"To Dwell Within Us"
Part 2 - Spirit and Flesh
Being the temple of God through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit certainly does not mean we will live perfectly in our present earthly lifetime. Referencing born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle John wrote,
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8).
At the time of our new birth through faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit entered our spirit. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). The same is not true of the earthly faculties and members we inherited from Adam. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin… This mortal must put on immortality" (Romans 8:10; I Corinthians 15:53). Believers are living spiritual beings, united to the Spirit of Christ, who dwell in fleshly temples yet to be enlivened by the direct presence of the Holy Spirit. This explains the conflict of spirit and flesh even the most godly believer feels within his inclinations and sensibilities. No less than the Apostle Paul confessed, "When I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21).
Paul also acknowledged, "Christ liveth in me… In my flesh dwelleth no good thing" (Galatians 2:20; Romans 7:18). Clearly, the Lord Jesus did not dwell in the Apostle's fleshly faculties and members. "No good thing" dwelled therein. Thus, if Paul walked after the flesh, he could still distrust and disobey God. In his spirit, however, the living God resided and moved in power to enable Paul to consistently "walk in the Spirit," and to overcome "the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). Paul's spirit united to the Holy Spirit served as the greater - by far - reality of who and what he was as a "new creature" in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). The same is true in every believer. The power of the Holy Spirit in our spirits transcends the inclinations of the flesh by an infinite measure. Of course, it often does not feel or appear to be the case. Indeed, we might say that the flesh screams, but the Holy Spirit whispers. This requires that we "walk by faith, not by sight," believing and affirming that no matter how powerful fleshly inclinations feel, they pale in comparison to the power of God's Spirit that dwells within our spirits (II Corinthians 5:7).
A death and resurrection has already occurred in our innermost spiritual being. Therein, we are to "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). The same is not true of our flesh. We must "yield your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" in order to overcome what Paul called "the law of sin" in our flesh (Romans 6:13; 7:23; 25). Knowing the dichotomy between a spiritual self "alive unto God" and a body "dead because of sin" goes far in establishing a basis whereby we more consistently live in a manner that reflects the indwelling presence of Christ as the very Life of our lives.
"If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (enliven) your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
"I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind."
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit."