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  • Chad Werkhoven

Romans 8:9-11 - Spirit of Who?

Christianity means living an 'all-in' life.


Romans 8:9–11 (NIV)

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 11: The Deity of the Holy Spirit

We believe and confess also

that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally

from the Father and the Son—

neither made,

nor created,

nor begotten,

but only proceeding

from the two of them.

In regard to order,

he is the third person of the Trinity—

of one and the same essence,

and majesty,

and glory,

with the Father and the Son.

He is true and eternal God,

as the Holy Scriptures teach us.



Romans 8 is the most significant chapter in the Bible's most significant book. I've often taught my students that when they're at the end of their rope and don't know where else to turn, turn to Romans 8 and God will speak to you from it. Today's short passage from it demonstrates its significance: As a Christian, you live in a completely different realm than the rest of the world.

Throughout all of his letters, Paul uses one of the smallest words to convey this very big idea: ἐν (English: in). You are either in Adam or in Christ. Here Paul writes that you are either in the world or in the Spirit. This is what it means to be a Christian. There's no inbetween. You're either all in one, or you're all in the other; there's no inbetween.

But it's the language Paul uses to describe the Spirit that catches our attention today. The very same Being is described as the "Spirit of God" and a few words later is called the "Spirit of Christ." In v11, the Spirit is described as having a very active role in the act that makes your salvation possible, when He's described as " the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead" (literally: 'The Spirit of the Raiser of Jesus...').

This is why our Confession, following the Nicene Creed, describes the Holy Spirit as proceeding from both the Father and the Son. In other words, the Holy Spirit isn't Jesus' little brother!

Dig Deeper

Maybe this discussion sort of feels like we've wandered a bit too far out into the theological weeds for you, with all this analysis of prepositions and pronouns. Certainly this topic is complicated and hard (even impossible!) to fully understand, but you'd be missing out on so much if you were to just skip it.

Because you are now in this very same Spirit, you are given life even though your body is subject to death (v10). This life isn't something in the far off future when you've died and gone to heaven, you're given this life right now because you're in the Spirit of God and Christ!

And there's even more to look forward to, especially as we draw closer to celebrating Resurrection Day: that even though the body you have will die, the same Spirit "who raised Christ's body from the dead will also give life to your mortal body!" All of this is possible "because His Spirit who lives in you" (see if you can figure out who "His" refers to in v11 - is it God or Jesus or both?).

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who's Spirit lives in us;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength and patience to understand these complicated things, so that you might fully realize the benefits you've gained by being placed in Christ;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Hebrews 13


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