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SALVATION QUESTION 117
Romans 8:13 speaks of a person living after the flesh and dying. Is this an unsaved person?
Here is the verse: "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Romans 8:13.
It would be rather difficult to follow the context of the chapter and believe this is anyone else but one of "the saints at Rome." I know there are others who hold this to be an unsaved person, mainly because of the word "die." In Romans 8:8 he speaks of, (not to), an unsaved person, only to contrast it with Romans 8:9 in telling them they are not "in the flesh," like the unsaved. Romans 8:12, "Therefore, brethren, WE are debtors..." the words "brethren and we" makes it clear that he is speaking to and about Christians. Romans 8:13 follows, "For if "YE"...the "ye" refers back to the brethren of Romans 8:12, He used "we" in Romans 8:12, because it includes himself, but in Romans 8:13 the "ye" excludes himself and only refers to the Christians he is writing to.
Another reason this could not be an unsaved person. An unsaved person cannot, and are not told to, "mortify the deeds of the body." They are totally unable to do anything to please God. Romans 8:8 They are not "living after the flesh," but "in the flesh." The words "shall die," have two meanings to a Christian. To live after the flesh is to die out to the things of the Lord.
"A Christian widow," in 1 Timothy 5:6, who lives in pleasure is DEAD while she LIVETH. It is her living after the flesh, which has put her in the place of those who are "dead" to the things of the Lord.
Secondly, it could mean that if they were to continue in this manner of life they would die physically. (James 5:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:5). Many of the Corinthians were living after the flesh. (1 Corinthians 11:29-32). They were chastised by the Lord. Some were "weak, and sickly among you, and many sleep (die)." 1 Corinthians 11:30.
The Lord will not allow a Christian to habitually continue in unconfessed sins. "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth ever son whom He receiveth." Hebrews 12:6.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen