“Therefore [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live and walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and death.”
– Romans 8:1-2
Because of the sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross, we have the opportunity to be free from the law of sin and death. However, simply having the knowledge that Christ died for us does not free us from condemnation. We have to act on our faith and walk according to the Spirit. It is only when we have accepted the free gift of salvation and cultivated a relationship with Him that we can be transformed from our old sinful nature into the new creation that God desires us to be.
Wouldn’t it be nice if as soon as we accepted Jesus into our hearts, all of our old sinful nature was just gone? Yes, our past sins are forgiven but our fleshly sinful tendencies are still there because we are still flesh and blood. We have to train ourselves through the Word of God to learn a new standard of living through the Spirit, leaving behind our old selfish, sinful, worldly ways. Romans 8:12 says, “…we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.” We need to be able to recognize when our flesh desires something that our Spirit does not need, and cut it off at the source.
Being a follower of Christ means that we live by higher standards. Our perverse, sinful, lustful, selfish, evil flesh does not get to tell us what to do anymore! The world’s standards say, “YOLO, do whatever makes you happy!” The people around us will justify drinking, partying, premarital sex, drugs, lying, cheating, abortion, and so many other sinful deeds simply on the basis of doing what they feel like doing.
That is what being controlled and obligated to your carnal nature looks like. People simply don’t know any other way, or are purposefully choosing the wrong path. Either way, the world does what their flesh tells them to do. We don’t need to make the same mistakes, because we have been set free from that very obligation! We now have the freedom to live a life that brings glory and honor to God. Verse 13 says, “For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.”
If you find it difficult to separate yourself from worldly standards in any area, big or small, make this confession of faith today. I believe that God wants to give you a revelation in your heart to help you finally realize that you no longer have to struggle, but that you can walk in His freedom.
Confession for today: “Lord God, forgive me for walking in my flesh. Today, I confess that through the power of the Holy Spirit I will habitually put to death the evil deeds prompted by my flesh. Thank you for helping me to realize when my flesh is desiring to do something that does not line up with Your Word and Your plan for my life, so that I may stop it in its tracks. Thank You for Your Word which is my standard for living. Help me to understand it so that my mind may be renewed and that I may be transformed into the person that You have called me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let your light shine,