Life or Death (Romans 8:13)

“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.” (Romans 8:13)

This verse scares me. It highlights the radical difference between the life lived in the flesh and the life lived by the Spirit. One ends in death, and the other in life. One leads to eternal separation from God, and the other leads to eternal life with the Father in heaven.

So why does this verse scare me? I love Jesus Christ, I have placed my faith in him, and Jesus is Lord of my life. But, I still battle with my sinful nature. My heart of stone has been changed by Jesus Christ, yet I still struggle with sin. The Holy Spirit lives in me, yet I stumble.

This verse also encourages me. We all have a sinful nature, but we do not need to live by it. A heart that has been truly transformed by Jesus will live by the Spirit and put to death the deeds of the flesh. Although we will battle our flesh here on earth, a genuine Christian can anticipate a day when there is no more sin, no more sadness, and no more trials. We will experience the beautiful presence of God forever.

Be warned by this verse. Do not live according to the flesh. 

Be encouraged by this verse. Live by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the flesh, and anticipated eternal life with our Heavenly Father.

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