Romans 8:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 8:7, NIV: The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

Romans 8:7, ESV: 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.

Romans 8:7, KJV: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Romans 8:7, NASB: because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

Romans 8:7, NLT: For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will.

Romans 8:7, CSB: The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God's law. Indeed, it is unable to do so.

What does Romans 8:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has written that a non-Christian's mind is set on the things of the flesh. That means his or her thoughts are focused on meeting sinful, selfish wants and needs and nothing else. This way of thinking, like all sin, leads to death.

Paul goes further in this verse. The mind set only on the flesh in this way is anti-God. It is against God. It must serve self above all else, including God. This is the mindset of "the world," which says, "Submit to God's law? But what if that keeps me from getting what I want?" No, Paul writes, the mind set only on serving self cannot submit to God's law. That person is not capable of obeying God, no matter how religious he or she might be.

It's important to be clear. Paul's teaching here does not allow for the possibility that a Christian might live in the Spirit sometimes and in the flesh at other times. Christians live in the Spirit. Period. Even when we are diverted or distracted by sin (1 John 1:9–10), that's not because it is who we are. That's not the path we're on—sin is a deviation from who we are in Christ (1 John 3:4–6).