Rom 8:12-14 “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
In verse eleven, Paul tells us that the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in us. Not only does that Spirit dwell in us, but it quickens these mortal bodies. The scripture plainly tells us that in the final resurrection this mortal will put on immortality. Our mortal bodies are changed to immortal; it is not just the quickening of these mortal bodies.
The present indwelling of the Spirit quickens these mortal bodies that we live in here. We are quickened (given vitality) to live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are a spiritual house of God built up of lively (quickened) stones. We are sure of the resurrection because we know who the resurrection is.
For this reason, we are not indebted to the carnal nature. We no longer find joy in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life because these things are not godly (1 John 2:16). When the Spirit begins to dwell in us, we can no longer find joy in satisfying the flesh. By God’s grace, we realize that we owe the flesh nothing.
We have always belonged to God in His mind and purpose. He refused to allow anything to pluck us from His hand. He sent His only begotten Son to deliver us from the law of sin and death (which He did on the cross). He sent His Spirit to dwell in us that we might be made alive to this blessed truth.
The work of Christ in redemption is sure and unchangeable. How we live out our lives does not affect the redemptive work of Jesus. It does affect whether we live in the joy of His salvation. After being born of the Spirit, those things that we once thought we life to us become death instead.
We find no more joy in the things we once loved. Instead, we find that pursuing those things kills us to the joy and peace that exists in Jesus. We cannot destroy (mortify) the deeds of the flesh (body) by depending on ourselves. Laying aside the malice and guile of this world can only be done through the Spirit.
When we, through the Spirit, kill the lust of the flesh, we find that we are able to live. If we belong to Jesus we have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24). Since we understand that we are saved by grace and not by works, we cannot interpret this to mean that our eternal destiny is in our hands. Instead, we are being instructed in obedience to the things of God while on our journey here.
If we are led by the Spirit of God, we are the sons (children) of God. I believe this is more than a recognition of Christ’s accomplishment on the cross. In 1 John 3:1 we are told to consider the manner (what sort) of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called (bidden to come forth) the sons (children) of God. We are eternally God’s children by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We are manifestly God’s children when we mortify the deeds of the body and walk according to the Spirit here in this world.
May God give us the grace to understand that we are His adoptive children for all eternity, and that He has reserved to Himself a remnant to bear witness of Him in this world!