Blake Allen, Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor, LHBC

Romans 8:12-17

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. “17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

I was watching a show the other day. And in this show, a man was on trial. And just before he was about to be pronounced guilty for a crime, a witness burst open the courtroom doors with new evidence that the man was not guilty. And because of the witness’ testimony, the accusation and case man was dismissed. The man was free to go.. 

Listen you and I have been put on trial for our sin and worldly living. But Christ traded His righteousness for our condemnation, and we have been made not guilty. And the Spirit has burst open the courtroom doors as a witness with the evidence confirming this reality. We have been deemed justified and are able to walk in freedom. This is the point of Romans 8:12-17. And because of this reality, we are able to live the Spirit-filled life. 

In Romans 8:12-17, Paul is writing to inform us of our obligation to the Spirit to live the Spirit-filled life. When you put your faith in Jesus, you are not the same person you once were. Your desires change. Your motives change. Your purpose changes. We no longer live for ourselves. We live for God. We owe the flesh nothing. The flesh leads us to sin. Sin makes us miserable. It leads us to brokenness. It does not satisfy us. It leads us to destruction. It will destroy your life. And it will lead you to eternal separation from God if you embrace it rather than Christ. So we do not live for the flesh that leads us on these paths. 

And yet, some many professing to follow Jesus are living as they are enslaved to sin. Occupied with fleshly living. So many are finding their identity in the wrong things. Your identity is not in how many followers you have on tic tok or Instagram. Your identity is not found in dating relationships. Your identity is not found in sports. Your identity is not found in academic success. Your identity is not to be found in possessions or money. Your identity as a believer is in Christ and Christ alone. Life is not about fulfilling our desires. It is not about how much money we can amass, what platforms we can have, driving the nicest cars or being popular. In Christ, we are to live the Spirit-filled life. 

You will live either eternally with God or eternally apart from God after this life passes. And you choose now how you will live then. If you are okay living your life without God instead of for God, then you will spend eternity apart from God when you die. You must kill sin in your life because if you don’t you will die eternally separated from God. 

In other words, you are in the fight of your life. And your opponent is sin. And in this fight, you will either end sin or sin will end you. And your opponent will lure you, entice you, make you think it is your friend when it is really your foe. It will tell you lies and try to get you to buy into them. It will say you will be happier. You will have more pleasure. You will have more fun and enjoy life more. But you must not believe its lies. Sin hurts; it does not help. 

By the Spirit, you must put to death the deeds of the body. You must kill sin before it kills you. How do you kill sin? Instead of believing its lies, you believe truth. You believe the word of God which is the sword of the Spirit. You pick up your sword in faith and strike down sin. You trust the word of God and have faith. You believe, trust, and follow God’s word and instruction for your life. 

In other words, you trust completely in God when He says His way is better than the worlds. You trust that living a godly life for Him is better and more satisfying than living a sinful and worldly life. For example: 

When God says: Be free from the love of money: Instead pursuing success and wealth, you pursue Him and believe His word when He says He provide what you need. Why? Because you trust God’s way is better. 

When God says: Do not commit adultery or lust, you stay away from pornography, adulterous living, cohabitation, and intimacy outside the confines of marriage. Why? Because you trust God’s way is better.

When God says: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, you don’t seek vengeance or respond to insults or attacks with insults or attacks. You pray for them. Why? Because you trust God’s way is better. 

When God says: Do not have any idols before me, you do not find your identity in fame, platforms, influencers, relationships, etc. You find your identity in Christ. Why? Because you trust God’s way is better. 

When God says: Endure persecution as a believer, you do not try to fit in with the world or cool peeps practicing sin. You don’t not compromise yourself or your beliefs in order to please others or fit in with the majority. You stand by your convictions not matter if that means being made fun of, mocked, or disliked by the world. Why? Because you trust God’s way is better. 

And it doesn’t matter what your friends or the rest of the world is doing, you choose to live your life for God. If you live in fleshly ways, then you are not embracing the Christian life. You must embrace your new identity in Christ by being influenced by the Spirit. 

God empowers believers through the Spirit to live a godly life.If you live for God today, now, in this life, then you will spend eternity with God in the life to come. And the way you are able to live for God today starts with confessing and believing upon Jesus who cleanses you from all your sins, and then, by living a godly life for Him through the Holy Spirit who controls and directs your life. In other words, after you are saved, the Holy Spirit guides us in this life and you follow His guidance. The Holy Spirit helps you to live a godly life. So, embrace the Spirit-filled life. 


Dear Heavenly Father, help us to live the Spirit-filled life, knowing the Spirit will bear witness to our life of faith. May we live out our belief by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen!


Isaiah 6:8

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”