Put To Death The Deeds Of Your Sinful Nature
Romans 8:12-14 Saint Paul lays it all on the line - live in your sinful nature and die, put that sinful nature to death through the Spirit and live for eternity
Original image by Aaron Burden via Unsplash
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
Romans 8:12-14 NLT
Chapter 8 of Paul’s epistle to the Christians of Rome examines the contrast between a life in the Spirit and a life in the flesh. By a life in the Spirit, Paul means a life following the Spirit of God. A life in the flesh is one that is concerned only with the material and the sensual.
We see examples of those who are living in the flesh each and every day. Perhaps it’s a friend who spends all of his time obsessing over sports, or another who passes her time catching up on the latest gossip about movie and pop stars. How about that friend who just has to have a huge new truck that is bigger and faster than the one his next-door neighbor just bought? Sadly, I could write a list of more than a million things that demonstrate living in the flesh, and we need to look no further than the Bible for other examples of how obsessed humanity is with sensuality (sexual sins for the most part) and materialism.
In these three short verses, Paul lays out the options to believers. They do not have to give into their urges — nobody is forcing them to do so. If they do, there’s a very definite and final result — death. Sure, everyone dies in the flesh, but not everyone has to live in eternal separation from their Creator.
Paul states the remedy to eternal death quite simply: “by the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature.” Simple enough, right? Yet that’s the sticking point for so many people in our world who don’t want to give up doing the things that “feel good” to them.
Many people are put off by the thought of being born again in Christ because they think their lives are going to be grimly boring and uneventful afterward. Others who undergo conversion and baptism end up falling down on their faith by reverting to the same old sinful actions and thoughts that have ruled their lives. Yet the freedom gained by knowing that death will not be dark, eternal separation from the love of God should be motivation enough to seek the Holy Spirit to guide our daily lives.
I’ll end today’s lesson with a list of the attributes of those who are led by the Holy Spirit:
How does the Holy Spirit lead us?
We are led by guidance.
We are led by drawing.
We are led by governing authority.
We are led as we cooperate with the leading. “It does not say, ‘As many as are driven by the Spirit of God.’ No, the devil is a driver, and when he enters either into men or into hogs he drives them furiously. Remember how the whole herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea. Whenever you see a man fanatical and wild, whatever spirit is in him it is not the Spirit of Christ.” (Spurgeon)
Where does the Holy Spirit lead us?
He leads us to repentance.
He leads us to think little of self and much of Jesus.
He leads us into truth.
He leads us into love.
He leads us into holiness.
He leads us into usefulness.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Lord, I ask you today and every day to let your Holy Spirit lead my life despite my human tendency to sinfully obsess with material and sensual worldly things. Lead me to true repentance, to humility and a love of Jesus, to truth, love, holiness, and usefulness in your service. In the Holy Name of Jesus I pray, AMEN.
Guzik, David Text commentary on Romans 8. ©2018 David Guzik. Used with written permission of Enduring Word Ministries.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon "The New Park Street Pulpit" Volumes 1-6 and "The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit" Volumes 7-63 (Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications, 1990)