Romans 8:9 Commentary

 

 

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Romans 8:9 Commentary
Commentary Updated July 18, 2014

Romans 8:9  However you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him (NASB: Lockman)

Greek humeis de ouk este (2PPAI) en sarki alla en pneumati, eiper pneuma theou oikei (3SPAI) en humin. ei de tis pneuma Christou ouk echei, (3SPAI) houtos ouk estin (3SPAI) autou.
Amplified But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. 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 - Lockman)
Barclay: but you are not dominated by the pursuits which fascinate our sinful human nature; you are dominated by the Spirit, if so it be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone does not possess the Spirit of Christ he does not belong to Christ. (Westminster Press)
Godet: But as for you, ye are not under the dominion of the flesh, but under that of the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwell in you. But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His
Phillips: But you are not carnal but spiritual if the Spirit of God finds a home within you. You cannot, indeed, be a Christian at all unless you have something of His Spirit in you. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But, as for you, you are not in the sphere of the sinful nature but in the sphere of the Spirit, provided that the Spirit of God is in residence in you. But, assuming that a person does not have Christ’s Spirit, this one does not belong to Him.  (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal:  And ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God doth dwell in you; and if any one hath not the Spirit of Christ -- this one is not His;

REFERENCES
Resources Updated July 18, 2014

Henry Alford
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Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 94 page Study Guide in Pdf
Romans Notes in Outline Form
Romans Commentary
Romans 8 No Condemnation, No Separation
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-4: Frustration of Living Under Law

Romans 8:5-11: Free to Be What God Wants
Romans 8:12-17: Rights of the Holy Spirit 

Romans 8:18-21: Reward of the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:22-25: Resource of the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:26-29: Resource of the Holy Spirit- 2
Romans 8:28-39: Revelation/Resolve the Spirit

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8: Notes
Romans 8:1-11 No Condo

Romans 8:12-17 The Spirit of Adoption

Romans 8:18-27 From Groans to Glory
Romans 8:28-30 A Providence Minded Man

Romans 8:31-39 A Love That Keeps on Giving

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1: No Condemnation
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1 How to Do What God Wants You to Do
Romans 8:2-11 Living the Spirit-controlled Life
Romans 8:12-17 Allowing God's Spirit to Lead You

Romans 8:18-25 Back to the Future - missing
Romans 8:26-27 When We Don’t Know What to Pray
Romans 8:28-30 The Promises of Predestination
Romans 8:31-37 Conquering Christians
Romans 8:38-39  Lessons from a Lockdown

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-4 The Deliverance Of The Spirit Life
Romans 8:5-13 The Differences Of The Spirit Life
Romans 8:14-17 The Delights Of The Spirit Life 
Romans 8:17 Groaning Here, Glory There 
Romans 8:18-27 The Diligence Of The Spirit Life 
Romans 8:28-30 he Determination Of The Spirit Life
Romans 8:28 The Chemistry Of The Cross 
Romans 8:31-39 The Distinction Of The Spirit Life
Romans 8:33-39 Absolute Security

Romans 8:37 More Than Conquerors

Romans 6:1-8:39 The Final Work of Salvation in Us
Romans 8:1-9 Notes  (More Notes)
Romans 8:1-4: Set Free (excellent series of sermons)

Romans 8:5-6: Two Groups, Two Destinies

Romans 8:6-8: Understanding the Unbelieving Mind

Romans 8:9-11: Do You Belong to Christ?

Romans 8:12-13: Kill Your Sin!

Romans 8:14-16: Signs of True Assurance

Romans 8:17: Adopted Heirs of God

Romans 8:18-25: Present Suffering, Future Glory

Romans 8:26-27: The Spirit Helps Us Pray

Romans 8:28: All Things for Good for Us

Romans 8:29: Why All Things Work Together for Good for Us

Romans 8:29-30: Why Our Salvation is Secure

Romans 8:31-32: Enduring Opposition

Romans 8:33-34: God’s Answer for Guilt

Romans 8:35-39: The Triumph of God’s Love

Romans 8 Notes
Romans 8 Sermons - Choose "Romans" and "All" = 138 Sermons
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 From Agony to Ecstasy
Romans 8:1-17 Siding With the Spirit

Romans 8:18-27 From Groaning to Glory

Romans 8:28 A Solace in Suffering: The Sovereignty of God

Romans 8:29 God’s Eternal Decree

Romans 8:30 The Glory of God

Romans 8:31-39 Comforting Questions

Romans 8 Commentary - Expositor's Greek Testament
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-4 Delivered by the Spirit by Death of Christ
Romans 8:5-11 Flesh and Spirit

Romans 8:12-17 Children of God

Romans 8:15-25 Present Suffering/ Future Glory

Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit Intercedes for Us

Romans 8:28-30 The Purpose of God

Romans 8:31-32 God is for Us, So Who is Against Us?
Romans 8:33-34 God Has Justified Us, So Who Can Condemn Us?
Romans 8:35-39 More than Conquerors

Romans 8 from Anti-Nicene Fathers
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:6-17 Your Debt to God's Spirit
Romans 8:1-14 Led by the Spirit
Romans 8 Commentary (H C G Moule)
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-39 The Glorious Eighth Chapter Of Romans
Romans 8:1-39 The Glorious Eighth Chapter Of Romans

Romans 8:17 Heirs of God

Romans 8:18-33 The Magnitude of Our Heavenly Inheritance

Romans 8:21 Liberty - Glorious Liberty

Romans 8:24 Hope 1037.htm

Romans 8:28 09:11 The Sevenfold Purpose of God

Romans 8:28 The Called

Romans 8:28 The Mystery of Providence

Romans 8:28 The Mystery of Providence

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
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Romans 8 The Work of the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:1-11 Victory Over Sin

Romans 8:12-17 Adoption

Romans 8:18-30 Completion of Salvation

Romans 8:1-4 No Condemnation
Romans 8:5-11 Two Kinds of People

Romans 8:12-17 Sons of God

Romans 8:18-27 Groaning for the Future

Romans 8:26,27 Help for Your Prayer Life

Romans 8:28 A Promise You Need to Know

Romans 8:29,30 The Golden Chain of God's Grace  1

Romans 8:29, 30 The Golden Chain of God's Grace 2

Romans 8:31-34 A Bold Declaration of Hope

Romans 8:35-39 An Ongoing Reason for Gratitude
Romans 8:1-14 The Law of the Spirit of Life,

Romans 8:15-39 The Spirit's Work in the Believer

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-11 Freedom From Condemnation
Romans 8:12-1 Abba! Father!

Romans 8:18-30  Groaning For Glory

Romans 8:31-39 Love That Never Leaves
Romans 8: Well Done Brief Notes
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-17 The Law of Life.

Romans 8:18-25 History's Painful Waiting.

Romans 8:31-39 Unshakeable Foundations.
Romans 8:3-4 Law or Love

Romans 8:6 The Carnal and the Spiritual

Romans 8:9 The Owner's Mark

Romans 8:11 The Resurrection of the Body

Romans 8:14 The Leading of the Spirit

Romans 8:15 The Spirit of a Son

Romans 8:16 The Assurance of Sonship 
Romans 8:17 Joint-Heirs with Christ

Romans 8:18 Another good Reckoning

Romans 8:19 An Expectant Creation

Romans 8:24-25 The Saving Grace of Hope

Romans 8:26 How to Pray as We Ought

Romans 8:28 Love's Prosperity

Romans 8:32 The Inclusive Gift

Romans 8:33-34 No Case

Romans 8:38-39 An Inseparable Love 

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Notes - Verse by Verse Notes
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Study Bible Notes - enter Scripture, click Read in right column
Romans 8 Sermons with Illustrations - click NT- click Romans
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Romans 8:1-39 The Reign of Grace through the Spirit of the Gospel
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-4 Power of the Indwelling Spirit

Romans 8:5-17 Life by the Spirit, part I

Romans 8:5-17 Life by the Spirit, part II

Romans 8:18-27 Three Groanings for Glory

Romans 8:28-30 The Divine Purpose

Romans 8:31-39 God For Us, or No Separation
Romans 8 Commentary

Romans 8:18-30 Homesick for Heaven

Romans 8:31-39 Secure for Sure!
Romans 8 Sermons Mp3 only (Jewish Believer)

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-2 Free from Judgment, Part 1

Romans 8:3 Free from Judgment, Part 2

Romans 8:3-4 Free from Judgment, Part 3 
Romans 8:1-4 Free from Sin, Able to Fulfill God's Law

Romans 8:1-11 The Spirit Takes Us from Sin to Righteousness-(click dropdown)

Romans 8:1-11 The Spirit Takes Us from Sin to Righteousness

Romans 8:4-6 The Transforming Work of the Spirit, Part 1 
Romans 8:7-11 The Transforming Work of the Spirit, Part 2 

Romans 8 Devotional Exposition - Paul's Song of Songs - 16 chapters
Romans 8 Devotional Exposition - A Song in the Night

Romans 8:2 Thy Free Spirit
Romans 8:3 Christ Condemning Sin

Romans 8:16 The Witness of the Spirit
Romans 8:17 Sons and Heirs

Romans 8:19 The Revelation of Sons

Romans 8:23 The Redemption of the Body
Romans 8:26 The Interceding Spirit

Romans 8:32 The Gift that Brings All Gifts

Romans 8:37 More Than Conquerors

Romans 8:38-39 Love's Triumph

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary - Thru the Bible Mp3's verse by verse
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
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Romans 8 Defender's Study Bible Commentary (click link in right column)
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Expositor's Bible)
Romans 8 Wells of Living Water Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-4 Now No Condemnation, Pt. 1

Romans 8:1-4 Now No Condemnation, Pt. 2

Romans 8:5-8 The Striking Contrast

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

Romans 8:12-17 How God Gives Believers Assurance, Pt. 1

Romans 8:12-17 How God Gives Believers Assurance, Pt. 2

Romans 8:18-25 Suffering & Hope, Pt. 1

Romans 8:18-25 Suffering & Hope, Pt. 2

Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit’s Help, Pt. 1

Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit’s Help, Pt. 2

Romans 8:28-30 God, the Christian, and His Purpose, Pt. 1

Romans 8:28 All Things

Romans 8:28-30 God, the Christian, and His Purpose, Pt. 2

Romans 8:28-30 God, the Christian, and His Purpose, Pt. 3

Romans 8:31-32 Is God For You?

Romans 8:33-34 The Believer’s Steady Assurance, Pt. 1

Romans 8:33-37 The Believer’s Steady Assurance, Pt. 2

Romans 8:37-39 More than Conquerors

Romans 8:1-39 How Romans 8 Applies Everyday—A Review

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 1-8  The Mighty and Merciful Message of Romans

Romans 8:1-8 How Believers Experienced the Spirit Before Pentecost
Romans 8:1-17 The Life of God in the Soul of Man
Romans 8:1 No Condemnation in Christ Jesus, Part 1 
Romans 8:1-4 No Condemnation in Christ Jesus, Part 2 
Romans 8:1-4 Set Free by the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
Romans 8:1-4 The Liberating Law of the Spirit of Life

Romans 8:1-4 What the Law Could Not Do, God Did Sending Christ, Part 1
Romans 8:1-4 What the Law Could Not Do, God Did Sending Christ, Part 2 
Romans 8:3-9 How the Spirit Does What the Law Could Not 
Romans 8:3-4 What Does It Mean to Fulfill the Law in Romans 
Romans 8:3-4 What We See When the Spirit Reigns: Love

Romans 8:5-9 Why and How We Walk According to the Spirit
Romans 8:7-11 Christian, Know Whose You Are
Romans 8:9-11 The Spirit Will Give Life to Your Mortal Bodies
Romans 8:10-17 How to Kill Sin, Part 1
Romans 8:10-17 How to Kill Sin, Part 2 
Romans 8:10-17 How to Kill Sin, Part 3

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary

Romans 8:1-4 No Condemnation
Romans 8:5-17: Life in the Spirit

Romans 8:18-27 Why Bad Things to God's People

Romans 8:26-27 When God Prays for You
Romans 8:28: Can We Still Believe in Romans 8:28
Romans 8:28: Can We Still Believe in Romans 8:28 - II
Romans 8:29-30: The Golden Chain
Romans 8:31-37: More Than Conquerors
Romans 8:38-39: No Separation

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8: Greek Word Studies
Romans 8:1ff: How to Have Victory Over Sin
Romans 8:1-4 Free to Fly
Romans 8:1-11 Being Spiritually Minded

Romans 8:14-17 The Joy Of Being Grown Up

Romans 8:16-17 We Belong To Him

Romans 8:16-29 Seeing The Big Picture

Romans 8:29-39 More Than Conquerors Through Him

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Sermons - click arrow for sermons verse by verse
Romans 8 Sermons on almost every verse in Romans 8!
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Devotional Exposition - The Believer's Triumph! - 9 chapters
Romans 8 Exposition
Romans 8:1 In Christ No Condemnation

Romans 8:3 How God Condemned Sin

Romans 8:3  Sin Condemned and Executed by Christ Jesus
Romans 8:3, 4 The Law's Failure and Fulfilment

Romans 8:7: The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God

Romans 8:7 A Traitor Suspected and Convicted

Romans 8:7 A Fatal Deficiency
Romans 8:12: The Christian--A Debtor

Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 7:14-8:4: False Consecration
Romans 7:25-8:4: No Condemnation
Romans 8:1-17. The Ministry of the Spirit
Romans 8:18-31. The Best is Yet to Come
Romans 8:31-39. Eternally Secure
Romans 8:1-30 Sermon
Romans 8:31-39 Sermon
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8:1-6 No Condemnation

Romans 8:7-13 The Power of the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:14-19 What Does It Mean to be a Child of God?

Romans 8:20-25 God Just Keeps on Giving and Giving and Giving

Romans 8:26-28 Every Adversity Is the Seed of A Greater Benefit

Romans 8:28-34 There's More to Being a Christian than Just Saying You are One

Romans 8:31-39 Once Saved, Always Saved

Romans 8:1-4 The Best Chapter in the Bible (1): No Condemnation
Romans 8:5-8 The Best Chapter in the Bible (2): Never Mind

Romans 8:9-11 The Best Chapter in the Bible (3): Always Mind
Romans 8:12-13 The Best Chapter in the Bible (4): Killing Fields

Romans 8:14-17 The Best Chapter in the Bible (5): Lovers of Abba
Romans 8:13 Putting Sin to Death
Romans 8:18-25 The Best Chapter in the Bible (6): Hope of Glory
Romans 8:18-25 Sons Displayed in Glory
Romans 8:26-39 God's Care for His Children
Romans 8:26-27 The Best Chapter in the Bible (7): Spirit Power
Romans 8:28-30 The Best Chapter in the Bible (8): Golden Chain
Romans 8:31-32 The Best Chapter in the Bible (9): If God Is For Us (1)
Romans 8:28-30 The Best Chapter in the Bible (10): If God Is For Us (2)
Romans 8:38-39 The Best Chapter in the Bible (11): No Separation

Romans 8 Sermons - 23 sermons on Romans 8!
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Cross References - expanded
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8: Greek Word Studies
Romans 8 Commentary
Romans 8 Devotional Exposition - No Condemnation - 35 Chapters
Romans 7:16-8:7 How Do We Live By The Spirit not the Flesh? 
Romans 8:8-11 The Spirit Of Christ Resides In Every Child Of God 
Romans 8:12-17 To Be Adopted By God
Romans 8:18-23 We In Christ Groan Inwardly As We Await Our Adoption 
Romans 8:24-28 With Perseverance, Wait Eagerly For Your Hope In Christ 
Romans 8:29-30 For Those God Foreknew He Also Predestined 
Romans 8:31-39 If Christ Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us? 

Romans 8:1-17 Living By The Spirit
Romans 8:18-25 Eager Anticipation
Romans 8:26-29 God is For Us
Romans Inductive Bible Study
Romans 8:1  Romans 8:1  Romans 8:1-10  Romans 8:1ff  Romans 8:2
Romans 8:3 Romans 8:3  Romans 8:3  Romans 8:5  Romans 8:6
Romans 8:6  Romans 8:9ff  Romans 8:11-18 
Romans 8:12

Romans 8:12-17  Romans 8:12-17  Romans 8:14  Romans 8:14-17
Romans 8:15 Romans 8:15  Romans 8:15  Romans 8:16

Romans 8:16-17 Romans 8:16-17  Romans 8:16-30 Romans 8:16-27

Romans 8:18

ROMANS ROAD
to RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans
1
:18-3:20
Romans
3:21-5:21
Romans
6:1-8:39
Romans
9:1-11:36
Romans
12:1-16:27
SIN SALVATION SANCTIFICATION SOVEREIGNTY SERVICE
NEED
FOR
SALVATION
WAY
OF
SALVATION
LIFE
OF
SALVATION
SCOPE
OF
SALVATION
SERVICE
OF
SALVATION
God's Holiness
In
Condemning
Sin
God's Grace
In
Justifying
Sinners
God's Power
In
Sanctifying
Believers
God's Sovereignty
In
Saving
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
The
Object of
Service
Deadliness
of Sin
Design
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Righteousness
Needed
Righteousness
Credited
Righteousness
Demonstrated
Righteousness
Restored to Israel
Righteousness
Applied
God's Righteousness
IN LAW
God's Righteousness
IMPUTED
God's Righteousness
OBEYED
God's Righteousness
IN ELECTION
God's Righteousness
DISPLAYED
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
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 Bible Note)

“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.

"However" (or "but" in most translations) marks a contrast. Paul’s readers were not those who only had a sinful human nature.

You (5210) (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 flesh 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, the flesh  but in the sphere of the Spirit."

The little 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.

William Newell writes that...

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)

Constable remarks that...

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 Notes)

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!

Not (3756) (ou) is absolutely not. You are absolutely not in the flesh.

Flesh (4561) (sarx) (Click word study on sarx) in this verse refers to the evil nature present in those in Adam (and still present even in regenerate man).

Haldane writes that...

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 Word Studies)

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)

"If" (1512) (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 flesh.

McGee 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 God? (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary:  Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Dwells (3611) (oikeo from oikos = home) means to live or dwell in a certain place as one's home. Present tense = "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.

Godet writes that oikeo in the present tense

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)

Sanday and 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)

The New Jerusalem Bible renders it as  "the Spirit of God has made a home in you."

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). (Romans 8:5-17) (Bolding added)

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!

Charles Hodge writes that...

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; etc.) (Romans 8 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans)

Mounce adds 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)

Mounce goes 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 6:1-2; Romans 6:3), puts that person out of the sphere of the flesh and into the sphere of the Holy Spirit. (Wuest, 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 flesh but under the control of the Holy Spirit as he yields himself to Him (Gal 5:16-18).

Warren Wiersbe adds...

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.

Leon Morris 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 Philippians 1:19 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.

Hodge adds that...

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)

Kent Hughes 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)

Have (2192) (echo) means to possess and is in the present tense points to more than a passing contact but conveys the thought of continual possession.

Not (3756) (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.

Haldane 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)

Wuest adds that...

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 Romans 5:5). (Ibid)

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 3:24)

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 4:13)

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 Titus 3:5).

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 6:19)

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 Romans 8:14).

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:

Test (present imperative = continually, command) yourselves (who?) to see if you are in the faith; examine (dokimazo = 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 13:5).

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 everyday circumstances!

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 toward God.

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 -

No 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 15:26)."


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