“9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But 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)
As we continue on our quest to understand who the Spirit really is, I get amazed at how much Truth He continues to reveal to me. There is obviously no part of the Trinity that is more important than the other, but the Spirit definitely brings the practical application to being a follower of Christ to reality. It is impossible to do it without Him. As we look at this passage, we see the two types of people explained even further, and what these two camps represent. Although in this passage we start looking more at what it means to have the Spirit dwelling in you, the polarization of humanity is still present. You are either in Christ, His follower, empowered by His Spirit, and alive or you are not.
In verse 9, this polarization is explained this way: In Christ, the Spirit is in you. But if not, you are not one of His. This is groundbreaking and must be dealt with by the “American, feel good, non-offensive” falsehood that states that “We are all God’s children. This is simply not based on scripture. It is true that we are all created by God, but we are NOT all His children! That right is given to us through faith. Skeptics would say that this is elitist; this is exclusive, this is unjust. On the contrary however, this is anything but.
It is not elitist in any way, because it is unearned.
“16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17)
“32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)
“24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;” (Romans 3:24)
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If I cannot do anything to earn this love, justification, righteousness, then I certainly cannot look down on somebody that does not have it! I am just as undeserving as they are. Isn’t this the argument that Jesus had with the religious leaders during His time on earth, AND the argument that Paul, Peter, and all of the apostles had until their deaths? Isn’t this the same argument that we still have today, when professing Christians pass judgment on others? The true idea behind Christ’s salvation for us is anything but elitist.
It is also not exclusive, because anybody can receive it.
“12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
“8 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18).
21 In his name the nations will put their hope.” (Matthew 12:21).
Finally, it is not unjust anyway, because it is the only way to prove His justice. Forgiveness without any form of payment is simply unjust. A debt cannot be wiped away without being reconciled. Grace does not mean that payment wasn’t made, it means that the one receiving the grace did not make it, but the payment was still there. Christ made the payment in order to make our inheritance just.
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:25-26).
“25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25).
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross proved God, the Father’s justice, and His resurrection proves that the payment was sufficient. Now, the Spirit is available for all; any who believe. There is nothing elitist or exclusive about this justice. So, what does having this Spirit living inside of you mean?
As we have discussed before, our new creation is in our eternal being- our soul. Our soul has been made right to spend eternity with God instead of what we were doomed to because of our guilt through Adam. But, our mortal bodies are still present, therefore the deadly sin nature is still present. It is not in control, but if we do not diligently seek the Spirit’s empowerment, this mortal flesh and all it entails can still be controlling. The Spirit inside of us gives us the power to overcome these desires because it has the power to raise the dead. Ultimately one day, this will include the raising of our mortal bodies into eternal life. But, until that day, the Spirit comforts, empowers, convicts and works on us making us more like Him. Every step along the way that we get closer to resembling His image brings the ultimate glory to His name. If a wretch like me can look more like Him only through the work that He does in me, who else can receive the credit for that? It is all Him!
Praise to God, the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ!