In my last post, I talked about what it takes to please God. That should be our number one desire.
We saw from Paul’s writings in Romans, that the flesh can never please God. The apostle continues with this thought. However, even though I normally use the NIV, for this verse I believe that the NKJV is the more accurate translation.
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.
Romans 8:9, NKJV
This verse simply states that everyone can access the Spirit of Christ if they’re saved. It’s not a special level of achievement only attained by a few highly spiritual people..
If you are His, then you have the Spirit of Christ.
But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Here’s a statement of fact. There are two results of having the Spirit of Christ within you. The first is that if Christ is in you, then your body is dead through sin. Secondly, if Christ is in you, then your spirit is alive through righteousness.
What does Paul mean by saying that your spirit is alive? Furthermore, what does it mean to be spiritually dead? This is a concept that many people have no understanding of.
Remember back to the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam, He said that if you eat of this tree, you will surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17) Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, yet their bodies didn’t stop working at that point.
That’s because in God’s terminology, death is the loss of fellowship with Him. Because of sin, communication ceases between Adam and the Lord. Humanity lost the relationship that they were created for.
The fact is, I’m going to live eternally somewhere, so death doesn’t mean my body stops working. A good picture of this truth is found in the parable of the Prodigal Son.
The younger of two sons took his inheritance and left home. Father and son were no longer able to have fellowship. When the son came to his senses, he returned home. Look at the response of the father.
“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
His return was a change from death to life. That’s the same with us when we’re saved.
Your flesh cannot fellowship with God. Your spirit, because you’re now in Christ, can live in relationship with God.
Even though your spirit existed before salvation, it couldn’t commune with God. That’s why believers now need to learn to communicate with God.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ living in them. Because of that fact, communication and fellowship with God is now possible. This means that the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead in you, and He will give life to your body that submits to death.
What did the Spirit do for Christ? He awakened Christ from the dead. What does He do for us? He will give life to our dying flesh.
That’s the bottom line. It’s the Spirit that works on our flesh, not the mind.
Question: Why is it better to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than will-power?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi