by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 August 7, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
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:
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 bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
I. A Promise For Time or Eternity?
A. The question: is Paul saying there will be an effective resurrection, or is he promising that the Spirit will empower our current bodies?
B. The contextual implications seem to lean toward a "present" life, not the future one: the promise of 8:13 is that we shall live if we, by the Spirit, put to death the practices of the body. This is in harmony with all of chapters 6-8 where Paul's burden is not the future Kingdom life, but the present earthly experience. There is no real point to addressing the issue of the indwelling of the Spirit of the resurrecting God unless the point has specifically to do with that indwelling.
II. A Question of Divine Power?
A. The point is made twice in the same sentence: "...the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead...He Who raised Christ from the dead...".
1. Clearly, the physical resurrection of Jesus/Christ is the foundation of Paul's promise.
2. Just as clearly, the physical resurrection is deliberately tied to "Jesus" and then to "Christ". Since the two refer to the same Person, the references must be to the two major "points of focus" for that Person. "Jesus" refers to the humanity and redemption themes; "Christ" refers to the deity and Kingdom themes.
B. At issue: the "body", Paul has declared in 8:10, is "dead" (in the sense of not being the object of the execution of the power of the Spirit), but that same "mortal" body is to be the instrument of that same Spirit to produce the "Life" that is ours in spite of the fact that its locus is not the physical body.
1. There is an enormous distinction and difference involved in the kind of "life/Life" that is in view. The "life" of the body has only/always to do with the preservation of the physical from the onslaught of the elements of death. But the "Life" of the person has to do with the degree to which peace and joy dominate the soul. To be sure, there are enemies to each type of life that must be overcome, but they are qualitatively different types of enemies. In the preservation of the physical life of the body, the major issues are those which allow the link between the energizing spirit and the energized body to remain. In the preservation of the Life of the soul, the major issues are those which allow the link between the indwelling Spirit and the united-to-Him soul to remain. It is the link that is, in every case, the point of attack. The "healthy" condition of each cell of the body is required to sustain the "link" between the energizing spirit and the energized body. When a cell "dies" (i.e., loses its "health"), the spirit loses its ability to energize it. But for the soul, the issue is the "healthy" condition of "faith and a good conscience" (Note well 1 Timothy 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:9; Acts 24:16 and Hebrews 10:22). When either the content of the faith is compromised, or the condition of the conscience is compromised, the Spirit loses His ability to pour Life through the body to the outside world.
2. The only link between the health of the body and the health of the soul is that link that allows the soul to continue to dwell in the body. The Spirit is not as concerned about the health of the body as He is the health of the soul, but He will sustain the health of the body to the degree made necessary for the outpouring of true Life through that body. Once God's purposes for the soul are fulfilled, the death of the body is at hand. He does not need to sustain a tool's viability once the task has been accomplished. When Paul "finished his course", his death was at hand.
C. The issue of resurrection power is a single issue: a matter of the degree to which the power is exercised to accomplish the task. Most "believers" put relatively severe restrictions upon their "faith" in what God can/will do to make the Life available through them. The issue of "resurrection" is designed to challenge those restrictions. However, the most crucial issue of all is the "believer's" alignment with the realities of the "Life". More times than not, the "believer" is more worried about his/her own "issues" than being an instrument of "Life" to someone else. This is Death.
1. Resurrection of "Jesus" is the exercise of power for the on-going "Life" of One Who is committed to selfless sacrifice for others. If Jesus had not been committed to Life for others, He would have remained dead because the lack of such commitment is death.
2. Resurrection of "Christ" is the exercise of power for the on-going "Life" of One Who is committed to defining and enforcing the principles of "Life" without which no one lives. Without definition and absolutes, there is no "Life"; there is only Death in a masquerade -- a parody.
3. The application of resurrection power to the mortal body will not bypass either of these "identity" issues and their foundations.