“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.” Romans 8:13
Live for flesh=death
Kill the flesh=life
The above is Paul’s argument from our verse. The flesh is the sinful nature inhabiting every human being. The end of those who live as servants of the flesh will be an eternal death. And even those who are inhabited by the Holy Spirit, when we yield to our flesh, we experience something of a temporary death. God would have us see sin as ugly as it is. Death, dying, destruction, loss, ruin should be synonyms that pop up on our mind’s radar in regards to sin.
The flipside of the coin, and paradoxically, is that it takes some death to really live. When the Spirit enters the heart of sinner, a death to sin occurs as its dominating reign is overcome. This dying process has to continue every day. The more that we die to our sins, the more that we experience the blessed life of God within. By the power of the Spirit, we must kill off our pride, complaining, rebellion, anger, greed, harsh words and various idolatries.
What are some practical helps to experience more “kill the flesh=life”?
1. The Word of God. This is Holy Spirit’s word and He works through it. Daily reading, meditation. Memorizing. Hearing the word. Thoughtfully trying to apply God’s word to our thinking and behavior.
2. Prayer. Battling not on our own strength, but a continual and genuine petitioning God for grace.
3. Making sin uncomfortable. Since we still have a sinful nature, we will not live a day without sinful thoughts, desires and failures. But, we don’t have to nourish or help sin. Instead of allowing a sinful thought to grow in your mind, immediate confession and turning away is our weapon.
4. Replace with righteousness. When temptations to worry and fear come, for example, replace those with reminding yourself of God’s goodness, power and promises to you. Battle selfishness with an active effort to think of, pray for and practically minister to someone else.
This list is not exhaustive, but it is a major part of God’s way to daily put sin to death, in order to experience more of the life of God.