Romans 8:9
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
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(9) Such is not your case—if at least the Spirit of God and of Christ dwells in you, as it should in every Christian.

The Spirit of God . . . the Spirit of Christ.—It is to be observed that these two terms are used as convertible. The Spirit of Christ is indeed the presence of Christ Himself in the soul. (Comp. John 14:16; John 14:18; John 14:20, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever. . . . I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. . . . At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.”)

Dwell in you.—This expression is the complement of the other “to be in the Spirit,” “to be in Christ.” It denotes the closest possible contact and influence of spirit upon spirit. No mysticism, however vivid and intense, can really go beyond this without infringing the bounds of personality, and contradicting the direct testimony of consciousness.

Romans 8:9. But ye — Who are vitally united to Christ, who are in him, by living faith, and new creatures; are not in the flesh — Not in your unpardoned, unrenewed state, not carnally minded; but in the Spirit — Under his government, and spiritually minded, and therefore are accepted of God, and approved of by him; if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you — For wherever he dwells, he reigns, regenerates the soul, and makes it truly holy. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ — Thus residing in him, and governing him, whatever he may pretend; he is none of his — Not a disciple or member of Christ; not a Christian; not in a state of salvation. A plain, express declaration, which admits of no exception. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

8:1-9 Believers may be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus secured. What is the principle of their walk; the flesh or the Spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? For which of these do we make provision, by which are we governed? The unrenewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully. And the law, besides outward duties, requires inward obedience. God showed abhorrence of sin by the sufferings of his Son in the flesh, that the believer's person might be pardoned and justified. Thus satisfaction was made to Divine justice, and the way of salvation opened for the sinner. By the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart, and though the righteousness of the law is not fulfilled by us, yet, blessed be God, it is fulfilled in us; there is that in all true believers, which answers the intention of the law. The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. Which way do our thoughts move with most pleasure? Which way go our plans and contrivances? Are we most wise for the world, or for our souls? Those that live in pleasure are dead, 1Ti 5:6. A sanctified soul is a living soul; and that life is peace. The carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but enmity itself. The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out. We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not, ver. 9. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ, means having a turn of mind in some degree like the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and is to be shown by a life and conversation suitable to his precepts and example.But ye - You who are Christians. This is the opposite character to what he had been describing, and shows the power of the gospel.

Not in the flesh - Not under the full influence of corrupt desires and passions.

But in the Spirit - That is, you are spiritually minded; you are under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God - The Holy Spirit.

Dwell in you - The Holy Spirit is often represented as dwelling in the hearts of Christians (compare 1 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21-22; Galatians 4:6); and the meaning is not that there is a personal or physical indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but that he influences, directs, and guides Christians, producing meekness, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, etc. Galatians 5:22-23. The expression, to dwell in one, denotes intimacy of connection, and means that those things which are the fruits of the Spirit are produced in the heart. (See the supplementary note at Romans 8:10.)

Have not the Spirit of Christ - The word "Spirit" is used in a great variety of significations in the Scriptures. It most commonly in the New Testament refers to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. But the expression "the Spirit of Christ" is not, I believe, any where applied to him, except it may be 1 Peter 1:11. He is called often the Spirit of God Matthew 3:16; Matthew 12:28; 1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 4:30, but not the Spirit of the Father. The word "spirit" is often used to denote the temper, disposition; thus we say, a man of a generous spirit, or of a revengeful spirit, etc. It may possibly have this meaning here, and denotes that he who has not the temper or disposition of Christ is not his, or has no evidence of piety. But the connection seems to demand that it should be understood in a sense similar to the expression "the Spirit of God," and "the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus" Romans 8:11; and if so, it means the Spirit which Christ imparts, or sends to accomplish his work John 14:26, the Holy Spirit, sent to make us like Christ, and to sanctify our hearts. And in this sense it evidently denotes the Spirit which Christ would send to produce in us the views and feelings which he came to establish, and which shall assimilate us to himself. If this refers to the Holy Spirit, then we see the manner in which the apostle spoke of the Saviour. He regarded "the Spirit" as equally the Spirit of God and of Christ, as proceeding from both; and thus evidently believed that there is a union of nature between the Father and the Son. Such language could never be used except on the supposition that the Father and Son are one; that is, that Christ is divine.

Is none of his - Is not a Christian. This is a test of piety that is easily applied; and this settles the question. If a man is not influenced by the meek, pure, and holy spirit of the Lord Jesus, if he is not conformed to his image, if his life does not resemble that of the Saviour, he is a stranger to religion. No test could be more easily applied, and none is more decisive. It matters not what else he may have. He may be loud in his professions, amiable in his temper, bold in his zeal, or active in promoting the interests of his own party or denomination in the church; but if he has not the temper of the Saviour, and does not manifest his Spirit, it is as sounding brass or a tinkling cymdal. May all who read this, honestly examine themselves; and may they have what is the source of the purest felicity, the spirit and temper of the Lord Jesus.

9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you—This does not mean, "if the disposition or mind of God dwell in you"; but "if the Holy Ghost dwell in you" (see 1Co 6:11, 19; 3:16, &c.). (It thus appears that to be "in the spirit" means here to be under the dominion of our own renewed mind; because the indwelling of God's Spirit is given as the evidence that we are "in the spirit").


if any man have not the Spirit of Christ—Again, this does not mean "the disposition or mind of Christ," but the Holy Ghost; here called "the Spirit of Christ," just as He is called "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (see on [2225]Ro 8:2). It is as "the Spirit of Christ" that the Holy Ghost takes possession of believers, introducing into them all the gracious, dove-like disposition which dwelt in Him (Mt 3:16; Joh 3:34). Now if any man's heart be void, not of such dispositions, but of the blessed Author of them, "the Spirit of Christ."

he is none of his—even though intellectually convinced of the truth of Christianity, and in a general sense influence by its spirit. Sharp, solemn statement this!

Here he applies what he had laid down more generally to the believing Romans in particular.

Not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; i.e. not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, ( as in Romans 8:5), or not carnally, but spiritually minded.

If so be that; the conjunction here is causal, not conditional; it may be rendered, seeing that, or forasmuch as: see Romans 8:17,31 2 Thessalonians 1:6.

The Spirit of God dwell in you; the Spirit of God dwells in the regenerate, not only by the immensity of his presence, so he is every where and in all things; but by the presence and efficacy of his grace. The indwelling of the Spirit in believers denotes two things:

1. His ruling in them: where a man dwells as Lord, there he doth command and bear rule.

2. His abiding in them, and that for ever, John 14:16.

If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; if he has not the same Spirit which in the former part of the verse is called the Spirit of God: it is called the Spirit of Christ, because it proceeds from him, and is procured by him, John 14:26 John 16:7 Galatians 4:6. When he saith such a one is none of Christ’s, he means, that he doth not peculiarly belong to Christ, he hath no special interest in him, is no true member of him. As a merchant sets his seal upon his goods, so doth Christ his Spirit upon his followers, Ephesians 1:13.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,.... That is, ye are not carnal, but spiritual men; or ye are not in a state of unregeneracy, but in a state of grace: the reason proving this is,

if so be, or "seeing"

that the Spirit of God dwell in you; the inhabitation of the Spirit is a distinguishing character of a regenerate man; which is to be understood not of his omnipresence, nor of a participation of his gifts, whether ordinary or extraordinary: nor does the Spirit of God only dwell in his people by his graces, but in person as in office, and in a way of special favour; as a spirit of illumination, regeneration, sanctification, and faith, as a comforter, a spirit of adoption, an intercessor, and as a pledge and seal of happiness: which inhabitation is personal; is not peculiar to him to the exclusion of the Father and of the Son; is expressive of property and dominion; is not confined to the souls of men, for he also dwells in their bodies; it is operative, powerful, and perpetual; it is the security of the saints' perseverance, and the pledge of their resurrection and future glory. This is owing not to any goodness in them, or to any fitness and preparations of theirs to receive him; but to a federal union to Christ and relation to him, to our Lord's ascension and intercession, and to the love and grace of the Father; and this proves a man to be a regenerate man, to be in the Spirit, and not in the flesh; for the Spirit of God is never in this sense in an unregenerate man, nor is he in any such sense without his grace; so that the indwelling of the Spirit is the grand evidence of relation to God, of an interest in Christ and union to him, and of a man's state and condition God-ward;

now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. By "the Spirit of Christ", is not meant the human soul of Christ; nor his divine nature; nor his Gospel, which is the Spirit that gives life; but the Holy Ghost, the third person in the Trinity, the same which is called the Spirit before; and proves Christ to be God, he proceeds from him as from the Father, is sent by him, and with which Christ's human nature was fitted and filled. The Jews (x) often speak of , or "the spirit of the Messiah". Now to have him is not barely to partake of his gifts, but of his graces; to be possessed of him as one's own; to have communion with him, and to have him dwelling in us. There are some who have him not, nor never will have him, being none of Christ's; and God's elect, whilst in an unregenerate state, are without him; and whilst such, though they are his chosen and adopted ones, they are his by his Father's gift and his own purchase, they are his pardoned ones through his blood, and his justified ones through his righteousness; yet they are not his regenerated, called, and sanctified ones; nor can they claim any interest in him; nor are they known to be his by themselves or others; nor have they any communion with him, or enjoyment of him.

(x) Zohar in Gen. fol. 19. 3. & 107. 3. & 128. 3. Baal Hatturim in Genesis 1, 2. Caphtor, fol. 113. 2.

{11} But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(11) He addresses the others, that is, those who walk after the Spirit, of whom we have to understand contrary things to the former: and first of all, he defines what it is to be in the Spirit, or to be sanctified: that is, to have the Spirit of God dwelling in us. Then he declares that sanctification is so joined and knit to our grafting into Christ, that it can by no means be separated.

Romans 8:9. Antithetic (ye on the other hand) application of Romans 8:8 to the readers.

εἴπερ] To take this word as quandoquidem, with Chrysostom and others, including Olshausen, is not indeed contrary to linguistic usage, since, like εἰ in the sense of ἐπεί (Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 195), εἴπερ also is used in the sense of ἐπείπερ (see Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. vi. 1. 26). But in the present instance the context does not afford the smallest ground for this view; on the contrary, the conditional signification: if certainly, if otherwise (see Klotz, ad Devar. p. 528; Baeuml. Partik. p. 202), is perfectly suitable, and with it the following antithetic εἰ δέ corresponds. It conveys an indirect incitement to self-examination. We may add that Paul might also have written εἴγε without changing the sense (in opposition to Hermann’s canon, ad Viger. p. 834). See on 2 Corinthians 5:3; Galatians 3:4; Ephesians 3:2.

οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν] That is, has the seat of His presence and activity in you. The point of the expression is not the constantly abiding (“stabile domicilium,” Fritzsche and others; also Hofmann); in that case it would have needed a more precise definition (see, on the contrary, the simple οὐκ ἔχει that follows). Respecting the matter itself and the conception, see 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Timothy 1:14; John 14:23. Comp. also Ev. Thom. 10 : πνεῦμα Θεοῦ ἐνοικεῖ ἐν τῷ παιδίῳ τούτῳ. See passages from Rabbinic writers on the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in man, quoted by Schoettgen, p. 527; Eisenmenger, entdecktes Judenthum, I. p. 268. The ἐν πνεύματι, which is not to be taken as “in the spiritual nature” (Philippi), and the πν. Θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν said with a significant more precise definition of πνεῦμα, stand towards one another in an essential mutual relation. The former is conditioned by the latter; for if the Spirit of God do not dwell in the man, He cannot be the determining element in which the latter lives. Compare the Johannine: “ye in me, and I in you.” According to Hofmann, the relation consists in the Spirit being on the one hand, “as active life-ground,” the absolutely inward, and on the other “as active ground of all life,” that which embraces all living. This, however, is a deviation from the specific strict sense of the πνεῦμα, which, in accordance with the context, can only be that Holy Spirit who is given to believers; and the concrete conception of the apostle receives the stamp of an abstraction.

εἰ δέ τις πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ κ.τ.λ.] Antithesis of εἴπερὑμῖν, rendering very apparent the necessity of that assumption. “If, on the other hand, any one have not the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him,” is not in communion of life with Christ, is not a true Christian; for αὐτοῦ refers to Christ, not to God (van Hengel). Moreover, it is not the non-Christians, but the seeming-Christians (comp. 1 John 4:13), who are characterized as those who have not the Spirit.

πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ] (comp. Php 1:19; 1 Peter 1:11) is none other than the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God. He is so called because the exalted Christ really communicates Himself to His own in and with the Paraclete (John 14), so that the Spirit is the living principle and the organ of the proper presence of Christ and of His life in them. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 3:16; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27; Acts 16:7. That this, and not perchance the endowment of Christ with the Spirit (Fritzsche), is the view here taken, is clearly proved by the following εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν. Comp. Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 346. The designation of the Holy Spirit by πν. Χριστοῦ is purposely selected in order to render very conspicuous the truth of the οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῦ. Köllner wrongly lays down a distinction between the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ; making the former the highest πνεῦμα, the source and perfection of all πνεῦμα, and the latter the higher God-resembling mind that was manifested in Christ. But a distinction between them is not required by Romans 8:10-11 (see on that passage), and is decisively forbidden by Galatians 4:6, compared with Romans 8:14-16. We cannot even say, therefore, with Umbreit: “the Spirit of Christ is the medium, through which man obtains the Spirit of God;” nor, with van Hengel, who compares Luke 9:55 : “si vero quis Spiritum, qui Christi est, cum eo non habet communem,” with which Paul would here be aiming at the (alleged) Judaism of the Romans.

Romans 8:9. Paul applies to his readers what he has said in Romans 8:5-8. ὑμεῖς is emphatic. You can please God, for you are not in the flesh, etc. εἴπερ has its proper force: “if, as is the fact”: cf. Romans 3:30, Romans 8:17; and the excellent examination of other N.T. instances in Simcox, Language of the N.T., 171 f. Yet the possibility of the fact being otherwise in isolated cases, is admitted when he goes on: εἰ δέ τις πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ οὐκ ἔχει κ.τ.λ. For εἰ followed by οὐ see Winer, 599 f. οὗτος οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῦ: only the indwelling of Christ’s spirit proves a real relation to Him.

9. But, &c.] After this dark foil, in the picture of the fleshly state, St Paul now gives (what is his main aim all the while) the opposite picture; that of the spiritual, regenerate, state.

ye] Who are “in Christ Jesus;” “Jesus Christ’s called ones.” (Romans 1:6) in the Spirit] See long note on Romans 8:4; and note on “in the flesh,” Romans 8:8. To be “in the Spirit” is to be in that state of soul which results in a “walk after the Spirit;” a state therefore in which the Holy Ghost is the ruling influence.—The meaning is illustrated by the use of the same phrase for ecstatic inspiration, (another result of the same Agency,) Revelation 1:10.

if so be] The Gr. particle is more than merely “if,” (which often = “since,” or “as,”) and suggests just such doubt and enquiry as would amount to self-examination. See 2 Corinthians 13:5.

dwell] See John 14:17, and cp. Ephesians 3:16. The word indicates the intimacy and permanence of the Holy Spirit’s action and influence in the regenerate man.

in you] i.e. of course, as individuals. For see the next words “If any man have not, &c.”

the Spirit of Christ] Evidently not in the essentially modern sense of His (Christ’s) principles and temper, but in that of the Personal Holy Spirit as profoundly connected with Christ. Same word as Php 1:19; 1 Peter 1:11; and see Galatians 4:6.—The phrase is indeed remarkable, just after the words “the Spirit of God:” it at least indicates St Paul’s view of the Divine majesty of Messiah. On the other hand, it is scarcely a text in point on the great mystery of the “Procession” of the Holy Ghost; the emphasis of the words here being rather on the work of the Holy Ghost as the Revealer of Christ to the soul. See again Ephesians 3:16.

none of his] See again 2 Corinthians 13:5, as the best comment on this brief warning. Evidently St Paul reminds the reader that a vital requisite to union with Christ is the present veritable indwelling of His Spirit; such an indwelling as he is treating of here, which determines the man to be “not in the flesh.”—The question thus solemnly suggested was to be answered (we may be sure) by no visionary tests, but by a self-searching enquiry for “the fruit of the Spirit.” See the whole passage, Galatians 5:16-26; and cp. 1 John 3:24.

Romans 8:9. Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ, πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ) A remarkable testimony to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and its economy in the hearts of believers, comp. ch. Romans 5:8; Romans 5:5, Romans 14:17-18, Romans 15:16; Romans 15:30; Mark 12:36; John 15:26; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 2:22; 1 Peter 1:2; Acts 2:33; Hebrews 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 6:13, etc.; 2 Corinthians 3:3-4. We are to refer Romans 8:11 [The Spirit of Him that raised Jesus] to “the Spirit of God” in this verse, and Christ in you—[the Spirit is life] Romans 8:10, to “the Spirit of Christ” in this verse. For the distinctive marks [Gnorismata of the Christian] proceed in this order: He who has the Spirit, has Christ; he who has Christ, has God.—Comp. respecting such an order as this, 1 Corinthians 12:4, etc; Ephesians 4:4, etc.—ἐν ὑμῖν, in you) In, a particle very carefully to be attended to in this chapter, Romans 8:1-4; Romans 8:8-11; Romans 8:15, concerning the carnal and spiritual state. We in God, God in us.—οὗτος) this man in particular does not belong to Christ; and therefore this whole discourse has no reference to Him.—αὐτο͂υ, His) Christ’s; he is a Christian, who belongs to Christ.

Verse 9. - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But (not now, as in the Authorized Version) if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. That is - Though I imply the possibility of even the baptized being still in the flesh, so as to be unable to please God, this is certainly not your condition; if, indeed (as is surely the case), your conversion was a reality, so that you have become really Christ's; for the Spirit of Christ (which is the Spirit of God) of necessity dwells (so as to be the ruling power) in all such as are really his (cf 1 Corinthians 3:16). We observe here how "the Spirit of Christ" is identified with "the Spirit of God," so as to imply the essential Deity of Christ, and also to lend support to the doctrine of the double procession of the Holy Ghost (cf. 1 Peter 1:11). Observe, too, how persistently and continually the apostle presses his protest against antinomian abuse of the doctrine of grace, with which he began this section of his Epistle, at ch. 6:1, He never loses sight of it; it pervades the whole. If St. Paul, especially in this Epistle, is, on the one hand, the great exponent of the doctrine of justification by faith only, he is, on the other, no less the persistent preacher of the necessity of works. Sanctification is continually pressed as the necessary result, as well as evidence, of justification. He only shuts out human works from the office of justifying. Romans 8:9
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