The Spiritual Man EGP Blog post from November 17, 2013

unfolds to us the condition of our body, how the Holy Spirit helps it, and what ought to be our right attitude towards it. If we appropriate these verses we will not misunderstand the place of a believer’s body in God’s plan of redemption. “If Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness” (). Initially both our body and spirit were dead; but after we believed in the Lord Jesus we received Him into us to be our life. The fact that Christ by the Holy Spirit lives in the believer forms one of the essential tenets of the gospel. Every child of God, however weak, has Christ dwelling in him. This Christ is our life. And when He enters to make His abode in us, our spirit is made alive. Formerly both the spirit and the body were dead; now the spirit is quickened, leaving only the body dead. The estate common to every believer is that his body is dead but his spirit is alive.

This experience produces a wide disparity between the Christian’s inward and outward state. Our inner being is flowing with life while the outer man is still full of death. Being full of the Spirit of life we are very much alive, yet we exist in a shell of death; in other words, the life of our spirit and the life of our body are radically unalike. The former is life indeed, but the latter is verily death. This is because our physical frame is still the “body of sin”: no matter how advanced a Christian’s spiritual walk is, his flesh is nonetheless the “body of sin.” We have yet to possess a resurrected, glorious, spiritual frame; “ the redemption of our bodies” () awaits us in the future. Today’s body is just an “earthen vessel,” an “earthly tent,” a “lowly body” (, ; ). Sin has been driven out of the spirit and the will but it has not been expunged from the body. Because sin remains there, it is therefore dead. This is the purport of “your bodies are dead because of sin.” Simultaneously, however, our spirit is alive. Or to phrase it more correctly, our spirit receives life because of the righteousness which is in Christ. When we trust in Him we receive Him as our righteousness and we also are justified by God. The former is Christ imparting to us His very Self (a substantive transaction); the latter is God justifying us for Christ’s sake (a legal transaction). Without the impartation there can be no justification. The moment we receive Christ we obtain the legal position of being justified before God and additionally the practical experience of having Christ imparted to us. Christ comes into us as life so that our dead spirit may be made alive. This is the import of “Your spirits are alive because of righteousness.”