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Monday, June 6, 2011

Romans Study #26 Romans 8:13

Nest time I'll resume the Romans Study in it's usual form,
picking up in verse 11 and going to verse 27, but this verse
deserved a study all its own!

Romans Bible Study #26
Romans 8:13
The Practical Application Verse

Romans 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. NASB

12-14So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! The Message

13For 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. Amplified

It is no exaggeration to say that Romans has been building to this point. It is no exaggeration to say that my life has been lived up till now to teach this lesson. This is the practical, “how do we make this thing called the Christian life work” verse. “by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the flesh.” This isn’t for the Christian who is OK with his walk with God. This isn’t for the one who is content with where he is at and is pretty sure he is better than most. This is the lesson for the one who is crying out, “God I’m failure, I’m letting You down, I’m letting my family down, HELP!!”

The Message translation misses it here, there is no picture of the violence that a believer is to take toward the ‘killing’ of his own flesh. This verse is giving us a key difference between life and death. It is no ‘formula,’ but a principle, and all the glory goes to God. It is a process as we have learned, but not one in which we are a helpless bystander, but a co-worker with God. By His Spirit we are given a scripture to fill our mind with. We violently wrap our mind around the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and cling to it. With every choice to fix our mind on the truth, we are defeating the enemy. We are shown a truth and we believe in it. In the same way “you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” We saw the truth and we believed in Him. Now a scripture is revealed to us by the Spirit that applies to our situation and we believe it and act upon it. His power is released in the first instance to save, and in this instance to continue the violent process of sanctification.

So as we try to make this verse practical we look back a couple verses in Romans and see that we are to set our minds on the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:5,6 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
What are the things of the Spirit? That phrase “the things of the Spirit” is used one other time by Paul.
1 Corin. 2:13,14 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
This would answer the question what are the things of the Spirit, by saying they are the words of God, in the Bible, and on the tongue of our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are speaking God’s truth to us.

Two scriptures to back up where I am going with this.
Matthew 11:12
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”
“But if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body” The best selling “guy” movies have this premise, a heroic tale of a man who uses violence to overcome an enemy that is out to destroy, him and his family. This is easily translated to the Christian life. It can be viewed, as a battle between your body/flesh/self, and the new life that God has placed in you by the Spirit. It is NOT just about what I don’t do anymore. It is a positive life change, what I do now is “by the Spirit.” We don’t just stop lusting after other women, we learn how to love our wives and daughters and how to demonstrate to our sons, the correct attitude toward women.
We don’t just stop having angry outbursts, we model the contentment and peace of a man who knows that God is in control. 1 John 5:16
“If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.”
“The wages of sin is death” so how can there be a sin ‘not leading to death.?’ This is the sin that the Holy Spirit has not convicted that person of yet and if we try to confront it in any way other than prayer to God, we are moving ahead of the Holy Spirit and we will bring death to the situation. In the phrase, ‘putting to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit,’ by the Spirit, becomes very important. The sins we are working on, violently opposing, in our lives are the ones that the Spirit has put before us and convicted us of. They are specific and few in number.
Mine currently is stopping putting Laura down, not necessarily with words but with looks, or gestures. Also holding the boys accountable when they are being disrespectful. The first is the sin of pride and the second is laziness or sloth, the desire to not have confrontation and to just “get along.” The scriptures that I believe the Spirit has equipped me with to fight the first sin are, “love is kind, love believes all things, hopes all things.” and (I picked on The Message translation earlier, now I will praise it, this translation of the husbands lover your wives section is terrific) Ephesians 5:25-28 “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.”The las scripture is “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” Matt. 5:22 Effectively when I put down Laura I am saying “you fool” and God has very harsh words for a person who says that. As men we are to lead, guide and protect the weaker vessel, not get puffed up that we are the stronger vessel. To love as Christ loved the Church. What a high calling. Ephesians 4:30,31 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
The scriptures for the boys are,
Ephesians 6:4
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Proverbs 4:5
“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth."
I tend to be quiet, but this says, I must speak words that will give my sons wisdom and understanding. They should benefit from what I know, even if at first it appears they are doing the opposite. That does not give me the right to ‘abandon my post’ which I have done in the past.
It is clear that Romans 8:13 is telling us to put to death. The only offensive weapon in the armor of the Spirit is the sword. So the Spirit and the Word work together to bring about the change in me the same as they did when I was born again.
Col. 2:6 “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,"
Gal 3:5 “So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?"
Romans 10:17
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
The Gal. and Rom. scriptures emphasize hearing and the word for ‘word’ in the second one is Rhema which is the now word, the revealed word, made real to you in that moment. So other believers can definitely be used by God to speak a scripture into our lives that we can then use to fight against the sin. As we confess our faults to one another, God may open a scripture to us that can then be our “fighter verse” against the deeds of the body. Two of the scriptures emphasize that we are ‘hearing’ the word, so we need to be faithful to share our struggles with others and be willing to ‘hear.'
This next scripture demonstrates the extreme nature of the battle that we are in.
2 Samuel 23:9 and after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had withdrawn. 10 He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the LORD brought about a great victory that day;
May we be like Eleazar, clinging to the sword of the Spirit, by the power of the Spirt until the LORD brings about a great victory.

James speaks of the ‘method of sin.' James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

We can by the power of the Spirit stop this ‘method’ in its infancy using these truths.
Sin is never completely defeated in our lives, but we are not without our defenses. We are not helpless against it, “that’s just the way I am,” does not cut it.

Romans 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. NASB

This is not a method or formula, but a living and active, conversation with the living God. He convicts us of a sin, we cry out for help, He gives a specific scripture, either through our own reading of the word or through a brother.
We desperately cling to that word and look for the Spirit of God to make it real in our lives.
Genesis 4:7
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
This is the first occurrence of the word sin in the Bible, and the instruction from God to Cain was “you must master it.”

Romans 6:14
“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
This verse in Romans gives us hope that grace is the path to mastering sin. And Romans 8:13 is the paradoxical answer to the question how? The Spirit and your cooperation with the Spirit and the word. We are effectively killing that which is already dead. This time on earth has a number of purposes but one of them is to demonstrate that the truth of God, can change a man.

This lines up perfectly with the John Bevere teaching and Jerry’s teaching on the ‘face of grace.’ We can live victoriously by grace.

Ephesians 4:20-24 “But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Gal 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

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