Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 8:9-13 (NLT)
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Reflection: Romans 8:9-13 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
God’s Spirit in God’s children (8:1–39)
The Christian life is essentially life in the Spirit, that is to say, a life which is animated, sustained, directed and enriched by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit true Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, indeed impossible.
(vs 9–13) The indwelling of the Spirit
Verse 9 is of great importance in relation to our doctrine of the Holy Spirit for at least two reasons.
First, it teaches that the hallmark of the authentic believer is the possession or indwelling of the Holy Spirit…. This makes it plain that the gift of the Spirit is an initial and universal blessing, received when we first repent and believe in Jesus. Of course there may be many further and richer experiences of the Spirit, and many fresh anointings of the Spirit for special tasks, but the personal indwelling of the Spirit is every believer’s privilege from the beginning. To know Christ and to have the Spirit are one.
Secondly, verse 9 teaches that several different expressions are synonyms… being in the Spirit is the same as having the Spirit in us… ‘the Spirit of God’ is also called ‘the Spirit of Christ’… to have the Spirit of Christ in us is to have Christ in us.
Although [the Father, Son and Spirit] are eternally distinct in their personal modes of being, they also share the same divine essence and will. In consequence, they are inseparable. What the Father does he does through the Son, and what the Son does he does through the Spirit. Indeed, wherever each is, there are the others also.
Paul’s argument [in vs 10-12] seems to be this: How can we possess life and court death simultaneously? Such an inconsistency between who we are and how we behave is unthinkable, even ludicrous. No, we are in debt to the indwelling Spirit of life to live out our God-given life and to put to death everything which threatens it or is incompatible with it.
Verse 13 sets the option before us as a solemn life-and-death alternative…. According to Romans 8 it is only by putting our evil deeds to death that we experience the full life of God’s children. So we need to redefine both life and death. What the world calls life (a desirable self-indulgence) leads to alienation from God which in reality is death, whereas the putting to death of all perceived evil within us, which the world sees as an undesirable self-abnegation, is in reality the way to authentic life.
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen