVES IN THE SPIRIT. It reminds us of the words of the Lord Jesus in John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” When we are born naturally of our human parents, we inherit a sinful nature that the Bible calls “the flesh.” Because of this, we are in state of sin; we LIVE IN THE FLESH. When a person trusts in Christ as their personal Savior, a spiritual birth takes place. He is “born of the Spirt” and receives a new nature that places him in a realm where he desires to live for God; he now LIVES IN THE SPIRIT. Every person lives in one of these TWO SPHERES and they are vastly different. They are as different as a fish who “lives in water” and a bird who “lives in the air.”

In Romans 8:5 we learn HOW WE LIVE. It says, “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, the things of the Spirit” (NKJV). In the first half of this verse we have the unbeliever in view. Because they “live according to the flesh” (which is what we had before us earlier), they “set their minds on the things of the flesh.” The unbeliever is only concerned with the things of the flesh, to obey and gratify all of its sinful desires. In Ephesians 2:1-3 the apostle Paul reminded believers that this was true of them before they were born again. It reads, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also WE ALL ONCE CONDUCTED OURSELVES IN THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH, FULFILLING THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND MIND” (NKJV). This is HOW THE UNBELIEVER LIVES.

In the second half our Romans 8:5 the believer is in view. Because they “live according to the Spirit,” they set their minds on “the things of the Spirit.” They are characterized by a deep concern for spiritual realities. They want to live for God by reading His Word, praying to and worshipping God, serving the Lord, and having fellowship with other believers. In a word, their hearts and minds are set on eternal things, as we see in 2nd Corinthians 4:18, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” This is HOW THE BELIEVER LIVES.

We must add that the believer still possesses the old sinful nature he was born with and because of this he may fail by giving in to the desires of the flesh. Because of this the apostle Paul exhorts us in Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” If we truly “live in the Spirit” (which we have already considered), we must YIELD OUR LIVES TO THE SPIRIT so He can control us. Ephesians 5:18 commands us, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.” This is what is meant by “walking in the Spirit.” When we do allow Him to lead and guide us in life, people will see that we LIVE IN THE SPIRIT and that OUR MINDS ARE SET ON THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT.  (198.9)  (DO)