Sin Will Kill You

Romans 8:12–13

Principle for Bible Reading

Sin will kill you. God gives warnings in the Bible, and sometimes they seem to call into question our security in Christ. How should we read the Bible’s warnings? And what role do they play in our salvation? John Piper answers in this lab.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–00:59)

The Debt We Do Owe (00:59–04:06)

  1. We owe the flesh nothing (Romans 8:12). It has done nothing but curse and enslave us.
  2. But we do owe the Spirit everything (Romans 8:12). The Spirit overcame the power of the flesh and brought us to life.
  3. Why? Because if we live to satisfy the flesh, we will die. (Romans 8:13)
  4. This death is not a physical death, because everyone dies physically. This is a spiritual death.

Real Warning, Real Security (04:06–07:41)

  1. The justified are secure. They will be glorified. No one drops out in God’s plan for salvation. (Romans 8:28–30)
  2. Therefore, those who really are justified, who have been sealed by the Spirit, will most certainly put to death the deeds of the body. (Romans 8:13)
  3. Paul is aiming to produce urgency and intentionality in the Christian life, specifically in fighting sin.

Study Questions

  1. Why are we not debtors to the flesh? In what way are we debtors to the Spirit?
  2. Read Romans 8:28–30. How do these verses affect how you understand the warning in Romans 8:13?
  3. Paul is writing to believers (“brothers”), so is he saying that true Christians can in fact fall away and be sentenced to hell (“you will die”)?
Piper: “Eternal security is not passive or cavalier. We must apply what we have with God in our warfare with sin.”

‘The Greatest Chapter’ Series

This lab is part of a series through Romans 8. Taking a verse or two at a time, John Piper unfolds the other-worldly realities in these thirty-nine verses, all along pointing out general, practical principles for understanding and applying the Bible’s meaning. Visit ‘The Greatest Chapter’ series page to see all the labs in this series.