Resurrection Guaranteed- Romans 8:11

The doctrine of the resurrection is essential to the Christian faith. As Paul plainly tells us, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). In this post, we will closely examine Romans 8:11, in order to understand what the resurrection of Christ has done for all who believe in Him, who are “in” Him. Paul begins the verse with an “if” here, a conditional statement. This “if” here is what is known in the Greek as a first class conditional, and carries with it more the idea of “since” rather than “if”. Paul is talking here to and about those in whom “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells”, he is talking to and about Christians. This phrase obviously refers to the Holy Spirit, and we find here a Trinitarian understanding of God, the Son was raised by the Father through the Spirit. The word raised here is egeiro, and means to “awaken from sleep”, and death for believers is commonly referred to as sleep in the New Testament because all believers will “awaken” from it just like Jesus did. Death, like sleep, is portrayed here as a temporary condition, and the same Spirit which awakened Jesus from this temporary condition will awaken all believers from it as well. The word “from” here is the Greek ek, “out from or out from among”. Just as a certain one (Jesus) was raised out from among all the dead, so also certain ones (those who are “in” Him) will be raised out from among the dead, only those who have trusted in Him will partake of this life, this resurrection. This is confirmed by the use of the word “living” here, the Greek oikeo, literally “to dwell”. Only those in whom the Holy Spirit “dwells”, in whom He has taken up residence, who have invited Him in, will be included in this resurrection. We should also note here that the Spirit dwells “in” us, not with, for, among or near us, a description of the most intimate form of personal union, the most intimate of relationships. Paul then, in the second part of this verse, presents us with the “then”. Since A is true, then B is also true, since it is true that the Spirit of God dwells in you, then what I am about to say is also true of you. The “he” here with which Paul begins the second half of this verse is what is known as an anaphoric use of the definite article (the Greek equivalent of the English “the”), equivalent to saying “the one we are talking about”, here referring to the Holy Spirit. It should be noted here that Paul now uses the term Christ rather than the term Jesus. Many have asked if this Paul is saying something different in using Christ instead of Jesus. Many studies have been undertaken to determine if Paul uses them in any set pattern and the common conclusion is that he does not, that he uses them interchangeably and it really does not matter, in Paul, which one he uses. Paul then presents to us the main point which he desires us to understand here, that because Jesus was raised from the dead, those in whom the Spirit dwells will be raised from the dead as well. Paul describes it here by saying the Spirit will “give life to your mortal bodies”. The Greek word translated “give life” here is the future active indicative of zoeo. The use of the future here tells us this is something which will take place in the future, and the use of the indicative means that this is a statement of fact, it is something that will definitely happen, something which is guaranteed by God. Through the use of zoe here, Paul refers to a particular kind of life. We must not think of life primarily as living, moving and breathing, as a biological thing. This is what the Greek word bios is referring to, but not the kind of life referred to here by Paul. Life is defined in relation to God, who is the source of life. According to the Bible, death is separation and life is union, and zoe is union with God, who is the source of life. Death then is separation from God, and all who trust in Christ as Lord and Savior are given zoe, given spiritual life, united to God and never to be separated from Him. This life is given to our “mortal bodies”. The word mortal here means “subject to decay and death”, our bodies which are now subject to decay will be raised up, no longer subject to decay, but still physical. So we find here that heaven is not a bodiless existence. Having a physical body is an essential part of being human, we would somehow be sub-human without a body, and heaven is then a physical place occupied by physical creatures. Paul then concludes by reiterating the fact that all of this only applies to those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, to those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. So to conclude, then, Paul tells us here that the presence of the Holy Spirit in us is God’s guarantee of our future resurrection, that all of those who are “in Christ” can be absolutely certain of the fact of their future resurrection and of their future living in a body not subject to decay, of the “mortal putting on the immortal” (1 Corinthians 15:53).

No Comments Epistles  //  Heaven and Hell  //  Jesus Christ  //  Salvation and Redemption

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