Week of November 18 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Romans 8:12-14

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  

Reflect: What are the benefits of life in the Spirit discussed in these verses?

Consider: we are not indebted to the flesh. Christians united with Christ do not have to depend on the aspirations of the flesh. Paul describes the consequences at first negatively: Christians are not obligated, like opheiletai, “debtors,” to that power. Freedom from the power of dominating sin and death through justification results in consequences for the present and eschatological existence of Christians. The new salvific situation has consequences and demands that change their relation to sarx. It is no longer the norm of Christian life. Christian life is always one that is indebted, but that debt is no longer owed to “flesh”; it is, rather, owed to God and his Spirit.[1]

Respond: Why is knowing the constant presence of God’s Spirit a powerful deterrent to giving in to the temptations that come with our struggle with sin? How does the Spirit help us fight our battles?

[1] Joseph A. Fitzmyer S.J., Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 33, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008), 492.