Where Do We Stand With God?
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. (Romans 8:9-11)
How does God view us, in terms of our sanctification? In other words, what is our position or status with Him as far as our progress in the Christian life is concerned?
Does He see us as deficient, with mostly demerits on our record? Do we begin each day with a negative balance, with a need to do a truckload of right things to arrive at a positive balance by the end of the day? Are we merely wannabe Christians in His eyes? Or do we have a positive balance in our Divine account, fully legitimate as believers belonging to Him?
The answer is in Romans 8:9. God declares that we are in the Spirit (and not in the flesh). We wake up each morning with an abundance of credit to our account. We are the real deal in His eyes. God has placed us in the Spirit, and He sees us as in the Spirit. We have a positive balance with Him, always.
What this means is that believers need not prove themselves to God, trying to gain His favor. God expects nothing from our flesh … He knows that it cannot produce anything good. We simply need to walk in the state we are in; we are in the Spirit, so our need is to walk in the Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can create good things in and from our lives.
Notice that the Spirit of God is referred to here as the Spirit of Christ. Note also the statement Christ is in you. Putting these concepts together we conclude that Jesus Christ lives within the believer by the Person of the Holy Spirit. That is how He does it … He dwells in each of us by the Spirit.
Because the Spirit dwells within the believer, there is a continual promise of the experience of resurrection life. The same power by which Christ rose from dead is in us. The same life Jesus possesses is the same life we possess.
A primary purpose of this life is that we can overcome the weakness and helplessness of our mortal bodies (our bodies subject to sin and death; our bodies which still contain the vestige of sin). In other words, the Spirit’s life in us conquers the flesh life as we trust in and walk in Him.
Any good work that God does in us by power which does not come from us; the power God grants us is the resurrection power of His Spirit, which is the same power that raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.
For Further Review
1. What does it mean to be in the Spirit? According to this passage, who are those that God classifies as being in the Spirit?
2. Read Ephesians 1:13,14 and answer this question: what are the steps leading up to being sealed with the Holy Spirit?
3. When you wake up in the morning, what is your view of yourself? How does God’s view of you differ from your own?
4. Why is it important to have the correct view of yourself as a believer in Jesus?
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