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Journey through the Book of Romans
by Clifford Tate 
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Paul declares True Believers Free from Indwelling Sin Part 3

Romans 8:9-11 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. NKJV

Paul concluded last time by saying that all who are in the flesh cannot please God. Before we go further we must clarify what Paul means here by “the flesh” because this too has been a source of contention for many centuries. The little English phrase “the flesh” is translated so from the Greek word sarx which means the body (as opposed to the soul or spirit) or by implication human nature with its physical and moral frailties and passions. The question is how Paul is here using this word sarx for the purpose of his discourse in this section of Scripture. Paul from way back in verse 1 of Romans 6 has been thundering the point that a person who has encountered the Risen Lord Jesus Christ is made a new creation by the Lord and the Lord places His Divine Life inside that person’s spirit and soul empowering them to live or walk in newness of life by the grace and strength received from His Spirit.

Paul here then when referring to the flesh is speaking of the person’s body and their human nature which is a part of the spirit and soul as both representing the flesh. We know that we human beings are a spirit and we have a soul (this is what makes each of us unique) and we live in a body. The Apostle James says the following: James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. NKJV The English word spirit James uses here is from the Greek word pneuma which means the rational human soul or by implication vital principle or mental disposition. We know that the spirit, soul, and body are three separate entities but make one complete man or woman just as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three yet they are One God. Paul confirms man as the triune being that he is by these words, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV

Paul states the following in Ephesians of what happened to each one of us when we were born again, Ephesians 2:1 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” NKJV What part of our triune being did our Lord Jesus Christ make alive from the dead? Certainly it was not our body for we were walking and talking and interacting with other human beings on the earth very much alive physically. Our Lord made our spirit alive from the dead to God the Father and immediately our born again spirit begins to communicate to our soul (where our will, mind, and emotions reside) that was dead also by virtue of our spirit being dead to God. The soul (our mind is located in our soul) which is responsible for communicating to our bodies members instructing them what to do and not to do was before only operating by our 5 senses touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight and there was zero heavenly information being received to the soul/mind. Therefore, Paul is not saying that the flesh is simply our body because the body is non-functional without the spirit and soul energizing it with life and with direction of how to live life.

Now that we have clarified (with the Word of God and not my words) what Paul means by being “in the flesh” we can understand why he says this, Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. NKJV This is the heart of True Christianity or what makes a man, woman, boy, or girl a true follower of Jesus Christ and that is that Christ by His Spirit (John 14:15-24 & John 16:13-15) lives in His sons and daughters (1 Corinthians 6:17,19-20). This truth is what led Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) to write these words as we recorded them in the previous study but they are so powerful, precious, and pertinent to this 3rd part of our freedom from indwelling sin that they must be repeated once again: “Remember that if you are a child of God, you will never be happy in sin. You are spoiled for the world, the flesh, and the devil. When you were regenerated there was put into you a vital principle, which can never be content to dwell in the dead world. You will have to come back, if indeed you belong to the family.” Brother Spurgeon no doubt was probably somewhere in this glorious Book of Romans when our Lord Jesus inspired these most precious words from his heart. We who have heard the gospel, have believed the gospel, and have been born again by the gospel are not “in the flesh” any longer and subsequently we can please God the Father by the grace we are given by our Lord Jesus Christ that is then energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

This is why Paul said these words concerning his body, 1 Corinthians 9:27 But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel {and} things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit]. QAB Paul was always aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in him, yet he knew that God the Holy Spirit would not take a hold of his will and make him obey or walk worthy of his calling in Christ, but Paul knew that it was his responsibility to submit to the authority of the Father, Son, and Spirit by bringing himself under the Word of God. Paul has already earlier said that we in Christ are free from the Law of Sin and Death because of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus we have received and he being a good teacher simply says the same thing again in a little different manner in Romans 8:10. Paul wants us to understand that the regenerated person is not and cannot ever again be sin’s slave when now we are inhabited by our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was a stickler for repeating himself throughout all of the epistles he wrote to the various churches as he says the same thing to the Corinthians in this manner, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. NKJV

Paul places the reality of us being alive from spiritual death and incapable of ever again being enslaved by sin by reminding us of the miraculous, majestic, and mighty power that was required and was manifested by God the Holy Spirit to raise our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and the same God the Holy Spirit raised us up from spiritual death and lives now in us to continually be the conduit by which we receive grace from our Lord Jesus Christ as He sits on the Throne of Grace right now in Heaven. This absolutely crushes the false garbage that flows from the promoters of cheap grace that allow men and women to live in sin and depravity and still consider themselves children of God. Paul is also saying that because we have these bodies that despite our new birth will still return to the dust of the earth, yet because our spirits have been made alive to God the Father by what God the Son did in death and Resurrection by the Power of God the Holy Spirit we will not only continue to receive grace while we live in our bodies to overcome sin, but God the Holy Spirit will be the One to form our glorified bodies like our Lord Jesus’ to live in His Presence forever (1 Corinthians 42-44 & 53).

1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. NJKV

“But the spirit, the precious soul, that is life; it is now spiritually alive, nay, it is life. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the life of the saint lies in the soul, while the life of the sinner goes no further than the body. When the body dies, and returns to the dust, the spirit if life; not only living and immortal, but swallowed up of life. Death to the saints is but the freeing of the heaven-born spirit from the clog and load of this body, that it may be fit to partake of eternal life.” Matthew Henry

“When I received the Gospel, the Spirit of the Lord was given to me. The Spirit of the Lord lives and works in me to bring this liberty or freedom from the slavery of sin and sin’s power. The Spirit of God gives light and clearness of view. This is a general truth. The Spirit of God removes obscurity and enables me to see truth plainly and clearly. This truth cannot be denied.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr. from my Book entitled “Silent Assassins of the Soul”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...

Sincerely in Christ,

Clifford D. Tate, Sr.

Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…


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