You Have the Spirit of Christ

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

Romans 8:9

Paul explains that we Christians are not controlled by our sinful nature (literally, “in the flesh”), but rather are now controlled by the Spirit (“in the Spirit”) he clarifies something that has been implicit so far in the argument of Romans 8: “And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.” This is an absolutely crucial element of Christian theology and Christian living. If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, then his Spirit lives within you. What an amazing truth!

When I was in college, I had Christian friends who believed that one could be a Christian and not actually have the Holy Spirit. In their view, every Christian needed to receive the Spirit after conversion. This reflected their interpretation of their experience, since they had had powerful encounters with the Spirit since coming to faith in Christ. But their theology fell short of biblical truth. No true believer in Jesus lacks the Spirit. Yet we can all have deeper and more transforming experiences of the Spirit.

The question for the believer is not, “Do I have the Spirit?” but rather, “How much of me does the Spirit have?” The more we surrender ourselves to God, the more we seek him, the more the Spirit of God will renew us and empower us for the ministry of Christ.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced the presence of God’s Spirit in your life? Do you ever doubt that you have the Spirit of God? How does the reassurance of Romans 8:9 impact you?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I suppose the greatest gift you have given me is salvation through Christ. But right alongside salvation is the astounding gift of your Spirit. What a wonder that you have given me your very own Spirit to live within me!

Thank you, gracious God, for the gift of the Spirit. Thank you for the healing work of the Spirit in my life. Thank you for all the times your Spirit teaches me, guides me, admonishes me. That you for how the Spirit empowers me for your ministry, so that I might do what I could never do on my own. Thank you for not taking your Spirit away from me when I sin.

O Lord, even as I have your Spirit, may your Spirit have more of me . . . all that I am, heart, soul, mind, and strength. Amen.

P.S. from Mark

I will always be grateful to Gordon Fee for helping me to understand biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit. Fee, who is himself a Pentecostal, taught an amazing series on the Holy Spirit at Park St. Church when I was in college. This series both reassured and challenged me. Fee’s teaching on the Spirit can be found in his marvelous book, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. I highly recommend this book if you have questions about the Holy Spirit. I should mention that Gordon Fee is one of our favorite speakers at Laity Lodge. He is an extraordinary Bible teacher.