Verse 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.
Our passage today reminds us we are to be living in the Spirit and being sensitive to His work in our lives. Paul was so adamant about our need to be living through the power of the Spirit that he used the word obligation to explain the reason we should be living according to the Spirit. The word translated obligation is the same word translated as debtor in the Lord’s Prayer. By using this word he was showing that if we are going to claim Christ’s name, we need to live in a way which brings His name the glory it deserves.
We don’t realize how much we owe Him until we come to understand just how filthy our lives are. Sure, we may have been raised in the church from the time of our birth but that doesn’t make us righteous. We often think being raised in church gives us an easier path to a deeper relationship with God and while in theory that could be right, the opposite may also be true.
The truth is we can easily take our faith for granted. We don’t give much thought to sin in our lives because we are living lives which are seem pretty clean when we compare them with those we see around us. When we see the lives some live it is easy to see ourselves as quite clean, but we don’t live in competition with the world. We aren’t in debt to them because they aren’t the standard to live by, Christ is.
The flesh is easy to live by, we just do what feels good and makes us happy. There are no thoughts as to if the actions, thoughts or words please the Lord because we are slaves to ourselves. But living in the Spirit requires us to look honestly at ourselves and think about whose we really are. If we are His, we should be seeing ourselves in light of His holiness and that should reveal just how much we owe Him.
Our obedience should not be an obligation in the sense that we want to buy our way into God’s good graces, no, our obligation is because we owe Him so much as He has paid so much for us. If we are truly thankful for what He has done for us and we understand what it means to be His and live in His Spirit, we will know our obligation to live in a way which makes Him known to all. Our obligation is to wear His name well.
Making It Personal
Do you claim Him? Are you wearing His name when walking around in the world? How obligated do you feel to the One who gave His life for you?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to be a Christian? Are there things you should be doing because you wear Jesus’ name? Why should you obey Jesus?
Father, we can never thank You enough for all You have done for us, specifically sending Jesus to die for our sins. Give us hearts which love You more than we love ourselves so we can live fully in Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.