Empowered Living: Romans 8:9-11
January 27, 2015
Hello, dear friends! Today we will delve a little further into Romans 8. I may need to include less translations so that I can cover more ground and the posts don’t get too long, but for this section of Romans I did want to include more. There’s so much to be gleaned here in verses 9-11.
First of all, these verses say we are not controlled by our sinful nature. We are controlled my the Spirit if we have the Spirit of God living in us. I’m sure you’ve noticed changes in yourself—things you used to do no longer hold any appeal or may even repulse you. I believe it’s also an ongoing process as we learn to be more spirit controlled in our minds and less controlled by our “fleshy” nature. Just as I’m sure you can see this in your pre-believer, we battle with it too at times, but we have the power to overcome!
NLT: 9 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.) 10 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. 11 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.
NIV: 9 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. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 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.
The Voice: 9 But you do not live in the flesh. You live in the Spirit, assuming, of course, that the Spirit of God lives inside of you. The truth is that anyone who does not have the Spirit of the Anointed living within does not belong to God. 10 If the Anointed One lives within you, even though the body is as good as dead because of the effects of sin, the Spirit is infusing you with life now that you are right with God. 11 If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you.
The Message: 9 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. 10 But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. 11 It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!
Now I ended my last post with a hint at what that power is in us. You probably already know what it is, but what is astounding is the full ramification of it. It’s kind of like this: I know I have an engine in my car, but I couldn’t tell you how powerful it is.
Scripture tells us that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the same spirit that dwells in us. Did you get that? How about this verse from Ephesians:
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. — Ephesians 1:19 NLT
And let me broaden this understanding just a bit with another translation:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places… — Ephesians 1:18-20 NASB
First, understand we are saints, my friends. I remember the first time I said that in the Sunday School I taught years ago—everyone fell silent and looked at me as if I were crazy, but there it is, right in God’s Word. Every single one of us saved by grace is a saint. We are Christ’s inheritance and we are His. And His power, His Holy Spirit, is placed in us in accordance to same degree as was place in Jesus Christ to raise Him from the dead!
So why do we walk around thinking and feeling like we’re powerless? Because we’re deceived by the enemy (and the church, I dare say) into believing this. We are deceived and taught to live by what we see and not by faith. Our unenlightened eyes (see how Paul prays that in the beginning?) are still looking laterally instead of vertically. Look up at your God in Heaven and then measure every challenge and trial by His size, not by your scope of vision.
Now back to Romans 8:11 specifically because the promise there is not to be missed. I’ll use the Message translation to repeat it here:
It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's! — Romans 8:11 the Message
I chuckle at the start of this verse in this translation. “Stands to reason…” Yes, we can reason this out and it holds its truth and promise. God lives and breathes in us, empowers us with the Holy Spirit—His Spirit, just as He did to bring Christ back to life and back into Heaven from this place of death. Thus it also “stands to reason” that if we are also in this state of living, we are also seated in the heavenliness with Christ. Yes, we’re back to that verse again, my friends.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:6
Even as I am teaching this here to you I am learning as well and am even more convinced that we have barely tapped into the full potential of our supernatural place and position with Jesus. I so want to break down all the barriers that hinder me in this race so as to walk more fully in the promises of my inheritance in Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. — Hebrews 12:1-2
How about you, my friends? What spurs you to keep persevering? What does it mean to your soul and spirit to know that the same Spirit that raised Christ from death lives in and empowers you? And how do we walk more and more in this truth?