BIBLE INSIGHTS in 500 words
God’s Spirit Lives In YOU!
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (vs. 9). The verse teaches us two things about life in the Spirit.
First, the hallmark of an authentic believer is the inward presence of the Holy Spirit. At the moment of your conversion, you receive the Holy Spirit. You are born of the Spirit (John 3:6).
Second, the gift of the Spirit is the gift of the Trinity. In verse 9 we read, “realm of the Spirit . . . Spirit of God . . . Spirit of Christ.” The gift of the Holy Spirit in the presence of the Trinity, the fullness of God.
If the Spirit lives in you, you are a Christian. The Holy Spirit is not a guest but a guide, helper, comforter, and advocate (“Paraclete” – John 14-16). When the Spirit lives in you, you see two changes.
First, you receive life, “If Christ is in you . . . the Spirit gives life . . . And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (vs. 10-11). Notice the coordinated work of the Trinity: 1-the resurrecting Father, 2-the resurrected Son, and 3-the Spirit of resurrection. The resurrected life of Jesus is the promise and pledge for our own resurrected life.
Second, you have an obligation, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (vs. 12-13). We owe nothing to the “flesh.” However, we are obligated to work with the Spirit to “put to death the misdeeds of the body.”
Turning to Dr. Greathouse, he explains the challenge to “put to death the misdeeds of the body.”
The deeds of the body that must put to death involves psychological and physical impulses – tendencies of the psyche (to rationalize, overcompensate, etc.) – and the instinctual desires and drives of our common humanity. Since such impulses reside beneath the level of consciousness, they may be considered morally neutral. However, they may lead to sin; thus, they must be controlled and subjugated to the power of the Spirit. If we repress or deny their existence, we only deceive ourselves, but if by the Spirit we acknowledge and surrender them to God, he will give us victory over them the inward stirring of such subconscious impulses are very real forms of temptation but need not lead to sin” (Romans, vol. 1, page 248).
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