Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
HOWEVER, YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH BUT
IN THE SPIRIT: humeis de ouk este (2PPAI) en
sarki alla en pneumati:
(Ro 8:2; Ezek 11:19; 36:26,27; Jn 3:6)
"are not controlled by the flesh but
by the Spirit" (NET
“You are not unspiritual but
spiritual.” (Charles Hodge)
In Romans 8:9-11,
we have the full and final answer to the question of Romans 7:24, "Who
shall deliver me from the body of this death?." The basis of the
deliverance is clearly the indwelling Spirit of God.
(or "but" in most translations) marks a contrast. Paul’s readers were
not those who only had a sinful human nature.
(humeis) is the second person personal pronoun "you".
After speaking objectively about the
two types of persons, Paul now addresses his readers directly as "you".
Here the “you” is emphatic (notice it is placed first in the
Greek sentence for emphasis). It is also notable that since the Greek verb
("are" = este) normally carries its own person in its
ending ("you" is determined by the ending), it would not need a
separate pronoun ("you") to indicate the person acting in the
verb. The point is that when a pronoun ('humeis" = you, in this case) is used with a verb
("are" = este), it is used for
emphasis or for contrast. Paul had just spoken of the
unregenerate who were in the sphere of the
or in the grip of the evil nature, namely. Thus one might paraphrase
what Paul is saying as follows...
“But as for you, in contradistinction
to the unsaved, you are not in the sphere of the evil nature,
but in the sphere of the Spirit."
preposition "in" (1722)
(en) speaks of the sphere in which one lives. As a fish lives in
water and all mankind in oxygenated air, so too a believer lives no
longer in the "atmosphere" of the flesh but in the sphere of the Spirit.
Not only that but the Holy Spirit now lives within him.
Here the great mark of a true
Christian is, that the Spirit of God dwells in him. If he is indwelt by
the Spirit of God, he is not "in flesh, " but instead an entirely
different kind of being, -"in Spirit." The Spirit becomes now the
element in which the believer lives, like water to the fish, or air to
the bird, vital, supplying, protecting. (Romans 8: Expository Notes Verse by Verse)
This is one of the clearest
statements in Scripture that corrects the false notion that baptism with
the Spirit is a second work of grace for the Christian. (Expository
The KJV Bible
Commentary adds that here...
Paul clearly teaches that no
one can receive Christ’s atonement for salvation unless the Spirit of
God dwells within him. It is therefore irrational to say that there are
Christians who have not fully received the blessing of the Spirit of
God. There is no scriptural basis for a second work of grace or a
baptism of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation. At salvation either
we have all of the Spirit of God or we have none of Him. There may be
a time subsequent to salvation in which the Spirit of God gets more of
us, but there is never a time when we get more of Him. (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
Note also that the
phrase "in the flesh" clearly is opposed to the phrase "in the
Spirit" (believer). The point is that while believers may
occasionally act like they are still "in the flesh", the fact is that
strictly speaking they are no longer living in the sphere of the flesh.
Thus "in the flesh" is not an accurate description of the state of a
genuine believer, irregardless of how "fleshly" they might be behaving
at the moment!
(ou) is absolutely not. You are absolutely not in the flesh.
word study on
this verse refers to the evil nature present in those in Adam (and still
present even in regenerate man).
Flesh is a principle that attaches to
the earth, and the things of the earth; but the spirit of regeneration
is as a light, which, coming from heaven, elevates the mind to those
things that are celestial...This indwelling of the Spirit is a sure
evidence of a renewed state; and believers should be careful not to
grieve the Spirit, and should labor to enjoy a constant sense of His
presence in their hearts. (Haldane,
R. An Exposition on the Epistle to the Roman. Ages Classic Commentaries)
A T Robertson
notes that "in the Spirit" most likely refers to...
“in the Holy Spirit.” It is not
Pantheism or Buddhism that Paul here teaches, but the mystical union of
the believer with Christ in the Holy Spirit. (Greek
IF INDEED THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU: eiper
pneuma theou oikei (3SPAI) en humin: (Ro 8:11; Lk 11:13; 1Cor
3:16; 6:19; 2Cor 6:16; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:13,17,18; 2:22; 2Ti 1:14; 1Jn
3:24; 4:4; Jude 1:19, 20, 21) (Jn 3:34; Gal 4:6; Php 1:19; 1Pet 1:11)
(eiper) is an emphatic marker of condition and is used of
something that is assumed to be. Eiper could be
translated “since”, "if as is the fact", "if as is the case." That is,
since the Spirit of God dwells in you, that is an indication that
you are not in the sphere of the evil nature, the
explains it this way...
This first “if” is not casting a
doubt over the Roman believers’ salvation. They are saved. Let me give
you a literal translation: “But you are not in the flesh, but in the
Spirit since the Spirit of God really dwells in you.” That is the real
test...The true mark of a born-again believer and a genuine Christian is
that he is indwelt by the Spirit of God...A believer is a new creation
(Ed note: The indwelling Holy Spirit gives a believer a totally
different life - 2Cor 5:17). Do you love Him? (Do you love His Word? Do
you want to communicate with Him?) Do you want to serve Him? Are these
things uppermost in your mind and heart? Or are you in rebellion against
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
from oikos = home) means to live or dwell in a
certain place as one's home.
= "is dwelling" or continually dwells. This fact is important for it
emphasizes that the Spirit is not an occasional visitor but that He
takes up residence in God’s children. What an awesome truth that the Spirit of
the Living God would make His home in ever redeemed sinner.
writes that oikeo in the
denotes a permanent fact; it is not
enough to have some seasons of impulse, some outbursts of enthusiasm,
mingled with practical infidelities. (Godet,
F L: Commentary on Romans. Kregel. 1998)
Headlam remark that oikeo...
denotes a settled permanent
penetrative influence. (Sanday,
W., & Headlam, A. C.. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the
Epistle of the Romans. Originally published 1897)
Jerusalem Bible renders it as "the Spirit of God has made a home
S Lewis Johnson
draws a wonderful picture from Romans 8:9 noting that...
The believer is said to be in the
Spirit, but the Spirit is also said to be in him. That
is the language of an element, such as the elements of earth, water,
fire, and air. It may be illustrated, for example, by the element of
water. A fish may be said to be in the water, but the water is also in
the fish. The force of the terms is to stress the closeness of the
relationship that exists between the believer and the Spirit, a kind of
mutual indwelling. The Spirit is the believer's element, a magnificent
picture indeed. The apostle also points to the absolute necessity of
the possession of the Spirit for one to belong to Christ. This is the
test of spiritual life (cf. Gal. 4:1-7).
Although, not in a
comment specifically on this passage, the rabbis wrote that he who
dwells in a house is the master of the house, not just a passing guest!
Ponder that in the context of Romans 8:9!
The Roman Christians’ faith was
spoken about throughout the world. Their real character, however, was
not determined either by their professions or their reputation. The
apostle therefore adds, if the Spirit of God lives in you. This
is the only decisive test. Every other bond of union with Christ is of
no avail without this. We may be members of his church, yet unless we
share that vital union which comes from the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit, we are his only in name. The Spirit of God is everywhere, yet he
is said to dwell wherever he especially and permanently manifests his
presence. So he is said to dwell in heaven; he dwelt of old in the
temple; he now dwells in the church, which is “a dwelling in which God
lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22); and he lives in each individual
believer, whose body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians
6:19). (Compare John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16;
2 Timothy 1:14 note;
8 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans)
that the reality of the indwelling Spirit...
Obviously rests upon the assumption
that the Spirit of God had taken possession of them. (Mounce,
R. H. Romans: The New American Commentary. Broadman & Holman Publishers)
on to add the important comment that...
Nowhere in Scripture do we find a
clearer indication that the Spirit enters a person’s life at the moment
of conversion (cf. also 1Cor 12:13 "For by one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free,
and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."). If the Spirit needed
to wait for some subsequent commitment to holiness, it follows that he
would be absent between conversion and that later point in time. But
that cannot be because Paul clearly indicated that a person without the
Spirit does not belong to Christ. It is because God has given us his
Spirit that “we know that we live in him and he in us” (1John 4:13).
Without His Spirit there can be no assurance of salvation. (Ibid)
Wuest comments that...
The Spirit is not only resident in the
believer in the sense of position in him, but He is actively at home in
him, living in him as His home. The Spirit has a ministry to perform in him,
namely, to give him victory over sin and produce His own fruit. This,
together with the presence of the imparted divine nature in him,
(Ed note: see note
2 Peter 1:4) and the fact that God has broken the power of the flesh
(Ed note: see especially
dead to sin in see notes
Romans 6:3), puts
that person out of the sphere of the flesh and into the sphere of the
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the
Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
The saved person is therefore not in the grip of the
but under the control of the Holy Spirit as he yields himself to Him
What a difference it makes in your
body when the Holy Spirit lives within. You experience new life, and
even your physical faculties take on a new dimension of experience. When
evangelist D. L. Moody described his conversion experience, he said: “I
was in a new world. The next morning the sun shone brighter and the
birds sang sweeter... the old elms waved their branches for joy, and all
nature was at peace.” Life in Christ is abundant life. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Most Jewish people
did not claim to have the Spirit; they believed that the Spirit would be
made available only in the time of the end. After the Messiah had come,
all those who were truly God’s people would have the Spirit working in
them (cf. Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 59:21 Ezekiel 39:29).
BUT IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST
HE DOES NOT
BELONG TO HIM: ei de tis pneuma Christou ouk echei (3SPAI), houtos ouk
estin (3SPAI) autou: (Jn 17:9,10; 1Cor 3:21, 22, 23; 15:23; 2Cor
10:7; Gal 5:24; Rev 13:8; 20:15)
But if anyone does not possess the
[Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to
Christ, is not truly a child of God]. (Amplified Bible)
But, assuming that a person does not
have the Spirit of Christ, this one does not belong to Him. (Wuest)
In this section of
the verse "if" (1487)
(ei) defines a condition of the first class or one that is
assumed to be true.
draws our attention to Paul's
Notice the “characteristic
delicacy of expression” (Sanday and Headlam); Paul used “you”
when speaking of those who are not in the flesh, but now “anyone”
as he refers to those who do not have the Spirit. (Morris,
L. The Epistle to the Romans. Eerdmans; 1988)
Note that, in this verse, the Holy Spirit is
called both the "Spirit of God" and the "Spirit of Christ."
The terms are synonymous. Thus, Christ is God, and so is the Holy
Spirit. (see note
for "Spirit of Jesus Christ" and note on
1 Peter 1:11
for "Spirit of Christ", cp Gal 4:6 "Spirit of His Son", Acts
16:7 "Spirit of Jesus") Paul sees the Holy Spirit as integrally related
to Christ as well as to God the Father.
No clearer assertion and no higher
exhibition of the Godhead of the Son can be conceived than that which
presents him as the source and the possessor of the Holy Spirit. The
Spirit proceeds from and belongs to him and by him is given to whomever
he wills (John 1:33; 15:26; 16:7; Luke 24:49; etc.). (Hodge,
Charles: Commentary on Romans)
adds the practical comment that...
The clear implication of Paul’s use
of the phrase “the Spirit of Christ” is that through the Spirit
we experience something of Jesus’ disposition—His kindness, His gentle
care, His love in our lives. As we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, we
are filled with the ethos of Jesus, and life becomes more and
more to us what it was and is to Him. (Amen!) (Hughes,
R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word. Wheaton,
Ill.: Crossway Books)
(echo) means to possess and is in the
points to more than a
passing contact but conveys the thought of continual possession.
(ou) means absolutely not and is used in both phrases "does
not have the Spirit" and "does not belong to Him"
"Not belong to
Him" is literally "He is absolutely not His". The Greek is what is
referred to as "genitive of possession" which conveys the idea of
ownership, in this case in a negative sense. Paul's point is that the
one who does not have the Spirit of Christ is not "owned" by Christ and
thus is an unsaved person. Since only the Holy Spirit gives spiritual
life, a person cannot be related to Christ apart from the Spirit.
notes that here Paul gives...
a necessary reservation. If the
Spirit of God did not really dwell in any of those whom the Apostle
addressed, they were still in the flesh, notwithstanding all their
profession, and all their present appearances, and his persuasion
respecting them. And no doubt some will be found to have escaped for a
time the pollutions of the world, who may afterwards show that they were
never renewed in heart. Many ridicule the pretensions of those who speak
of the Holy Spirit as dwelling in believers; yet if the Spirit of God
dwell not in any, they are still in the flesh; that is, they are enemies
to God... Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him. When
Christ takes possession of any man as His, He puts His Holy Spirit
within him. Without the presence of His Spirit, we can have no interest
in Christ. (Haldane,
R. An Exposition on the Epistle to the Roman)
The truth is brought out that the Holy Spirit is
given the believing sinner the moment he puts his faith in the Lord
Jesus, and not some time afterwards, as is erroneously taught in some
quarters, since that believing sinner becomes the possession of the Lord
Jesus the moment he believes and thus must possess the Holy Spirit as an
indweller (cp note
This verse also makes it clear
that the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is the identifying mark
of a believer in Jesus Christ. In his first epistle John echoes this
truth writing that
"the one who keeps His
commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He
abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." (1John
John adds that...
"By this we know that we abide in
Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." (1John
To belong to the family of God, it is essential that a person have the
Holy Spirit. No amount of religious devotion or good works will produce
salvation and eternal life, but only "the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost" (see note
Every true believer in Christ
is indwelt by the Holy Spirit for as Paul asks...
"do you not know that your
body is a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from
God, and that you are not your own?" (1Cor
All believers are being led by the Holy Spirit
"For all who are being led by the
Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (see note
The person who gives no evidence of the presence, power, and fruit of
God’s Spirit in his life has no legitimate claim to Christ as Savior and
Lord. Stated another way, the person who demonstrates no desire for the things of God and
has no inclination to avoid sin or passion to please God is not indwelt
by the Holy Spirit and thus does not belong to Christ.
In light of this
sobering truth Paul admonishes those who claim to be Christians:
imperative = continually, command) yourselves
(who?) to see if you are in the faith;
present imperative) yourselves! Or do you
not recognize (know fully) this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-unless
indeed you fail the test (a single word in Greek = adokimos =
rejected after examination = not standing the test)?” (2Cor
The Christian life is the
life of the Spirit of Jesus Christ living in and through you.
The Christian life is...
NOT our trying to live like Christ -- that is a misconception,
NOR is it our trying to be Christ-like -- that is another misconception,
NOR is it even Christ giving us the power to live a life like His.
It is none of these. It is the
Spirit of Christ indwelling us, living His life through us. And
that life was designed to be lived in the toughest,
most difficult spots on earth -- your home, your job, your
This is the test of whether you
are laying hold of the power of the life of Christ in you. Is your home
life different? It doesn't make any difference how well you talk in
public, but are you different at home? That is the test -- for that is
where the Christian life is designed to be lived.
Wayne Barber adds that
what Paul is saying in essence is...
"that believers have
a brand new identity. When you are in Adam your spirit is dead so
you are simply in the flesh.
Now that we are in Christ we
are no longer in the flesh. We can be duped by the flesh or
deceived by it but the truth is that we have been baptized into
Christ and the spiritual part of our being is now alive (Ro 8:10-note).
Have you ever said "Boy, I got in the flesh today". No you
didn't because you cannot get back in the flesh. Now that you are
in Christ, you are now in the Spirit. You may be "after the
flesh"…you may have strayed off course…you may have put your
confidence back in your flesh, but you are not in the flesh
anymore. And that's why you are so miserable and that's why the
Holy Spirit is trying to get you back on course of gravitating you
Now the Spirit dwells
in you, the Greek word signifying to be at home. So if you
have the Holy Spirit of God in you, then you are no longer in the
flesh. You are a brand new entity - you are in the Spirit. Yes,
you will still sin, but when you sin you are going against the
direction that the Spirit is drawing you toward (Ezekiel 36:27).
Some people believe that you
can be saved and not receive the Holy Spirit until later in your
"Christian life". But the meaning here is quite clear -
Spirit of Christ = Not born again
When you received Christ, you
received all of God you will ever get and you received one God.
You do not receive the Spirit of God later. Be suspicious when
someone tries to get you to go to a revival or a meeting so that
you will receive the Holy Spirit.
Like Dr Barber warns there are many
so called "revivals" going on in America today that are not
focused on Jesus but on the Spirit. But remember what Jesus told
us that when the Spirit comes "He will bear witness of" Jesus (John