May 9, 2022
“Now, if Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you...”
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“Now, if Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Messiah from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:10-11
This passage is often thought to mean that only when a follower of Jesus dies will they be raised to live in Heaven. While the promise of resurrection with Jesus is valid for all believers, this passage has more immediate implications.
Paul is also saying that there is a war between your flesh and your will. As far as your flesh is concerned, it’s a lost cause. Your flesh is corrupt. Eventually, all flesh will expire, and we will all physically die—ashes to ashes, dust to dust, as it were.
But, spiritually speaking, we were also all “dead” (along with our flesh). That is, we were spiritually dead before we came to know Jesus in a saving way. When we received Jesus, we received His Spirit in fullness (aka the filling of the Holy Spirit). God’s Spirit gives “new life” to our old “dead” (bound for judgment) souls.
Have you ever considered how Adam was created? God breathed life into a handful of dust. Apart from the life that God imparts, we’re just a handful of dirt! The Hebrew word for “Spirit” is Rucah (pr: ROO-akh). The same word (Ruach) translates “wind” or “breath.” The Greek translation for Ruach is “Pneuma” (pr: NOO-ma). Ever heard of Pneumonia (chronic restriction of one’s airway/breath) or a pneumatic (air) tool? So, when God created Adam, He breathed His breath, His Ruach, into him. We are all (believer & non-believer) alive, sustained because God’s Spirit is allowing it. But do not confuse that “sustaining” work of the Spirit with being “filled” with the Holy Spirit. Our “filling” of the Holy Spirit is a one-time occurrence, which happens at the moment we surrender ourselves to Jesus’ Lordship and ask Him to take control of our lives.
Think about it: every time God fills a new believer with His Spirit, He is, in essence, re-enacting creation. Perhaps, that is why the Bible calls believers “an altogether new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) He brings “new life” into our corrupted mortal bodies! When we submit to the Spirits leading, our bodies become vessels of righteousness, whereas they used to be vessels of death.
Martyr Jim Elliott said, “The soul is a vacuum that longs to be filled. It cares not with which it fills itself. It simply longs to be full.” The Spirit living inside a believer does not make flesh incorruptible. But the Spirit living inside an obedient believer enables that believer to control the corrupted flesh to do God’s will. Instead of us being slaves to our flesh, our flesh becomes subject to us, surrendering to the leading of God’s Spirit. If you have committed to following Jesus, He has given you His Spirit, and He dwells inside you. If you heed the Spirit’s guidance, you will experience “newness of life” to the fullest!