Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation — but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
— Romans 8:12-13 NIV
In Romans 7:5, Paul made it clear that when he said "flesh,"
he was talking about "sinful passions."
Then, in today's verses, three things capture my attention:
- First, notice the word "obligation" — I don't owe my fleshly or sinful desires anything! My body will die; it will rot and turn to dust, and the desires of the flesh will go the way of my body.
- Second, if I live by the mandates of fleshly addictions and lustful passions, I will die the eternal death. The three words, "you will die," certainly should cause me to consider how I am living.
- A third phrase captures my attention even more since it gives me the solution to my potential problem: "by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body."
The Holy Spirit, God's Holy Fire burning inside of me, has the power to purify and redeem my body so that it can be used to glorify God who bought me at a great price and made someone holy and precious out of me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)! The result then is that I will live eternally.
O Holy Spirit, purify my heart and redeem my physical body to be a place of honor and glory for God, the Father. Empower me to put to death my desires that have been kidnapped by the evil one, my desires to do wrong. Redeem my motives and my actions so that Jesus may come to life in me as I live the life the Father has for me. I ask this to your glory, O God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.