by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6 February 5, 2017 Humble, Texas
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
1901 ASV Translation:
9 But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodiesthrough his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
I. Paul Doubles Down On The "In Christ" Reality.
A. The previous declarations had to do with how much the "state" of being determines the focus of thinking and, thus, the eventual behavior.
1. This "determination" issue is not "equivalent" in that those "in flesh" can do nought but "mind" the things of the flesh so that their behavior is all one-sided in that it pursues "fleshly" objectives, but those "in Spirit" have dual "abilities" so that they can "mind" the things of "the Spirit", but do not necessarily do so as their "spirituality" is not historically fully realized at this point. The "body", as the root of "fleshliness", is not yet "redeemed" and remains "dead" so that "believers" must contend with that reality in their pursuit of "spiritual" things. The flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh as a matter of course day in and day out (Galatians 5:17). Gladly, the day will come when those "in Spirit" will be as dominated by Him as those "in flesh" are currently dominated by it, but until then we walk by faith in the Spirit.
2. The current realization: setting the mind on things of the Spirit is an effective methodology for "putting to death the deeds of the body by that Spirit" (Romans 8:13).
B. The conclusion to those thoughts was clear: those "in flesh" cannot please God.
C. Now, he forcefully declares that "ye" are not "in flesh" BUT "in Spirit" IF the Spirit of God dwells "in you".
1. Where "ye" are depends on where the Spirit of God is.
2. At issue is the presence (or absence) of the inhabitant "dwelling in" you.
3. Even though the presence of the Spirit of God does not guarantee purity of thought or action, His presence is determinative.
a. The question is: determinative of what?
b. The answer has been given: the ability to please God. It has been admitted that this ability may lie latent and undeveloped to some extent (Hebrews 5:11-14), but that is a far cry from not existing at all.
D. He goes on to explain that IF anyone does not possess the Spirit of Christ, that person is not "of Him" (does not belong to Him).
E. Then he draws this conclusion: the "body" is dead on account of sin but the Spirit is Life on account of righteousness (this is chapter five in a nutshell).
1. Paul has moved from the "Spirit of God" to the "Spirit of Christ" to "Christ".
a. There has to be a good reason for this movement.
b. The "Spirit of God" title is all about "power" and not so much "personal"; the "Spirit of Christ" is a movement to "personal" as a "direction" thesis regarding God's agenda for His "Christ"; and "Christ" is about as personal as we can get ("Jesus" might have been a tad more "personal" along these lines) and keep the focus upon "Christ" as "He that has been raised from the dead". The uses of "Christ" without any other names attached are, in chapters 6-8 tied to "resurrection" into the power of an indestructible life.
2. The "deadness" of the body is to be explained later in this chapter (8:21, it is entrapped by a bondage to corruption; and 8:23 where it is as yet unredeemed), but the point is clear: the current state of affairs of the believer who exists within a body that is yet "dying" and still "demanding its own preservation". This seems to be the explanation for the intensity of the inner conflict: the unredeemed body attempts to rise above all other considerations in the face of its eventual demise without remedy [Note 1 Peter 2:11 where Peter declares that "fleshly lusts war against the soul...]. The alternative is the Spirit's promise of "Life" both now in limited measure and after the death of the body in full inheritance.
F. The difference the Spirit makes is this: He is the Spirit of Him Who raised Christ from the dead so that He is able to impart life to the dead body. Paul says that He shall make the body "alive" (as in resurrection), but not yet, but He iswilling to empower its members to function by His own power as He indwells it. There is no biblical revelation that declares that this Holy Spirit actually replaces the human spirit as the inner power of "life" for the body, but there is much to declare that He works at the levels of "Love" and "Faith" to dominate that spirit's energizing of the body. It is the Holy Spirit Who dominates the human spirit when it is energizing the body's activities when "The Law of the Spirit of Life" is being allowed to function by the "faith" of the "soul".