… the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has feed you from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:2

+ + +

These are the words of St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans.  Romans, Chapter 8, verses 1-13 are perhaps, in our time today, among the most useful and significant passages in the New Testament you can read.

In this Letter, St. Paul reminds us that law “weakened by the flesh” was “powerless” to free us from sin or death.  That is, that humans governed by law alone are, as mortal humans, full of fears, and doubts, passions and desires and will not adhere to the law as given and understood.

This, according to St. Paul, is precisely why God sent His Son to us in the flesh so we may know that through Him we can be freed of sin and death, made whole in belief in Him. Indeed, that in Christ, says St. Paul – as did Jesus, the law is fulfilled – for our wholeness is in living in and according to the spirit, not in and according to the flesh.

In effect, St. Paul reminds us the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

This, according to St. Paul, is so because those who live in the flesh, think only of the flesh and a concern for the flesh is a concern for death, for the flesh dies while the Spirit does not.

He adds, that the concern for the flesh is “hostility toward God,” for God is of the Spirit, not the flesh and the flesh cannot submit to the law of God.

Yes, reason (being of the flesh) is no substitute for God and what is divine and supernatural.  I add, as a lawyer, this is why the law and education have no primacy over God – no matter what the secularists and their politicians say.

St. Paul reminds us that we are “in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in (us).”  And he notes that if Christ is within you, you belong to God, and you are alive and freed from the sin and ways of the flesh.

Flesh versus the Spirit.  This is the battle today.  Think of our materialism, possessions, our quest for financial security.  Think of the focus on “health care” and the body.  Think as well of abortion and contraception.  Likewise of all the claims regarding sexual dispositions and the attacks on marriage.  And on how everything is political, and so little is about morality and honor and mental, emotional, social and interpersonal well-being. Think, too, about the assault on family, and religion and faith.  And the racial politics which divides us and re-institutes racial conflict.

Our problems?  They tell us we are living in the flesh and demonstrate that life in the flesh and in the law absent the primacy of God is death, and sin, and destruction.

It’s not that difficult to understand, folks.

… if you live according to the flesh, you will die …

Rom 8:13