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Indwelt by the Spirit

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:6-11

Paul, from the text, describes the difference the Holy Spirit makes in the life of every believer. The mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. Once the Spirit of God indwells a believer, there is a transformation that takes place. Being indwelt by the Spirit implies control, but there must be more to it than that. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was raised from the dead. Paul prayed while he was going through trials and persecutions, that he would be able to experience the power that resurrected Jesus from the dead. “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Philippians 3:10-11). This power working within will sustain Christ’s followers while going through difficulties in life. It is also the power that provides Christians strength to do what is right in the sight of God. Thus, this great statement becomes a proclamation of hope for the total human—both body and spirit—a hope made possible by the fact of the believer’s living in the sphere of the Spirit by means of God’s gracious act of salvation. In Chapter 7 of the book of Romans, Paul vividly described the weakness of the flesh or our vulnerability to sin in the flesh. “I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate” (v. 15). Here in chapter 8, Paul shows clearly that the weakness of the flesh is hardly worth comparing with the power of God’s Spirit. Since God resurrected from the dead, we can trust Him to take care of the problem of our human flesh. Human flesh is not bad in itself; it is part of God’s creation. But because of the susceptibility to commit sin, it has become the stage of sin. But once life is indwelt by the Spirit, the flesh now becomes the stage of redemption from sin. In God’s act of redemption through His death on the cross and resurrection, God has established once and for all that life with Christ is more powerful than death. Even though we Christians continue to live surrounded by death and purposelessness, the indwelling presence of the Spirit provides the experience of life, meaning, and the assurance of life everlasting.


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