“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.”
Food For Thought… I have heard this particular verse quoted most of my life—usually in the context of praying for the healing power of the Holy Spirit for a physical malady. I have received prayers, and I have offered prayers using this verse as a faith builder—that the same Spirit of God who raised the body of Jesus from death is dwelling in us, and we can expect that same resurrection power to bring divine life to our physical bodies as well. And to be sure, I believe that to be true.
What never hit me until this moment is the larger context in which we find this verse. Up to this point in Romans, Paul has been extensively contrasting the bondage to sin we experienced while living under the law with the freedom from sin we have living under the lordship of the resurrected Christ. He has shared his own struggle with sin—of doing what he shouldn’t and not doing what he should. He has been quite realistic about this back-and-forth wrestling match that goes on in our lives between sin-bondage and Spirit-freedom.
And then he drops this truth on us: We are not alone in this struggle with sin. We do not have to be disheartened by the overwhelming nature of the spiritual contest we are in. For sure, we experience a strong pull back into the slavery from which our sinful natures were freed. But praise God, we have an infinitely stronger, incomparably more powerful, indefatigable Person who is dwelling within us and is fighting for us, helping us to overcome sin—and that Person is the Holy Spirit. With him in us and for us, we cannot lose—if we will cooperate with him.
If we work with and walk with the Holy Spirit, we then can tap into the same force he exerted in the lifeless body of Jesus to reconstitute each dead cell and catalyze his breathless spirit to produce something that had never happened before, something that the master of sin, the devil, never counted on: The first fully resurrected man.
Not only that, this first fully resurrected man was just the beginning. Now, all who accept Jesus by faith enter into that same resurrection life by that same indwelling resurrection Spirit. And the indwelling Spirit enables them to live in that same resurrection power that will not only heal their sick bodies, and not only guarantee their immortality, but will empower them each and every day to resist the pull of sin and live the victorious, overcoming Christian life.
Think about that! On this day, at this very moment, the same Holy Spirit that coursed through the body of our Lord and brought him back to life again is coursing through you.
Wow! Suffering, sickness and sin—especially sin—doesn’t stand a chance!
Prayer… Holy Spirit, quicken my mortal body today so that I may live above sin, be healed from all my diseases, and face every circumstance, good or bad, with the knowledge that victory is mine through the resurrection reality of my risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One more thing… “We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear—the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.” —C.S. Lewis