Romans 8:1–17 (NKJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:1-11
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
The flesh versus Spirit debate is in full bloom here. He declares the joyous truth that those who are in Christ Jesus, and walk in the Spirit come under no condemnation! The guilt of the past is over. The power of sin is no longer in force. Jesus’ gift of grace removes condemnation. Although the Holy Spirit convicts us when we stray, the condemnation of depravity is no longer in force. Praise God! Paul discusses the death of life in the flesh and the life of walking in the Spirit. Those living in the flesh are opposed to God, and cannot help but be. But those who live in the Spirit are endued with the Spirit are dead to the flesh and alive to Christ. This hopeful discussion shows that although one may be dead now in their fleshly existence, they can be alive through the Spirit of Christ!
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.Romans 8:12-17
In this section of the passage, Paul moves to the thought that individuals will serve someone, whether it be the flesh, which seeks to keep one in bondage in sin, or the Spirit, who brings life. Being led by the Spirit of God demonstrates one’s connection with God, his or her relationship with Christ. To demonstrate the difference between living in the flesh versus living in the Spirit, Paul calls the spirit of bondage to sin a fear-producing slavery, whereas he describes the relationship with God as the Spirit of adoption that qualifies each soul to call God “Father.” We are heirs of God and jointly so with Christ. While there may be suffering along this road of life, the inheritance experienced at the end of it will be phenomonally amazing!
Artwork from https://www.bible.com/bible/111/ROM.8.1.NIV