12So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13For 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.
What is sanctification? How is the Christian moved toward greater holiness and away from sin? In this sermon on Romans 8:12–13 titled “A Call for Action,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that Paul has been referencing the process of sanctification throughout the book of Romans but specifically addresses the theology of it in this passage. While Romans 7 is a battlefield for a Christian’s flesh and spirit, Romans 8 shows the victory that they have in Christ. While there is a war that wages in mortal bodies, God always provides a way for a Christian not to sin. A Christian is immediately released from the reign of sin by giving it over to Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that it is a matter of their own actions and Christ does the rest. If they live by the flesh, they will die by the flesh. However, if they live by the Spirit, they are able to continually mortify their flesh and give it over to Christ. Paul is phrasing this using the present tense, meaning that this is a process where one must continually be active. Christians can rejoice that they are no longer under the obligation of the flesh and that Christ has given the Holy Spirit as their helper.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.