Romans 8:13 – What Did Paul Mean By Mortifying The Flesh and How Do We Accomplish It?

We don’t accomplish it, that’s it, it’s as simple as that and this verse, like Romans 8:1, is yet another of those Holy Scriptures that has been corrupted by the creatures of the Cainite-Judeo-Christian Religion and therefore gets miss-taught by so called ministers and pastors in the various mainstream Christian denominations (demon-inations) of The Cainite-Judeo-Christian Religion.

So let’s copy the verse in question here and analyse it in detail, for this is the only way we can come to a full understanding of what Yashua Messiah (The Lord Jesus Christ) was saying to us through Paul:

Romans 8:13 (KJV) 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. (Emphasis mine)

Now you will notice that I have written the important parts of this verse in italics, which excludes, surprise surprise, the word ‘mortify’. I have done this deliberately, because the word ‘mortify’ is THE word that mainstream Christian ‘teachers’ would, and do, focus on when teaching erroneously on this verse. Moreover, they will often try to teach YOU how to ‘mortify’ the deeds of YOUR body when, in reality, it’s none of their business and, combined with that, they don’t know how the deeds of the body are ‘mortified’ anyway, they haven’t a clue.

Let me be very specific here and say that this verse is saying much more than at first meets the eye. First of all, Paul is making a statement: If ye live after the flesh? Well, as a Christian, is that what you are doing? Are you living after the flesh? If so, why, and do you actually know what living after the flesh means? For example, is it your habit to visit the local brothel or do you have a call-girl pop round for some ‘fun and games’ on a regular basis? Are you addicted to porn? Are you kerb crawler or a pederast? When your husband has gone to work, does your lover come round? Are you a wasteful lustful shoppaholic? Do you undermine your husband’s family leadership? Do you get habitually stoned or drunk? Do you beat your wife up? Do you thrash your children for trivial misdemeanours? Do you steal from your neighbours or gossip unkindly about them without reason or without knowing them i.e. judge them? Do you pay your employees a just wage, or work them long hours for a pittance? Do you gamble? Do you fail to treat your parents with love and respect? I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture, for all these activities and attitudes would constitute “living after the flesh”. So, if, as a Christian, you are living this way then something is obviously drastically and seriously wrong. A better question would be: would a Spirit led Christian behave in any of these ways? No is the answer to that one and, let’s be clear, because not even many of the lost and unsaved would be doing these things and acting in this way either.

The thing is, is this the emphasis Paul is making here and how do we square verse 13 with all the other verses of Romans 8 which are saying something in a very different way and with a very different emphasis from verse 13, so let’s quote them here, one at a time, so that we fully understand what’s going on.

Each verse of the first half of Romans 8 is a statement of Truth, not an instruction, or a statement with any conditions attached, nor with any exhortations or commands to do things – no Commandments!!! I will therefore start with verse 1, quoting it, as it should be quoted and as explained in my earlier article: “The 2,000 Year Old Good News or 21st Century Modern News – Which Do You Believe?”

Romans 8:

Verse and statement of Truth 1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. (See verse 4 for more information)

Verse and statement of Truth 2: For The Law of The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from The Law of sin and death.

Verse and statement of Truth 3: For what The Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Verse and statement of Truth 4: That the righteousness of The Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after The Spirit. (Please note: the last part of this verse was added erroneously to verse 1, in the KJV and other translations thereby corrupting it)

Verse and statement of Truth 5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after The Spirit the things of The Spirit.

Verse and statement of Truth 6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace.

Verse and statement of Truth 7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to The Law of God, neither indeed can be.

Verse and statement of Truth 8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Verse and statement of Truth 9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in The Spirit, if so be that The Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not The Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

Verse and statement of Truth 10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but The Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Verse and statement of Truth 11: But if The Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Verse and statement of Truth 12: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Verse and a conditional remark and not a statement of Truth 13 and thereby suspicious because it contradicts all the above verses and statements of Truth: 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.

Now get this and let it sink in. If we are living after the flesh i.e. how I described above, The Holy Spirit would not even be with us – period. This is something that could not happen, for the Godhead cannot live with sin; it’s impossible. So why is this questioning statement being made?

Let’s make it clear from verse 3: “For what The Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” What does “condemned sin in the flesh” mean? I will tell you; it means sealed in the flesh or locked into the flesh of our bodies which are now totally dead in terms of sin and decaying literally towards an inevitable death. That’s if we are Baptised into Yashua Messiah’s (the Lord Jesus Christ’s) name alone and gifted with The Holy Spirit. Therefore, we, as indwelled Holy Spirit men and women, are separated from our dead bodies of sin that are literally dying, for all time. Our dying bodies which are now dead to sin, are no longer us. We are in effect two beings, one that is made alive by The Holy Spirit, a new creation, and the other that is dead to sin having been buried with Yashua Messiah in the watery grave of Baptism.

I will repeat this and note it well, for it is not us that is mortifying or putting to death our bodies for they are already slain by Baptism (death in the watery grave) and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit thereafter to empower us, so we have nothing to do, other than just be led by The Holy Spirit.

However, here is the problem, because Romans 8:13 is not saying that, what it’s saying is this: “If you live after the flesh” Hello, excuse me, but it says in verse 9: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in The Spirit, if so be that The Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not The Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” This means we cannot be living after the flesh. How’s that then, and how does that work? Easy, through our repentance and confession of sins, our baptism and the receiving of The Holy Spirit. Our bodies are now dead to sin, so how can we live any more therein or how can we now live after the flesh? Answer: you can’t, it’s impossible.

OK, we are now left with this question of “mortifying” the deeds of the body; what’s going on here, when we now know that our bodies are already mortified (dead) by dying in the watery grave and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to make us new creations. From my previous article, as mentioned earlier, which I hope you have read, we know that Romans 8:1 is a corruption in the KJV, but to what end?

Again that’s easy, for as the “Net Bible” commentators correctly state, it was corrupted because, for the translators, it smelled too much of Grace. From this example alone we should now become very suspicious of English translations of the Holy Scriptures.

Moreover, if one verse is bogus in a chapter why not another? And of course we do have another and it’s verse 13. You see, it should have been another statement of Truth spelling out our glorious saved condition under His Grace, just like all the previous twelve verses of Romans 8, but verse 13 isn’t. What I will now do is re-write it as I know Yashua Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ) through Paul would have wanted it written:

Romans 8:13 (Crosby Translation) For to live after the flesh, is death: but to live post Baptism by the indwelling power of The Holy Spirit, means automatic mortification and/or an instantaneous death to the deeds of our bodies, and we live.

Listen folks, we don’t have to do a thing, for our bodies of sin are already dead – mortified at Baptism!! Notice, too, what I have done, I have removed the pathetic hu-man element from this verse, for it has nothing to do with us, for, as stated, we mortify nothing. This is all about our willingness to be voluntarily led by Yashua Messiah via His Holy Spirit. This is something we will now want to do, if we don’t want to, then there is something seriously wrong with us and we have to start questioning whether or not we are actually Born of God (Born Again).

Furthermore, we can analyse this verse more closely, for it is very subtle in the way that it teaches ‘salvation by works’ and even blasphemes against The Holy Spirit. Notice verse 13 second part again: “But if ye through The Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Can you see it, for it’s not that easy to spot? If YOU through The Spirit!! What is this telling us? Quite simply it’s telling us that we’re in the picture, we’re in charge, for we are prompting or telling The Holy Spirit to do a little mortifying of the deeds of our bodies which includes the occasional wicked thoughts of our minds. This, too, also includes wicked thoughts that we may or may not even be aware are wicked, so how will we mortify those thoughts!!??

Look at verse 5 again: For they that are after the flesh (the lost and unsaved) do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after The Spirit the things of The Spirit. (Brackets mine) This is a statement of fact that those that are after the flesh, lust after the things of the flesh. Those that are after The Spirit lust after the things of The Spirit. I’ve used the word ‘lust’ here deliberately to show you how we are dealing with two opposing mind sets and yet both as committed to the things they are following or lusting after. On the one hand, one that the Devil has set in motion and the other which The Father God has set in motion and did so when he called us to His Son, Yashua Messiah.

Here is a final question, if we are continually worrying and fretting about mortifying our bodies, when do we live? I will leave you, dear readers, to meditate on this crucial point, but not for too long I hope, for you have a life of Spiritual Abundance to live under His Glorious Grace, so go and live it!!



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