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Imagine this: The Holy Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in us. That is stunning. Consider the power and might of the Holy Spirit in us. This explains the scope of the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Triune Godhead. In Christian thought the Holy Spirit is often regarded as the personification of the love between the Father and the Son. In operation the Spirit is the energy and power of God who works in creation, revelation, redemption, and renewal. More specifically, in salvation, the Holy Spirit applies the work of the Messiah to the believer and thus mediates the work of the mediator. The role of the church is to follow the leading of the Spirit in mission, and the goal of discipleship is to keep in step with the Spirit, bear its fruit and execute on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of the Messiah does not belong to him. 10 But if Messiah is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised the Messiah Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.[1]

Romans 8:9–11

For you to be “in the Spirit” is for God’s Spirit to be “residing in you,” so that the Spirit is both our biosphere and our vitality, both the space you inhabit and the air you breathe. Our obligation is to be in the Spirit of God and die to our fleshly desires.

“If indeed the Spirit of God is residing in you” does not call in question that God’s Spirit resides in the Roman Christians. Vice versa, it stresses that he does (“indeed”) because they are Christians.

“But if anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of the Messiah, this person doesn’t belong to him” does raise the specter, however, of a person falsely professing belief in the Messiah, perhaps even deluded into thinking of himself as a Christian believer though in fact he isn’t, as indicated by failure—through lack of the Spirit—to be fulfilling the righteous requirement of the Law.

“The Spirit of the Messiah” equates with “the Spirit of God” and thus points to Jesus as the divine Master to whom, as his slaves, Christians “belong.”

  • Since the Spirit is the Messiahs, to be in the Spirit is to be in the Messiah; and, vice versa, to have the Spirit in you is to have Jesus in you.
  • For just as the Spirit of God is the Spirit of the Messiah because Jesus and God are one with each other, to have the Spirit in you is to have Jesus in you because the Spirit and the Messiah are one with each other.[2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 8:9–11.

[2] Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 598.