Here, Paul contrasts the life of our bodies with the life of our spirits. He complains that we care too much about the lives of these weak bodies: our desires, emotions, fears and ambitions. Because of that, we allow sin (our own wrong and evil attitudes and actions) to rule our lives. It is as if we have sold ourselves as slaves. We lose even the freedom to do what we know to be right and good.
Perhaps we expect Godís law to help us in this situation. When we are trying to do good things, we do not expect its judgement to be against us. However, while our attention remains on the life of our bodies, its judgement must be against our evil deeds.
That is because Godís law is not just for our bodies, but also for our spirits. That statement may surprise us. Our rulers make laws to tell us what we may, or may not do with our bodies. However, we use Godís law wrongly when we are only trying to control the actions of our bodies (Colossians 2:20-23). God does not just want to change our lives here on earth. God wants to change our lives for all time, and in the future world too (8:14-21).
That is why God wants to free us completely from the power of sin. That is why we must not live merely for the benefit of our bodies, but for our spirits (8:12-13). We cannot free ourselves from the power of sin by mere human efforts to follow rules and commands. We need Godís Holy Spirit to work in our lives (8:9-11). God did not give his law in order to control us by its rules. God gave it so that it could lead us into a right relationship with himself (Galatians 3:21-24).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.