Romans 8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
What is the debt?
In other words, what is there to give to our old life. What do we owe to our former cold hearts of stone? How can you give dead man anything? Paul said it already in Romans 6:
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.1
You now desire God. God has exchanged your death for his life because he took his Son’s life and gave him your death.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2
You no longer have death. You no longer have sin. You no longer have that old self. You no longer have that cancer-filled heart of stone and ice.
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.3
If that be true, then what do we owe to our old selves? Nothing.
And since you are fully and truly alive, that means you have already received this good and gracious gift of life from God. Listen, receiving Jesus Christ is not the same as getting Shockwave for Christmas back in 1987. As awesome as Shockwave is, this is a gift that can never be broken by your kid brother or anybody else in all of creation.
You have the love of the Only True God who thought of you before all of creation, who was mindful of you for all of eternity, who loved you, who had his heart set on you, who created you, who paid your debt of sin (which is death), who pursued you, who called you, who saved you, who is nurturing you, and one day, will bring you to him and be with him forever.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.4
You were once in Adam. In Adam, you were an enemy of God and you sat under his just wrath.
You are now in Christ. In Christ, you are a friend of God and you sit under his banner of love, life, joy, and pleasures forevermore.
They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”5
Go and sin no more.