Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
‘Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh’ – So then, we owe the flesh nothing. It has no more control of our lives. We must not live in the sins of the flesh or we shall die. But if we will put to death the practices of the flesh by the Spirit, we shall live (8:12-13; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10).
The Flesh and Spirit life contrasted: The Fleshly Life: Minds things of flesh; carnally minded; spiritually dead; enmity to God; not subject to God; cannot be subject; cannot please God; not in the Spirit; not Christ’s; body alive to sin; spirit dead to God; no Christ; sinful life; no Holy Spirit; no physical quickening; debtor to flesh; no help from Spirit; the end is death. The Spiritual Life: minds things of Spirit (8:5); spiritually minded; alive (8:6); no enmity (8:7); subject to God; can be subjected; can please God (8:8); in the Spirit; is Christ’s (8:9); dead to sin; alive to God; Christ in life (8:10); righteous life; Spirit indwelling; a physical quickening; not a debtor (8:12); help from Spirit (8:13); the end is life.
‘Led by the Spirit of God’ – it is imperative for the child of God to be led by the Spirit, to live and walk in the Spirit, and to meditate on His Word and to obey it – if he is to have success and live a Christian life (8:1-16; Gal. 5:16-26; Jos. 1:8; Ps. 1:3-4). To be led by the Spirit one must live in obedience to all that is commanded to Christian living and behaviour in the Word of God – not to make decisions and then claimed to be led by the Spirit in them. God will not make our decisions for us, but can give us clarity when we know Him in our choices (Pro. 3:3-7).
‘The sons of God’ even so, we were children under bondage to the law until Christ came to redeem us from the law, that we might become adopted sons of God and free from the law (Gal. 4:3-7). Sons by adoption (8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5), not by begetting as in the case of Christ, who is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18).