The Blessing of Life⸻Page 5 (Lessons on Romans)
by John Lowe
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.—when a person is born again, he is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit. He lives in a different sphere. Just as a fish lives in water and a man lives in the air, so a believer lives in the Spirit. He not only lives in the Spirit, but the Spirit lives in him. In fact, if the Spirit of Christ does not indwell him, he does not belong to Christ. He may be called a Christian, he may be a Christian externally, he may enjoy partaking of the sacraments, but he is not really one of His. The fruit he shows, or the lack of it, reveals that he is not really a child of God. For one to call himself a Christian and not possess the Holy Spirit is to advertise pure Bible ignorance. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). On another occasion Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:44). And then Jesus taught that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts, convinces, and draws men to Christ. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (Jn. 16:7-11).
Paul could say to the carnal Corinthians, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you
are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19). When Paul went to Ephesus the first time, he missed something; he missed the distinguishing mark of the believer. Therefore, he asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2). They did not even know what he was talking about. Therefore, he asked them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” (Acts 19:3). Well, John’s baptism was unto repentance; it was not to faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, he preached Christ to them. Then they received Him, and were baptized in His name—“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:5). This verse has much to say about the doctrine of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. That shows that the Father and the Son are related to the Spirit in the same way. To have the Spirit of God indwelling us is to have the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit is given to all believers at the moment they are saved, and then they are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”—“In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph. 1:13). Since He is the Spirit of Christ, to be without Him is not to belong to Christ. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5).
dwells. This refers to being in one’s own home. The Spirit of God makes His home in every person who trusts in Jesus Christ—“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).