Paul is teaching Christians that they should allow God to direct their lives by his Holy Spirit (8:2-11).† Most Christians are more aware of the feelings of their own bodies than what God is doing in their spirits.† To them, it seems an uncomfortable idea to depend on God.† It is so easy for us to forget that, in fact, the whole world depends completely upon him (Acts 17:24-25; Colossians 1:15-17).
When people will not allow God to rule their lives, they give authority over their lives to something else.† When Christians do not trust God, they allow their own feelings, desires and opinions to direct their lives.† Often, they start to live in a similar manner to people who do not have a real relationship with God.† That is because they are simply following the natural reactions of their bodies in each situation.† They are not allowing God to guide them.
Some people choose to do whatever pleases them.† For that reason, they may even do things that they know to be wrong or evil.† The effect is to give sin (their own wrong and evil behaviour and attitudes) control over their life.† Paul has warned about this in chapter 6.
Other people try to control their own behaviour by strict rules.† They hope that, by that means, they can avoid wrong and evil behaviour.† Paul will show in chapter 7 why this method cannot succeed.† Really, these people are giving control over their lives to their rules, instead of to God.† When they cannot follow those rules, they too become aware of the power of sin in their lives.
Our rules may be good - but only Godís Holy Spirit can free us from the power of sin (8:2).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.