Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

He Dwells in You
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 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. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 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 wrote this letter from Corinth, Greece during a three month visit to the church there in late 56 and early 57 A.D. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.

The teaching for chapters six through eight is sanctification. Sanctification can be defined as the process of being made holy.

Chapter six introduces positional and practical sanctification. Paul then elaborates on positional sanctification in chapter seven and practical sanctification in chapter eight.

In chapter six, Paul taught sanctification as being positional, meaning our standing with God, and as being practical, meaning how we work out this standing in our lives.

Referring to positional sanctification Paul wrote: “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” (Romans 6:10). On the cross, Christ finished the work of sin. Sin died and Christ was risen to “live to God” a new life as the Resurrected Christ.

Next, he wrote “Just as Christ died to sin, likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin (Romans 6:11a). Positionally, Christ’s death on the cross put sin to death and we Christians died to sin with Him. Practically, Paul commands us to “be dead indeed to sin”.

Christ has declared us dead to sin. Positional sanctification says that we are dead to sin, we are unable to sin. When we become a Christian, we become a new creation, dead to sin and alive to righteousness, “alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v. 6:11b).

But there is still a problem, positionally, that Paul details in chapter seven. He writes “So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (v. 7:25b).

We serve the “law of God” with our spiritual selves. But we still serve “the law of sin” with our physical selves.

So, we, as Christians, still have a sin problem, positionally. We must work out this problem practically.

That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit indwells us. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “indwell”, theologically, as meaning “to be permanently present in someone’s soul or mind: to possess spiritually”

In this passage, Paul details the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He writes that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (vv.1-2).

We are not under condemnation of sin when we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. The Holy Spirit frees us from the power of sin.

 “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh (v. 3). The Mosaic Law informs us of sin. It does not give us the power to live a Godly life.

Jesus gave us that power when he came to earth in the likeness of a man and put sin to death with His sacrifice on the cross. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, becoming a Christian, the Holy Spirit indwells us and gives us the power to live a Godly life.

Then, “the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (vv. 4-5). We can only obey God by allowing the Holy Spirit to live through us.

 “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (v. 6). When we are controlled by our physical desires the result is spiritual death, eternal separation from God. However, when we are controlled by the Holy Spirit the result is eternal life in Heaven and peace with God.

This is “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” (v. 7). Non-Christians make themselves enemies of God by not living in obedience to Him.

The first act of obedience is accepting Him and becoming a Christian. Then we receive the Holy Spirit, the Power to obey Him. Until then, we are an enemy of God

“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (v. 8). Those who are still living “in the flesh”, non-Christians, cannot please God. No matter how good a person you are you cannot ever please God until you become a Christian.

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (v. 9a). When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit indwells you and you are then able to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

“Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (v. 9b). You are not a child of God if you have not become a Christian.

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (v. 10). When we become a Christian, we are no longer controlled by our physical desires, but by the Holy Spirit who helps us live a life 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. (v. 11). For Christians, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also raise you from death to eternal life in Heaven because He dwells in you.