Romans 8:6-11 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
‘Carnally minded’ – to be “carnally minded” is the same as to “mind the things of the flesh,” and to be “spiritually minded” is to “mind the things of the Spirit” (8:5).
‘Carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ – minding the sins of the flesh is enmity with God (8:5). Such a mind will not obey the law of God, nor can it because it submits to sin. When it ceases to rebel then it ceases to sin. As long as it lives in rebellion it cannot please God (8:7-8).
‘But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you’ You Christians are not minding the things of the flesh, but of the Spirit, if the Spirit dwells in you. If you do not have the Spirit you do not belong to Christ. If Christ is in you (2Cor. 5:17-18), the body is dead to all sin, and the Spirit dominates your life as you live to all righteousness (8:10). If this is true, you can expect quickening for your mortal bodies by the Spirit that dwells in you (8:11).
‘Because of righteousness’ righteousness defined: Some argue that this righteousness is not personal holiness of obedience to the gospel, but mere legal righteousness – the righteousness of the law – and that it does not prove a man to be saved from sin, or born again. However, this is but human theory. If it was the righteousness of the law that is what must be fulfilled in those who are born again (8:1-4). Whatever the kind of righteousness it was something that: One could turn away from (Ezek. 3:20); if he did turn from it he committed iniquity or sin; he died if he left it and went into sin (Ezek. 3:20; 18:24-26; 33:13, 18); it would not be remembered if he did turn from it to commit sin (Ezek. 3:20); it gave him life as long as he kept it and did not turn from it to commit sin (Ezek. 3:21; 18:24); he had it until he did sin (Ezek. 3:21); it would not deliver him from death if he left it; but if he kept it he lived (Ezek. 33:12).
We have to conclude that if it had the power of life and death in it, depending on whether one kept it or not, then the kind of righteousness here is that which God demands in the New Testament of those who are born again (Matt. 6:33; Acts 10:35; Rom. 4:3-22; 6:13-20; 8:4; 1Peter 2:24). We have no authority to make this righteousness different from what God has always demanded, in both testaments. God requires us to fulfil the righteousness that the law demanded (8:4), so if a person was righteousness under the law for keeping it and one is righteous under grace for keeping it, then what is the difference? If all have been required to live by it, in either testament, then all must have it, or be lost (Ezek. 3:20; 18:24-26; 33:12-13; Jer. 22:3; 33:15; Hos. 10:12). To continue to live the righteous man must not return to sin or die in sin (Ezek. 3:20-21).
‘Quicken’ [Greek: zoopoieo] to make alive (1Cor. 15:22); give life (2Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21); and quicken (John 5:21; 6:63; Rom. 4:17; 8:11; 1Cor. 15:36, 45; 1Tim. 6:13; 1Pet. 3:18).