What's Your Status? Romans 8:9-13
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
paul emphatically states the condition or status of the believer as not in the flesh but in the spirit
the hallmark of being a believer is this transformation of living in a new condition and that condition is in christ. in essence a new life.
not in the flesh
but in the spirit
the proof that a believer has been born again is the presence of the holy spirit.
2 cor. 5:5
2 cor 1:21-22
2 cor 3:16
proof of life - if indeed the spirit of dwells in you. dwell - to exist or be situated within. the implication here is that the holy spirit has taken up residency in the believer's life. picture this one day your old man/woman was forcefully evicted and god the holy spirit moved in.
the presence of god amongst his people has been one the indicators of his covenant love since the beginning.
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But 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.
here paul describes the benefits obtained for the believer as a result of being in christ using two parllel clauses: "the body is dead because of sin"; and the "the spirit is alive because of righteousness."
there are two things we should focus on here:
death is a reality because of sin. the curse of sin is the decaying and eventual expiration of life in our mortal bodies. paul clarifies for us the effects of sin and at the same time explains the benefits of salvation.
new life- the christian because of christ has experienced a status change.
justified by his death - the spirit is alive because of righteousness - rom.8:10c
liberated by his resurrection - life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who dwells in you - rom. 10:11b
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
under obligation -etymologically this word means to owe someone something. in this context it means the condition of being morally bound to do something.
the literal translation of this phrase is 'we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh,' is "we must not live to satisfy our desires,"(cev). or "we must not be ruled by our sinful selves," (ncv). "our old nature has no claim over us," (reb). the phrase to live according to the flesh means - we must not do what our sinful nature wants us to do. because we have been born again we have new priorities. our old priorities involved living for selfish reasons....ego driven, pleasure seeking, self aggrandizement. our new priorities are to live god glorifying, christ honoring, holy spirit enabled lives. part of our new priorities include, "putting to death the deeds of the body." this means is we are to stop evil activity. quit practicing the wrongs that we do. one of the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit according to gal. 5:23 is self-control. remember the main focus of this passage is the difference between those who are unregenerate and live in bondage to their sin nature in comparison with those who have been born again and are enabled by the holy spirit to live in a manner that is pleasing to god. paul is admonishing us if we really want to experience the pleasure of walking in harmony with god we must live disciplined lives in full surrender to god's holy spirit. watchman nee said, "An obedient will and a harmonious will are very different. Obedience is related to actions, whereas harmony is related to character. The obedient will of a servant is seen in carrying out every order of his master. "But the harmonious will is shown in the son who knows the father’s heart and whose will is one with the father’s. The harmonious will not only fulfills his duty but also fulfills it with delight. "An obedient will puts a stop to one’s own activity, yes, but a harmonious will is in addition one heart with God."