If, Then

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 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. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:8-11).

The promise God made to Jews and Gentiles on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:39) was that every believer who repents and is baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins receives the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). The reception of this gift is imperative to being free from the cursed law/rule of sin in your life.

Conversion to Christ results in freedom from the condemnation of past sins and necessitates a new mindset with a laser-like focus on spiritual things. Being buried with Christ in baptism and raised up with Him through faith in the working of God results in newness of life and necessitates seeking those things above where Christ is (Colossians 2:12, 3:1). There­fore, you are no longer carnal minded, at enmity against God.

From this glorious starting part as a new creation in Christ, incredible spiritual duty and victory follows. Your repentance—your change of mind prompted by godly sorrow which results in a change of life—plus God’s gift of the Holy Spirit means you are now the temple of God, a son of God, a member of Christ’s beloved bride. Therefore, your body is dead to sin. Sin has no rightful place in God’s holy temple, or among God’s royal family, or within Christ’s sanctified and cleansed bride—the church (Ephesians 5:26-27).

Paul’s logic is clear and irrefutable:

If you are a son of God (i.e., the Spirit of God dwells in you), then you do not live in pursuit of carnal desires (v. 9).

If the Spirit of Christ is not in you, then you do not belong to Christ (v. 10).

If Christ is in you, then your body is dead to sin (you are no longer under its reign); rather you are alive to righteousness (you are under the rule of grace).

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

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Author: jchowning

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