LIFE IN THE SPIRIT (ROMANS 8:1-11)
A Chinese student at a local university asked me to explain the Trinity, so I did my best at a subject no one passes. I began by telling him that Father plus Son plus Spirit do not mean three Gods, but that God is three in one. Adding 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, but multiplying 1 three times is also 1, so Trinity is not 1+1+1 but 1 x 1 x 1+ 1, three Persons in one. At this he was taken by surprise. He said, The Spirit is a person. I answered, “Yes, the Spirit is a person, not a force or a thing.” He cannot be controlled, cornered or converted.
The Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31), also known as Spirit of God (Matt 3:16), the Spirit of your Father (Matt 10:20), the Spirit of the Lord (Luke 4:18) and the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9). The Father is the Sender, Christ is the Savior, and the Spirit is the Sanctifier. He is the eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14), the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:29), the Spirit of glory (1 Peter 4:14), the Spirit of life (Rev 11:11) and Spirit of truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13). In Him there is power (Rom 15:13, 19), sanctification or holiness (Rom 15:16), love (Rom 15:30), liberty (2 Cor 3:17), communion (2 Cor 13:14), fruit (Gal 5:22) and joy (1 Thess 1:6-7).
The person of the “Spirit” occurs 21 times in the chapter, the most for a chapter in the Bible.
Who is the Spirit? How is He active in us? Why is the Spirit an unmistakable part of our lives?
Let Go the Slavish Past
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
An Indian and a white man were brought under deep conviction of sin by the same sermon. The Indian was immediately led to rejoice in pardoning mercy. The white man was in distress for a long time, almost to despair. But at last he was brought to a joyous sense of sins forgiven.
Sometime after, while meeting his Indian brother, the white man said to him, “How is it that I should be so long under conviction, when you found peace at once?” “Oh, brother,” replied the Indian, “I will tell you. There comes along a rich prince. He proposes to give you a new coat; you look at your coat and say, ‘I don’t know; my coat looks pretty good; it will do a little longer.’ He then offered me a new coat. I look at my old blanket; I say, ‘This is good for nothing,’ and accept the beautiful new garment. Just so, brother, you try to keep your own righteousness. You won’t give it up; but I, poor Indian, could see that I had none, so I was glad at once to receive the righteousness of God—the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Illustrations of Bible Truths # 714)