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Those who cling to the dogma of "once saved, always saved" deny this, of course. Moo says he favors the "Calvinist" interpretation, i. He is rather saying that a person whose life is characterized by the things of the flesh is not a true Christian and is spiritually dead. He is not speaking of an anonymous "anyone" v.
Of course it mitigates the seriousness of the warning!
If living according to the flesh is impossible for Christians, then this "warning" is meaningless to the very ones to whom it is addressed, and it can be totally ignored. The warning is serious and relevant: if believers continue to live according to the flesh, they will die.
But the warning is balanced by a glorious promise This is the Christian's other possibility. He can continue to live the fleshly lifestyle, yes and die! These and any other sins are to be "put to death," mortified KJV , killed. This is the opposite of living according to the flesh Like Paul, we must beat or buffet our bodies and make them our slaves 1 Cor , gaining control over our passions We must note here again the Christian's personal responsibility for this discipline: "if The key to victory lies in these three words: " by the Spirit "!
The Spirit's power alone ensures victory in our battle against sin; this is why he lives within us. He gives us the power to put sin to death The promise to those who succeed, by the Spirit, is eternal life: "You will live.
Paul is drawing an inference therefore from verses 5—11; since we have the Spirit in us, we have a new obligation , and this obligation is not to the flesh, to live according to it. The obligation has no debt or duty to obey the flesh. Here we have a new metaphor for sin and the flesh, a kind of loan shark demanding payback. In the ancient world, debts often led to slavery, so this may be connected to sin as enslavement in — While we live fleshly lives and are subject to fleshly temptations , we owe the flesh nothing and do not have to live according to it.
This means that the Christian has been set free from sin and the flesh by Christ , 22 , achieved by dying to it in Christ —4, Paul fails to complete the thought in verse 12 by discussing our obligation to the Spirit but instead digresses to give a warning concerning the flesh. He makes this more direct by shifting to you: if you live according to the flesh, you will [certainly] die the Greek construction, "about to die," stresses the certainty of it.
The death here is not the physical death of verse 10 but the broader spiritual and eternal death that is the lot of those who reject God and Christ compare Gal , "the one who sows to please the flesh Paul wants his readers to understand the seriousness of giving in to the dictates of the flesh.
It is absolutely imperative to refuse to surrender to the flesh: one's eternal destiny is at stake. The answer of course is the Holy Spirit, through whom you put to death the misdeeds of the body. Here the believer dies to the flesh. Believers who live the Christian life in their own strength utterly fail, in the Spirit they are able to mortify the flesh and find victory , "more than conquerors.
The Christian grows in holiness and defeats sin only when following the Spirit's leading and depending on the Spirit's empowering.
It is interesting that Paul says the misdeeds of the body , almost equating the body with the flesh. Most likely as in vv. But when Christians heed the Spirit and die to these fleshly deeds, they will live , parallel to die in verse 13 and referring to eternal life in this case not present life but future life. The first summary conclusion is this: We are no longer obligated to the flesh. We owe the flesh nothing. We do not have to live according to its impulses.
The flesh is still "there" with its lusts. But we do not have to obey it. Its hold is broken. A Destiny Considered verse 13a. It is an axiom much like Romans "The wages of sin is death. Paul's words apply first to any reader who is living according to the impulses of the flesh.
And the tragedy of life is to fail in that test and so fail to qualify to return in glory to our heavenly home. Is This a Great Game, or What? Product Highlights Louis Cardinals, to set a Cardinals all-time record by striking out seven batters in a row. He also confronts his demons, tackling the ugly truths about his gambling and his behavior.
Any such reader had better consider that eternal death is his certain destiny. Paul's words do apply to all believers as a warning. True, the believer has been freed from the hold flesh had over him. The sinful body has been dethroned. Another master has taken control. He no longer has to heed the call of flesh and sin. But can he heed that call? Indeed—as we all know from tragic experience—he can. The believer too needs the warning then that to obey the flesh leads ultimately to death.
If the believer allow flesh's impulses to get the upper hand, again he faces the awful prospect of apostasy and eternal death cf. The believer then must be on guard. A Death Commanded verse 13b. And here is the very method by which the believer can combat the tug of the flesh and keep victory he has been granted by the Holy Spirit.
He must "mortify" put to death the deeds of the body. So long as he continues thus, life, not death, is his destiny. The sinful body has already been dethroned; its chains of mastery over us broken by the power of Christ and presence of the Spirit. Thus all the believer needs to do is "kill" each and every impulse that comes from the flesh as it arises. Were the believer still alone and dependent on his own energy, he could not do this.
But "through the Spirit" who lives within him he can.
A new master lives within. He is the divine Spirit. You own Him complete obedience. He will aid you in resisting and in mortifying each impulse of the flesh. By that method you can have everyday victory and live for God, walking after the Spirit. For Paul assumes throughout that his readers are already justified, are adopted as sons and heirs of God, and possess the Spirit of God as a firstfruit of their inheritance: see chapters —11; , 22; , 15, 16, Yet he solemnly and emphatically warns them that unless they continue in the kindness of God they will be cut off. This last can be no less than the punishment already inflicted on the unbelieving Jews who have been broken off, and who are held up in verse 20, 21 as a warning to the believing Gentiles.
For Paul's deep sorrow for the unbelieving Jews proves clearly that in his view they are on the way to the destruction chapter awaiting unrepentant sinners. His warning to Gentiles who now stand by faith implies clearly that unless they continue in faith they will experience a similar fate. We therefore accept the words before us in their simple and full meaning.