WARNING - Work in Progress

WARNING - Work in Progress
WARNING - Work in Progress

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Incarnate You – 7/2/2017


Romans 8:1-11

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

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.
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In this passage, the Apostle Paul begins by telling Christians that there is now no condemnation for the those who are in Christ.  We stated that condemnation is like that moment between the time when your mother says to you “just you wait until your father gets home” and he actually arrives home.  The world is presently in that same sort of position; Jesus will one day return and the Great Judgment of all things to occur, but Paul tells Christians that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Paul then details the difference of those who are in Christ Jesus and those who are not by stating that some people walk this life according to the flesh and some according to the Spirit; concluding that those who walk according to the flesh cannot please God.

And in the final analysis of these present words, Paul assures the young Roman Church that they are not of the flesh but of the Spirit if the Spirit of God in fact dwells in them.

I want to take a moment to zero in on the words “the Spirit dwells in you” (vs. 9);  Paul states that in Christ the very same Spirit of God who raised Jesus back to life from the dead now dwells in us.

That word dwell means to take up residence at a certain location; it means a specific location.

When I was in the army, I would meet fellow soldiers from all over the country, and in the course of small-talk we would talk about “where home is.”  I found it interesting that people who were from the inner cities generally spoke of where they “stayed” while I talked about where I “lived”.  For I grew up in a specific house with a specific family but many of my friends from the inner city did not necessarily know a specific location as “home” because they often bounced between where their mother’s, their father’s, their grandma’s, their aunt’s, or some cousin’s or friend’s dwellings were.  This was not my experience, my experience was that my parent’s had a solid location where we always returned to – a place I called “home”.  When Paul writes of the Spirit of God dwelling in me, I understand this to be a specific location that God is calling “home”

What’s more is that Paul states that it is the same exact Spirit of God that caused Jesus to rise back to life from the dead who now dwells in us.  This is huge!  For the Holy Spirt caused the dead flesh of Jesus to live again: not just re-animated like zombies who are called the living-dead, but like brand-new born-again creations (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:16). 

Paul points out that we men are dead because of sin, but just as Jesus was dead in his flesh because of sin, we too are given new life by the Spirit of Him who now makes his home in us. 

And in this way we Christians are quite literally incarnate beings.

I won’t begin to pretend that I have anything more than a fleeting a grasp of this concept but I’m pretty sure that this means that I am never alone and that God is quite literally with me each and every step that I take in my life.

And this mean that neither are you: if you are in Christ.

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