FOR if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. ” – {v 13-14}

“FOR,” is a term of explanation in this verse to us. Pause and think and look at what the Holy Spirit is seeking to explain to us. In context we need to first read verse 13 which says, “for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Verse 14 shows us WHY we live. By putting to death by the power of the Holy Spirit through the “Precious and magnificent promises,” God has provided for us along with Divine power  for everything pertaining to life and Godliness…through the true knowledge of Him -{Read 2 Peter 1:3-4}.

His Power, His Promises enabling us to follow and apply His Word to our attitude and actions!

Being “LED by the Spirit” is referring to behavior, our character, not about where should I go to school, who should I marry, what job should I take, or to say “I was led to share with that person.”  He can show us that in different ways but here  to be true to the context, it speaks to us of  our character! Our view towards sin has changed and our power is Heavenly. It is the Holy Spirit who instructs, empowers us through His Word to win the fight over sin that tempts us, to conform us into the image of Christ.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to a life of obedience to God!

Being led”(ago) means to “to direct the movement of an object from one position to another” (BDAG) and here is used in the present tense which signifies continuously and the passive voice underscores the fact that the leading is the result of a force, power or source extrinsic to ourselves, i.e., the Holy Spirit. So what is the believer’s role? We need to be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit. This calls for a Christ-like attitude of “not my will be done but thine,” a prayerful attitude of God’s “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10)-” – {preceptaustin commentries}

The evidence here that we are “children of God,” and being “led by the Spirit,” is that we war against our sin.  Now, compare that to verse 5. “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…” Their minds and lives are fixated with this world system and what it offers, not God’s and the evidence is where their mind is! They live for this earth. Contrast that with the believers ability and their new mind set. “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” -{Col 3:1-3}.

Those “led by the Spirit,” think and live for His Kingdom and by His Holy Spirit and His Word He enables us to win our battles with sin. We are not powerless we have the power of His Word, “The Sword of The Spirit” to apply when tempted to sin against God.

The Spirit leads by gently instructing to enlighten, persuade and empower us.  At times He brings HIS Word back to our remembrance. Or He may have others share with us. Or something we have read or heard He uses.- {Read John 14:26; Col 3;16}. He will not force us, or beat us into submission. He can be “grieved,” by us through our disobedience, such as wrong attitudes or actions.-{Read Ephesians 4:26-31}. You can only hurt the one who loves you. And He loves us. Our part is to willingly submit to Him and His Word to instruct and empower us. We must have a teachable heart in order to be “led.” For God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.-{1 Peter 5:5-6}.

Those who are being LED BY THE SPIRIT are those whom Paul describes in the chapter  as those who are

  1. In “Christ Jesus.” – v 1
  2. Walk according to the Spirit – v 4
  3. Indwelt by the Spirit -v 9,11
  4. Are Putting to death the deeds of the body – v 13.

These are characterized of all those who are His Children. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. ” – V14.

In order to be “Led” implies following and the way we follow is in submission to Him and His Word. Applying it by His power to our lives! “Led,” the word is a verb. He is constantly leading us and we are constantly to follow His direction in His Word! Our submission is not an issue of legalism -“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.”-{Gal 5:18}. Our submission is an issue of love to Him who first loved us and we can no more obey in our own strength than we can create a galaxy and hang it in outer space! God works in us both to desire and do for His good pleasure.-{Read Phil 2:13}. He empowers us and gives us precious and magnificent promises to apply, to help us, guide us!-{Read 2 Peter 1:3-4; John 16;13}.


He leads us through the spiritual freedom we already have In Christ…to love others. Consider Galatians 5:13-14-  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

If we have a critical attitude towards someone we can not selflessly love. The Holy Spirit convicts us and leads us to repent of that sin and replace it with His goal for our spiritual freedom which in these verses are through our freedom use it to serve, prefer others! This is one way we are putting to death the things that He is opposed to. In adopting a critical attitude which is a choice as we have been freed from that slavery to sin. That is the “old pattern” of thinking you do not have to embrace that way any longer. As the verse teach’s, it is not enough to stop sinning such as STOP being critical but to replace it with START Loving others, why? Because this is God’s will for you and me, and you and me, now have the Power “In Christ!” This is one way we are led by the Spirit that affects our thinking and actions of those who have been liberated from sin and free to love others for Jesus sake! – { Read 2 Cor 4:5}. This is what is known as progressive sanctification. We are being changed, conformed into the image of Christ in our thinking, motivations and doings. The Spirit of God leads us into Christ-likeness!

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”-{Gal 5;16}.