The Spirit of Eternal Life
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9-11 ESV)
Verse 9 is the certainty of the Spirit indwelling all Christians. Verse 10 describes the present reality of having the Spirit’s empowering presence. Verse 11 looks to the future. Death is an end. Death is a separation. Jesus’ wept at Lazarus’ grave and we all weep at death’s terrible effect.
However, here is where “IN” makes all the difference. The unbeliever is in the flesh. The flesh is death. The Christian is not in the flesh. The Christian is in Christ which means the Holy Spirit is in us. Since he is the eternal God, the life he gives us is not dependent on our mortal bodies.
Further, we have in us the Spirit of the Father who raised Jesus from the dead. Paul elsewhere says the Spirit is a guarantee that God will resurrect our bodies someday. “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 5:5) Guarantee of what? “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Verse 9 is past tense, we received the Spirit at salvation. Verse 10 is present tense, he dwells in us. Verse 11 is future tense, “will give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” How can we be confident that my death is not the end of me nor the end of my bodily existence? The Holy Spirit IN me. He gave life to Jesus’ body and he will someday give life to every Christian’s body in final resurrection.
How do we know if God can pull that off? He raised Jesus from the dead.
Do you get this? If I am in Christ, the Spirit is in me. The result of having eternal God IN me is I am already living in the realm of eternity; the future kingdom in me now.
Have you seen these? (See below)
These are Russian Matryoshka dolls. If there is anything that is based on the principle of “In-ness,” it is these dolls. The smallest doll is in the slightly larger doll which means that the smaller dolls are also in the larger dolls. The little doll is in the bigger doll, but the bigger doll is in the even bigger doll. We are in Christ and always will be. The Spirit is in us. Whatever happens to the bigger doll, happens to the smaller doll (union with Christ). By union with Christ, the Spirit is IN us.
Since the Holy Spirit is eternal IN us, we are guaranteed to live eternally by the Spirit.
So, the question today is, are you in Christ? Don’t pray, Holy Spirit, please be in me. We must first be in Christ by faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Is that who Jesus is to you? What wonderful realities immediately take place once we are in Christ by faith! We are declared righteous before God forever. Our sins are forgiven. Our guilt is taken away. We are in union with the risen Savior.
But we must not miss the glory that being in Christ means the Spirit is in us. This new, wonderful, God-empowered life by the indwelling Spirit assures all believers that we are citizens of the eternal kingdom and that even the death of our bodies is not the end of us. God raised Jesus from the dead and God will raise us as well. How do we know?
Because we have the Holy Spirit in us. All of God in all of me.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2019 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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