Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.Romans 8:12-14
The word that begins this verse, “Therefore”, indicates that what is being said is based on what has been said previously. Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit had just written something incredibly profound:
But ye 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. (10) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) 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 dwelleth in you.Romans 8:9-11
Just a few thoughts on this text:
- There is a war in the inner man of the believer between our temporal flesh and the Spirit that now lives in us.
- If you are a believer then you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. If you do not have the Holy Spirit’s indwelling then you are not a believer.
- If the Spirit is in us then the flesh is dead, and the Spirit is life.
- The Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will raise to life our mortal bodies to help us fight sin in our lives.
On this basis Paul says we do not owe our flesh anything. We no longer have to serve our flesh if we know Christ as Savior and have His Spirit living inside of us. The Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is available to us and in us to mortify, or put to death, the sins of the body. This brings life. Paul had already stated in verse 6:
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.Romans 8:6
He is not saying that you have to do these things so that you will become saved, but rather that this happening in and through you indicate whether you are saved. This is indicated in verse 14.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.Romans 8:14
If we know Christ as our Savior we have the Spirit of God living inside of us. We know longer owe our pleasure seeking, sin seeking bodies anything. We are not a slave to the evil desires of our bodies. We have the ultimate resource in the person of the Holy Spirit that indwells us. We have the Author of the Scripture, the Resurrector of Christ, the third person of the Trinity living inside of us to help us mortify the deeds of the flesh, become spiritually minded, and be lead to do His will recorded in His Word.
So, here are some questions:
- Is God’s Spirit living in you? Are you saved? Have you repented of Your sin and turned to Christ in Faith?
- Are you acting as if you owe your flesh something?
- Are you being lead by the Spirit of God on a daily basis, mortifying the deeds of the flesh?
Ask God to help you be controlled by His Spirit today.
Confess and forsake sin.