Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study another way to describe the secret ingredient of church or Christian community – the Holy Spirit.
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)
Right before this passage in Romans 8:5-8, Paul gives a description of living by the sinful nature—which ends in death. That’s where today’s passage picks up: Paul describes what it looks like to live according to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit changes people, and here are some of the ways.
He begins by making it clear that Christians have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, living in them. And with that Spirit within, we can resist the pull of the sinful nature (Romans 8:9).
It’s still not easy, but it’s possible. Paul himself spoke about this in a really memorable passage that a lot of us can relate to:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15 ESV)
The Spirit makes a difference, but our old way of life will push back, hard, against this new way of life.
Have you ever seen someone’s “spirit” change because of following Jesus? It’s the Spirit, with a capital S, at work in them that you are seeing! The Spirit is life, because of righteousness. I knew a woman once who was very unwell – constant pain, disability and illness. But she was always so happy. Not delusional – it wasn’t mental illness or confusion causing her joy. She knew her body’s limitations. It was the Spirit in her that was the source of this joy!
Resurrection from the Dead
In Romans 8:11, Paul points out that the Holy Spirit not only helps us keep from sinning but also brings us resurrection from the dead—eternal life. If God raised up Jesus and God’s Spirit is dwelling in us, God can raise us up as well!
He gives the Spirit a direct role in this, which is amazing news, since Jesus promised us this same Spirit in our lives. The guaranteed ending to human lives is no longer the ending – it’s now simply a transition to the fullness of God’s kingdom.
Question: How is the wisdom of this passage contrary to the wisdom of our society? What revolutionary ideas are present in the text?