Breathed-out through the Apostle Paul…..
Romans 8:7–8 (ESV)
7 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. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Ripped out of context, you may say? Not hardly. Here’s the context:
Romans 8:1–11 (ESV)
Life in the Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 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. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
The passage addresses the contrast between the unregenerate person (whose mind is “set on the flesh”) and the regenerate person (whose mind is set on the Spirit), along with the contrast between the person who is dead and the person who has life. Here, God says the unregenerate person not only does not obey God, he cannot obey God. If he cannot obey God, he thus cannot – by a mere act of his “will” – do what God commands. His will in that case is not “free,” but in bondage, as Jesus clearly stated to his audience in John 8. That audience didn’t like hearing they didn’t have “free will” anymore than today’s person likes to hear it, eh?