"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh." Rom 8:12
After over two hours pouring over books and Bible programs I come to the conclusion that this does not say 'we are not debtors to the flesh' it means just what it says in the KJV. 'Brothers, We have under an obligation (or are debtors)' it is just not a fleshly obligation.
What struck me first this morning was 'Brothers'. This obligation is a family obligation and it is not linked to the old nature at all. Whatever obligation we had in the flesh, real or imagined, was cancelled at the cross. What obligation does a believer have under the grace economy?
It made me think of the debt Joseph's brothers had when Simeon was taken as a mock hostage by Joseph. Suddenly the brothers who were selfish and carnal had to make a change. Love rose up in them. The deal was they had to bring Benjamin back to Egypt but upon returning home they saw the money they paid for supplies was back in their sacks.
It is a picture how God has no use for our money, our carnal payment buys nothing with Him. But, Love... oh love. Love does something to us.
The brothers loved their father and they loved their brother Simeon. On the other hand their loved their brother Benjamin also. The guilt of what they thought about what happened with Joseph was so present in their minds now.
They failed to love Joseph but they would not fail to love Simeon. It was not that they were making amends. It was not possible to fix what had gone before... now in the moment they would choose to love as brothers... loving one another even though it would be hard to do it.
Can we love each other? Yes, We can. Is there urgency? Who is held hostage?
This is no payback. It is a family obligation. It is love that draws us with the 'cords of a man'. It is constraining love.