Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
AND IF CHRIST IS IN YOU THOUGH THE
BODY IS DEAD BECAUSE OF SIN: ei de
Christos en humin to men soma nekron dia hamartian: (Torrey's
Topic Union with Christ)
(John 6:56; 14:20,23; 15:5; 17:23;
2Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27) (Ro 5:11; 5:12;
2Corinthians 4:11; 5:1, 2, 3, 4; 1Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:27;
2Peter 1:13,14; Revelation 14:13)
probably better rendered "but" (1161)
as it indicates a contrast to what Paul has said before. Note that he
now begins to address the reader as "you", indicating that he is
speaking to believers
The subject that
Paul is dealing with in this verse is how the “dead” body, in
which sin dwells, can also be a vessel of the life of God. His
answer is in the next verse. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives life to our
(ei) defines a condition of the first class or one that is
assumed to be true. If can be understood as since or
because. If does not express doubt but indicates that He is
in the believer.
is in you" means that Christ Himself is in us. The indwelling of the
Holy Spirit is the indwelling of Christ Himself. Compare Paul's
statement in Ephesians 3 where he prays that the Father...
would grant you, according to the
riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit
in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love
Paul stated the same truth writing that Christ had been made known to
to whom God willed to make known what
is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is
Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27-note)
Paul reiterated this truth declaring...
"I have been crucified with Christ;
and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the
life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)
(soma) refers to an organized whole made up of parts and members.
Here soma refers to human the body which is the external man, the
human frame which contains the seeds of decay and is mortal, doomed to
death, in time due to sin.
(nekros from nékus = a corpse = English - necropsy,
necrophobia, etc) refers to that which is literally dead even though
that end has not yet been realized. Nevertheless the forces of death are
working in our bodies and they will all inevitably die, except those
whose bodies are are raptured.
The reference to
the body as dead because of sin is clearly a reference to
its ultimate destiny by the infliction of the penalty of sin (cf. Ge
3:19; Ro 5:12-note).
Godet writes that...
The term dead here signifies:
irrevocably smitten with death. The human body bears within itself from
its formation the germ of death; it begins to die the instant it begins
to live. (Romans Commentary
This verse in part
addresses Paul's question in Romans 7...
Wretched man that I am! Who will set
me free from the body of this death? (see note
(hamartia) originally conveyed the idea of missing the mark as
when hunting with a bow and arrow and then came to mean missing or
falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. In Scripture sin often
describes our thoughts, words and deeds that miss the ultimate purpose
God has for each individual, these thoughts, words and deeds falling
short of God’s perfect standard of holiness. "Sin" in this
context does not describe the actions or results (sins we commit)
but describes the underlying root cause, the principle or, in medical
terms (I'm a physician with sub specialization in infectious disease),
the "virus" we have all inherited from Adam that dooms our physical
bodies to decay and eventually die. Sin has been defeated
by Christ, but sin and death still claim their hold on our mortal
bodies. Yet in these bodies we are alive spiritually and can live by the
Matthew Henry has some
interesting comments about the body...
is a frail, mortal, dying body,
and it will be dead shortly; it is a house of clay, whose foundation is
in the dust. The life purchased and promised does not immortalize the
body in its present state. It is dead, that is, it is appointed to
die, it is under a sentence of death: as we say one that is condemned is
a dead man. In the midst of life we are in death: be our bodies ever so
strong, and healthful, and handsome, they are as good as dead (Heb
11:12), and this because of sin. It is sin that kills the body. This
effect the first threatening has (Ge 3:19): Dust thou art. Methinks,
were there no other argument, love to our bodies should make us hate
sin, because it is such an enemy to our bodies. The death even of the
bodies of the saints is a remaining token of God’s displeasure against
sin. (Henry, M. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible)
Those who have Christ in them now have a brand new vitality.
Yes, our mortal, physical bodies are dying because sin killed our bodies, but
our spirit is alive because Christ lives in us and the
righteousness of God has been imputed to us. "Therefore we do not lose
heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being
renewed day by day" (2Cor 4:16), growing stronger because of the life we have in our
bodies from the Spirit of God.
William Newell notes that in
"...we have the answer to our Lord's
prayer in John 17:21-22: "I pray . . . that they
may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that
they also may be in us: ... that they may be one, even as we are one."
We have seen in an earlier chapter how we came to be in Christ: that
God, having ended our history before Himself as connected with the first
Adam, at the cross, created us in Christ, the Last Adam, the Second Man.
Thus was the one part of our Lord's intercession answered. We are in
Christ. But the other part of the great mystery is here before us in
Romans 8.10: Christ is in us. Although, as we know, He is within us by
His Spirit, yet it is Christ Himself who is in us."
(Romans 8: Expository Notes Verse by Verse).
Sin (the principle) still lives in these "dead" and dying bodies.
Spurgeon put it this way...
"There is no doctrine more true to
experience than this, that corruption remains even in the hearts of the
regenerate, and that when we would do good evil is present with us...We
are often like a glass of water which has been standing still for hours
and looks very clear and bright. But there is a sediment, and a little
stir soon discovers it and clouds the crystal. That sediment is the old
One day soon we will receive our glorified body and then sin's presence and pleasure will
be forever totally eradicated. Lord haste the day!
Moule commenting on this verse
But if Christ is, thus by the Spirit,
in you, dwelling by faith in the hearts which the Spirit has,
“strengthened” to receive Christ (Ephesians 3:16, 17) — true, the body
is dead, because of sin, the primeval sentence still holds its way
“there”; the body is deathful still, it is the body of the Fall; but the
Spirit is life (see discussion below whether Paul means Spirit of God or
man's spirit), He is in that body, your secret of power and peace
eternal, because of righteousness, because of the merit of your Lord, in
which you are accepted, and which has won for you this wonderful
Spirit-life. (The Epistle of Paul
the Apostle to the Romans)
YET THE SPIRIT
BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: to de pneuma zoe dia dikaiosunen:
(John 4:14; 6:54; 11:25,26; 14:19; 1Corinthians 15:45; 2Corinthians 5:6,
7, 8; Philippians 1:23; Colossians 3:3,4; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation
7:14, 15, 16, 17) (Ro 5:21; 2Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9)
Literally this reads "yet the spirit
Matthew Henry writes that...
the spirit, the precious soul, that
is life; it is now spiritually alive, nay, it is life. Grace in the soul
is its new nature; the life of the saint lies in the soul, while the
life of the sinner goes no further than the body. When the body dies,
and returns to the dust, the spirit if life; not only living and
immortal, but swallowed up of life. Death to the saints is but the
freeing of the heaven-born spirit from the clog and load of this body,
that it may be fit to partake of eternal life. (Ibid)
(de) emphasizes the contrast between these preceding statement
(body dead because of sin) and this statement (spirit is alive because
Some favor that "the spirit"
refers to the person's spirit while others favor a reference to the Holy
Spirit (observe this difference of opinion in the translations above,
where some capitalize Spirit and some do not). In a sense although I
favor the human spirit, there is a sense in which the Holy Spirit is
also correct because the human spirit, having
been quickened at regeneration, is possessed of the inalienable
principle of life, but only by virtue of the power of the Holy Spirit
of God. That said here are a few conservative commentators who argue for
spirit with a small "s".
Wuest favors a "small s"
The word here refers, not to the Holy
Spirit which is not a logical contrast to the human body, but to the
human spirit, that part of man which gives him God-consciousness and
enables him when that spirit is made alive by the Holy Spirit, to
worship God. The believer’s human body is dead in the sense that it has
death in it because of sin, Adam’s sin which brought both spiritual and
physical death to each member of the race. The believer’s spirit is
in that the Holy Spirit energizes it with divine life which is righteous
in its quality. Eternal life is not only unending in its nature, but
also ethical and spiritual in its content.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the
Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
S Lewis Johnson agrees noting
The word "spirit" in the clause, "but
the spirit is life because of righteousness," is probably a reference to
the human spirit and not the Holy Spirit, although that is the
interpretation of the translators of the Authorized Version, for they
capitalize the word. The contrast with body makes the reference to the
human spirit likely, but the human spirit as regenerate. It is given new
life in regeneration (cf. John 6:50, 51; 11:26). (Romans 8:5-17)
Hodge also agrees writing
By spirit here Paul does not
mean the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit, since it is contrasted with
body in the former clause. The body is dead, but the spirit is alive. It
should not therefore be printed with a capital S, as in the KJV. The
sense in which the spirit is life is antithetical to that in which the
body is dead. As the body is infected with a principle of decay which
renders its dissolution inevitable, so the soul in which the Holy Spirit
dwells has a principle of life which secures its immortal and blessed
existence. (Romans Commentary
is literally "life" as opposed to death in previous section. It is the
state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate. Note that this
verse reads more literally "the spirit is life".
Godet writes that...
The life of God does not
become merely an attribute of the spirit in man through the Holy Spirit;
it becomes his nature. ((Romans Commentary
“God-begotten, God-sustained life”
(Denney), if Christ is in you.
Paul explains to the Ephesians that
even when we were dead in our
transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you
have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in
the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-6)
[word study] from
dikaios [word study]
= being proper or right in the
sense of being fully justified being or in accordance with what God
requires) is the quality of being upright. In its simplest sense
conveys the idea of conformity to a standard or norm. In this sense
righteousness is the opposite of hamartia (sin), which is defined as
missing of the mark set by God.
In this sense righteousness is the opposite of hamartia (sin),
which is defined as missing of the mark set by God.
Righteousness in Biblical terms describes the righteousness
acceptable to God which means it is in keeping with what God is in His
Because Christ is in us and He is perfect righteousness, we have been
declared right with God -- that is, because of the divinely-imparted righteousness by which every believer is justified (Ro
3:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-see
eternal, spiritual life of God is implanted by the indwelling Holy
Spirit and Jesus Christ here and now, even though a believer’s body is
rightness of character before God and rightness of actions before men.
Righteousness of God could be succinctly stated as all that God is, all
that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, all that He
provides through faith in Christ (Click
to read Pastor Ray Pritchard's interesting analysis of righteousness
in the Gospel of Matthew).
In context of Romans 8:10, the
righteousness that Paul describes speaks primarily of imputed
righteousness, or that righteousness which was credited to our
"spiritual bank account" when we believed on and received Christ's
perfect sinless righteousness (1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21). This one time
historical past tense event equates with so called past tense salvation
or justification (God's declaration of believing sinners as now
positionally righteous in Christ).
BKC adds that...
Because of God’s imputed
righteousness, a believer is alive spiritually. The eternal, spiritual
life of God is implanted by the indwelling Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ
here and now, even though a believer’s body is mortal.
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor
Some like S Lewis Johnson feel that
in Romans 8:10
both imputed and
imparted (righteousness), for in the context the apostle has had in mind both
justification and sanctification and their indissoluble connection. (Romans 8:5-17)
John MacArthur explains that...
if God’s Spirit indwells us, our own
spirit is alive because of righteousness, that is, because of the
divinely-imparted righteousness by which every believer is justified
(Rom. 3:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26). In light of that perfect righteousness, all human
attempts at being righteous are but rubbish (Phil. 3:8)
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press
Leon Morris agrees commenting
The believer is credited with “the
righteousness of God”; it is this that brings him into the sphere of
salvation (justification). But then he is required to live a life that
is in conformity with this salvation (sanctification); he cannot be
indifferent to the importance of righteousness in his daily living. At
this point it may well be that Paul has in mind neither the process that
brings salvation, nor the life that follows, but both. (Morris,
L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
Many Christians miss out on living their Christian lives in the
constant fullness of the Spirit, because they are not constantly being
filled with the Holy Spirit as Paul commanded in (Eph 5:18-note). They fail
to experience what Jesus spoke about when He described rivers of living
water flowing from the believer (Jn 7:37, 38, 39).