The Bible says in Romans 8:12-13
12.Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13.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.
This sounds like if you mortify the deeds of the flesh, this is what will save you. Unfortunately, most preachers will read this, and then preach that we should shun evil and do good works and that this is how we mortify the deeds of the flesh. Thus he promotes the work of self-righteousness; works for salvation.
Verse 12 says that we are debtors…to whom? The verse says, “not to the flesh.” We are debtors to Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 64:6, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
This verse says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” We cannot mortify the deeds of the flesh through the deeds of the flesh. We cannot mortify the deeds of the flesh through our own righteousness. This is called self-righteousness.
Verse 13, above, says that if ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds… ah…it’s through the Spirit that we mortify the deeds of the flesh, not through the efforts of our own self-righteousness. This word “Spirit” begins with a capital “S,” therefore, the Spirit through which we are to mortify the deeds of the flesh is the Holy Spirit, and He is God. In other words, we are to mortify the deeds of the flesh by repenting of our rejection of Christ and by accepting Christ, through faith. We mortify the deeds of the flesh by getting saved.
Please read my blog post: HOW TO KNOW YOU WOULD GO TO HEAVEN
The Holy Scriptures support this view also in James 2:18, Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James is saying that you and I know that we are saved if we examine our works. We see the good works that we have done and by this we know that we are saved, born-again children of God, we would not have done these things if we had not been saved. But our good works are not what saves us.
Our good works only show that we are saved. I am not saying that we should not shun evil or not do good works. We should shun evil and we should do good works. I’m just saying that these two verses say that the only way to mortify the deeds of the flesh is by faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus. We are not saved by our own efforts, through our works of self-righteousness. We mortify the deeds of the flesh through the Spirit! The following verses say that we should shun evil and walk in the Spirit after we’re saved…if we love Jesus:
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (…have crucified…past tense…through the indwelling Spirit.)