Life in the Spirit, Pt. 2
September 23, 2018
A couple of years ago a Great Dane was brought into the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon because the dog had been retching and vomiting all through the day. The doctors examined the dog with abdominal radiographs and found “a severely distended stomach and a large quality of foreign material.” During a surgery that soon followed, the veterinarians discovered a sock in the dog’s belly. And then another one. And another one. In fact, in total they extracted 43-1/2 socks from the dog’s belly. Apparently the dog was working in concert with the washing machine to abscond with the socks.
Of course this begs the question, “On how much footwear can Fido feast before Fido’s found a fatality?”
More seriously, it is worth noting that what one consumes can kill. For humanity, what is lurking inside of us — our fleshly desires and longings that are the manifestation of our sinful Adamic nature — is deadly. It can and will kill us — unless something changes.
And by the grace and glory of God, something has changed. The Holy Spirit has set us free from the law of sin and death through the work of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:2). Previously, we only knew bondage to sin. Now we know freedom from sin. Before we only knew the power of the flesh, but now we know the power of God working in us. In fact, Paul reminds us in vv. 5-8 of Romans 8 of what changed when we were moved from darkness to light and from flesh to Spirit — we were given a new mindset, a new position, a new ability, and a new desire. It is not trite to say that the transformation could not have been more radical.
Now in verses 9-11, Paul begins to unpack how that transformation has taken place — it was through the gift of the Holy Spirit who came to indwell believers. Again, the theme of this section is —
When the Spirit of God saves someone, he is entirely changed — from the inside out.
In these verses, Paul reveals four realities about the life of the Spirit in the believer —
- If You are in Christ, You are Not in the Flesh (v. 9a)
- If You are in Christ, the Spirit is in You (v. 9b)
- If the Spirit is in You, You Are Being Made Alive (v. 10)
- If the Spirit is in You, You Will be Made Alive (v. 11)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 8:9-11.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.