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. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be. Those who are in the flesh can’t please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.
Notice that in the last passage as well as in this one, Paul is developing the idea that even though we experience frustrating failure when attempting to live the Christian
life on our own, we are still Christians. You are a Christian if you are thinking like one and this cannot always be seen on the outside of a person. You should not condemn yourself because of what others think but you. You, however, know what is true on the inside. You have to judge whether or not you have a Spiritual mind.
Satan would love it if we all lived feeling defeated because it keeps us focused on ourselves and from walking by the Holy Spirit. It is true that we shouldn’t be stumbling around without any power but that doesn’t mean we aren’t Christians.
Christians, ultimately, have their minds on what the Holy Spirit wants. That’s why sin bothers us so much. The Holy Spirit gives us peace in the fact that we are His and we should live in that peace. He has saved us forever.
The Holy Spirit lives in a Christian. In fact, a Christian isn’t a Christian at all if he doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. The Christian mind isn’t hostile toward God but wants to do what He wants, and because of this we are able to please God.
So we need two things: the desire to please God which we get when we become Christians, and the power to do what pleases Him which also comes from God through our dependence on the Holy Spirit.