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Life-Study of Romansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0958-6
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 16 of 69 Section 1 of 5

LIFE-STUDY OF ROMANS

MESSAGE SIXTEEN

THE FREEDOM OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR SPIRIT

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III. THE INDWELLING OF CHRIST THE SPIRIT

Although in Romans 8:1-6 we clearly see the freedom of the law of the Spirit of life, it is difficult to see the central point of the next seven verses. However, if we enter deep into the thought of this portion, we will see that in it Paul is trying to tell us that something other than sin has its lodging within us. In 7:20 Paul said, “But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that do it but sin that dwells in me.” Hence, Romans 7 exposes the indwelling sin. As we have seen, Romans 8 is a sharp contrast to Romans 7. Romans 7 has bondage; Romans 8 has freedom. Romans 7 has the law; Romans 8 has the Spirit. Romans 7 has our flesh; Romans 8 has our spirit. Moreover, Romans 7 has the indwelling sin. According to Romans 8 what indwells us? It is Christ, the indwelling Christ. In Romans 7 we have the indwelling sin as the main factor of all wretchedness. In Romans 8 we have the indwelling Christ as the factor of all blessedness.

If Christ were not the Spirit, He could never indwell us. He must be the Spirit in order to indwell us. In verses 9 and 10 we find three synonymous terms used interchangeably: “the Spirit of God,” “the Spirit of Christ,” and “Christ.” Furthermore, verse 11 refers to the indwelling Spirit. These synonyms indicate and prove that Christ is the indwelling Spirit. Undoubtedly “the Spirit of God” in verse 9 is “the Spirit of life” in verse 2. After Paul mentions “the Spirit of God.” he speaks about the “Spirit of Christ” and “Christ” Himself. Then in verse 11 he refers to the indwelling Spirit. This means that the “Spirit of God” is the “Spirit of Christ” and the “Spirit of Christ” is “Christ” Himself. Hence, Christ in us is the indwelling Spirit. He is “the Spirit of life,” He is “the Spirit of God,” and He is also “the Spirit of Christ” indwelling us that He may impart Himself as life to us. Christ not only imparts life to our spirit (v. 10), but also to our minds (v. 6) and to our mortal bodies (v. 11). Therefore, Christ is now life in the Holy Spirit (v. 2), life in our spirit (v. 10), life in our mind (v. 6), and life in our mortal body (v. 11). Christ is life with fourfold riches.

Although the book of Romans has been in my hands for years, only recently have I seen that Christ is the fourfold life. Christ is life to us with fourfold, intensified riches. He is not only life in the Divine Spirit and in our human spirit; He is even life in our minds. Furthermore, Christ can be life to our mortal bodies. In other words, He is now the life in God as well as the life in God’s people. This is the main point of 8:7-13. The central point is that Christ as the indwelling Spirit is life to us with fourfold riches. He is so rich. He sustains our spirit, supplies our minds, and even enlivens our mortal bodies. This life, which is Christ Himself, is the life that we enjoy today. May the Lord fully unveil this to us, not merely in a doctrinal way, but in the way of experience. We all must see that our Christ is the indwelling Spirit as life with fourfold riches.

A. The Flesh

Romans 8:7 says, “Because the mind set on the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.” This verse says emphatically that our flesh is a hopeless case. If our mind is set on our flesh, it also becomes hopeless. Anything that is one with the flesh is hopeless. Do not think that you can sanctify your flesh. This is impossible. Flesh is flesh, and flesh is absolutely hopeless. Never place any hope in your flesh. It can never be improved. God has made the definite decision that the flesh must be terminated because it is utterly corrupt. God judged Noah’s generation with the flood because that generation had become flesh (Gen. 6:3). When that generation became flesh, God considered it hopeless. God found it impossible to rescue it, recover it, or improve it. God seemed to say, “Let that generation go. I must place it completely under My judgment.” The judgment of the flood was a judgment upon the flesh. Only when man had become flesh did God exercise judgment over man as the flesh. Therefore, never say that your flesh can be improved. Never think that your flesh today is better than before you were saved. Whether a person is saved or not, the flesh remains flesh. The flesh is hopeless, and everything related to it also is hopeless.

Paul said that “the mind set on the flesh is enmity against God.” The flesh is enmity against God, and the mind set upon it is also enmity against God. The mind set on the flesh is not subject to the law of God. It is impossible for such a mind to be subject to God’s law, even if it would want to be. Thus, the verdict on the flesh is final. The flesh is over, and everything related to the flesh is over.

Paul continues this thought in verse 8 which says, “And those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” As long as we are in the flesh, we cannot please God. Never say that your flesh is good. In verses 7 and 8 we see four points: that the flesh is enmity against God, that it is not subject to the law of God, that it cannot be subject to the law of God, and that the flesh cannot please God. This is the condition of the flesh.


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