What does Romans 8:6 mean?
ESV: For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
NIV: The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
NASB: For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
CSB: Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace.
NLT: So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
KJV: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is describing the difference between living by the flesh—selfish, sinful human wants and desires—and living by God's Spirit. He has written that those who are in Christ live by the Spirit.

One difference is that those who live by the flesh set their minds on things of flesh and those who live by the Spirit on things of the Spirit. Setting our minds on one or the other leads in two different directions. A focus on our sinful, selfish desires—the flesh—leads to death. That's the law of sin and death from verse 2. Sin always leads to death. Focusing on the things of the Spirit leads to life and peace. That's the law of the Spirit of life, also from verse 2.

Notice this: The law of the Spirit of life is what frees us from the law of sin and death. Paul is showing here, though, that God does not intend for it to stop there. We have not just changed status from "death" to "life." We have changed roads from "the road to death" to "the path of life." The idea is that we will keep going down this road. That's what Christians do. They keep their minds focused on the Spirit's things because that's the way we're going. That's who we are now. We have left the death-way behind.
Verse Context:
Romans 8:1–11 begins with an enormous declaration about the grace of God: There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. After describing how this is possible, thanks to the life and death of Jesus, Paul compares two kinds of life. One is life in the Holy Spirit, for those who are in Christ, the other is a life lived according to the flesh. Those in the flesh, meaning non-Christians, are hostile to God. Christians have the Spirit; those who do not are not Christians. Because the Spirit is in us, we will be resurrected from the dead as Jesus was.
Chapter Summary:
Romans 8 begins and ends with declarations of the Christian's absolute security before God. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love. Having believed the gospel, we now live in the Spirit of God. That allows us to call God Abba Father. We suffer with Christ, and we suffer along with all creation while we wait for God to reveal us as His sons. With the help of the Spirit, we are confident that God is for us and loves us in Christ.
Chapter Context:
In Romans 7, Paul revealed his frustration of trying to do good only to be thwarted by his sin. He begins Romans 8, though, with the triumphant statement that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We live in the Spirit, and we relate to God as a child does to a father. The Spirit helps us in this season of suffering along with all of creation while we wait for our adoption to be complete with the redemption of our bodies. We are confident, though, that God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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