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Romans 8:13 – dying of living?

26-05-2021 - Posted by Hans

For if you are living in accord with flesh, you are about to be dying. Yet if, in spirit you are putting the practices of the body to death, you will be living.

The phrase “living in accord with flesh” in this verse corresponds to “the practices of the body.” Where man does what the impulses of the body tell him, he degrades to the level of an animal. With the difference that an animal cannot do otherwise while a human being is supposed to be more. Man is distinguished from animals in that he is endowed with spirit.

The concepts of “dying” and “killing the practices of the body” are used here in a figurative sense. For example, as we speak of “killing time.” A person who lives “in accord with flesh” is not really alive. Only the one who is spirit-oriented lives. Spirit here means much more than just mind. Spirit refers to the spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead (: 11). It speaks of Divine power and resurrection life.

It is this spirit-orientation that kills “the practices of the body”. (Gal. 5:19). The idea here is not that these practices are fought but are ignored. Being spirit-oriented is “killing” for “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19).