Paul is finishing his discussion of the power of sin (our wrong and evil behaviour and attitudes) in our lives. So here he briefly explains the subjects that he has discussed.
In verse 12, Paul uses a debt as a word-picture, to mean our duties. In this life, Christians, like everyone else, have many different duties, and many debts to pay (13:6-7). Christ used those debts as a word-picture for the much greater duty that we have towards God (Matthew 18:21-35).
So, our natural desires and feelings may seem to have a very strong claim on our lives. However, when those desires and feelings are wrong, we must not allow them to direct our lives. Instead we must remember our greater duty to God to live as his Spirit directs us.
Real life is not to live in the way that pleases us. In other words, the purpose of life is not to satisfy our own desires and feelings. Christ promises his people life that never ends (John 3:16; John 10:10; John 11:25-26). Our own desires and feelings cannot give us that kind of life (John 4:13-14). That kind of life can only come from Godís Spirit (John 7:37-39).
The children of God are the people who have accepted Christ into their lives (John 1:12-13). Godís Spirit lives in them (8:9), and he guides and directs them (8:14). They must not depend upon themselves and upon their own efforts (4:1-6). Instead, they must believe and trust God (Hebrews 11:6). In that way, they allow his Holy Spirit to work in their lives.
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© 2017, Keith Simons.