How Can I Have Victory Over Sin? – Romans 8:12-13

In Romans, Paul talks about justification, sanctification, and glorification. Jesus came to free us from the penalty of sin (immediately), the power of sin (progressively), and presence of sin (ultimately). We have been saved from the penalty of sin. We are being saved from the power of sin. We will one day be saved from the presence of sin. Today’s verses deal with the present. We will never be able to completely destroy the flesh (old sinful nature) in this life. The only way we can destroy the deeds of the flesh, the power of sin, is through the power of the Spirit.

Living for God is not an obligation, but a desire. It is not that you “have to” attend church, read your Bible, pray, be in a group, or serve, but that you “get to” and “want to.” In Romans 8:12-13, Paul says, “So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” If you are in Christ, you will never be condemned for your sin because Jesus was condemned on the cross and paid for all our sin. Since Jesus put an end to sin on the cross you are no longer obligated to your sin nature/flesh. That is what verses 6-13 are about. The cross releases you from the penalty of sin. The resurrection releases you from the power of sin. Until you see Jesus face to face, you are going to struggle with sin, and sin will always be looking for an opportunity to destroy you. You must always be killing sin, or it will be killing you! How do we put sin to death through the Spirit?

Pray and Confess

You either confess your sin or you try to cover and hide your sin. Look at what Proverbs 28:13, James 5:16, and 1 John 1:9 have to say about confession. This does not mean to tell everyone everything, spill your guts, or put it on social media. Tell a trusted friend/group.

Apply the Scriptures

Jesus overcame Satan and temptation with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. He constantly said, “It is written.” The Psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11).

Walk in the Spirit

The Christian life is referred to as a walk. Look at just a few examples from Scripture:

  • You will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way walk
  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, or stands in the path of sinners or sits in the seat of the scornful.
  • Yea though I walk through the valley…
  • They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up on wings like eagles they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint.
  • We walk by faith and not by sight.
  • We walk in newness of life.

Too many people want to know, “How close can I get to the line and not cross it?” That’s the wrong question. “What is the wisest thing to do?” That’s the right question. In Galatians 5:16, Paul says, “I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh.” He goes on to say that the two are opposed to each other. In verse 22-23 he says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” In Galatians 5 you see what it looks like for your life to be godly, holy, and Christlike. Like walking, the fruit is an image seen all throughout Scripture. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Listen to the branches on the vine. They are not straining harder. Some of you are trying to live the Christian life in your own strength and you have a spiritual hernia. The branches abide in the life-source and sap of the vine. Jesus said in Matthew 7 that you will know a tree by its fruit.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Are you deciding daily? (Rom. 8:5, Are you making decisions in the flesh or in the Spirit?)
  • Are you dwelling daily? (Rom. 8:9, Does the Holy Spirit have all of you?)
  • Are you dying daily? (Rom. 8:13, Are you letting the Spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh?)


Works Cited:

Tony Evans Bible Commentary

David Jeremiah Bible Commentary

John MacArthur Romans 8

Essential Christianity Greear Ch9 Spirit


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