“Wrestling With Romans”
Because He Lives, We Live (Chapter 8 Verses 1-17)
There is another test. If the Spirit of Jesus Christ is in you (v10), then your spirit, small s, is alive due to the righteousness of Christ. Our spirit is alive, not dead, it is life itself, through the life-giving activity of the Holy Spirit. We have the very principle of eternal, indestructible life itself within us. And though our bodies are going to die, because they are infected with the virus of sin (Romans 5.12), yet they have passed from this death (John 5.24), having been treated with the infallible antidote of the gospel. Every illness, every pain we experience is evidence of our physically decaying, and the graves of so many Christians in cemeteries tell us exactly the same thing. But, Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1.27; Romans 8.1; John 15.4-5, 7), there we see life indeed, life which is never-ending. But it all comes to us, from, through and in Jesus, all of it, our life of justification, our life of holiness, our life of faith, our life of spirituality, our life of immortality (1Corinthians 1.30-31). Everything Paul has said since verse one serves to expound that verse, to explain and clarify what he said there.
The question of our mortal bodies (Romans 6.12), is answered here (v11). Because of the Person living in you, the Holy Spirit, his power which was exerted in the Person and work of Jesus, raising him from the dead, will also raise us from the dead, that is, our physical bodies (1Corinthians 15.53ff). God raised Jesus Christ, bodily, from the dead (Matthew 17.10; Mark 9.9; Luke 9.7; John 2.22; Acts 3.16), he did not throw his body away. It was in and through that body he accomplished our redemption, it is raised, ascended and now glorified in those inseparable, united natures. So it is, that our bodies shall not be thrown away either, they shall be changed, made alive and glorified as in like fashion with Christ (v17; Philippians 3.21), wholly redeemed, body and soul, that promise we have from Jesus himself (John 6.39-40, 44-45), and performed by the operations of the same Holy Spirit. The guarantee that this will be so, the down-payment already given, the sealing, or baptism in the Holy Spirit at the time of our conversion (Ephesians 1.13-14), is the pledge of our inheritance, making again the indwelling of the Spirit vital, God has given you his Spirit (v9), so he will give you the rest, the follow-up, a glorious resurrection body (v11). The seasons change, the cold chill of winter blows, friends come and go, but Jesus Christ is unchangeably the same (Hebrews 13.8), alive for evermore. “I know that my Redeemer (Jesus) liveth” (Job 19.25). And because he lives, we shall live also.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)