Romans 8:9-11 Does the Spirit Dwell in You?

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 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.

Does the Spirit Dwell in You?

The question whether the Spirit dwells in us is a core question.  It is a difficult one.  I see some evidence of growth over time, but the holidays have been stressful and I don’t see the kind of growth I would like to.  So, does the Spirit dwell in me?

I hear radio programs exhorting me to share the gospel with everyone I meet.  I was ready to say that I don’t do that, but I did.  I challenge people to follow Jesus and I am challenged to do the same.  Whether that person is far from Jesus or walking closely with them my approach is much the same.  The Spirit of Christ compels me to talk about walking with Jesus.

The Spirit is life, but for one reason or another I feel dead a bit too often at the moment.  Should I then go with my feelings and consider myself abandoned by God or some kind of deserter?  The feelings I have do not convey reality.  Feelings are secondary to commitment.  I may feel abandoned by God and a victim of my own cowardice or foolishness, but I know by faith that God never leaves me.  Therefore I am in the Spirit regardless of how I feel.

What of doubts?  Can I doubt and still be in the Spirit?  Peter, Paul and the apostles were discouraged and downcast at times.  However, when they struggled or disobeyed God brought them back around in some way.  Pushing to the limit of our own knowledge causes us to grow.  The period of disequilibrium that follows the challenges that God send our way feels dark.  We might call it doubt.  However, it is by faith that we push away from shore and sail new waters, even if our emotions are storming around and within us.

In the end, for the Christian, there is always some evidence that the Spirit is at work.  Therefore there is hope that the Spirit will raise us up.

Prayer

Father give us insight and strength so that we can both see how we should walk in the Spirit and be able to do it.

Questions

  1. What are the two options for the condition of man?
  2. What is ‘flesh’ as Paul uses it?
  3. Why is the Spirit life to the Christian?
  4. Is there evidence that you are in the Spirit?
  5. How does being in the Spirit bring a person hope?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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