Romans 8:9 “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
You however…these have got to be two of my favorite words. Hope. Grace. Being the exception. All concepts that are wrapped up in these two words. You however. Like this, “Everybody has to stay after school today for talking. Courtney, you however can go home.” WhooHooo! Or, “Man, a tree just fell on the parking lot and smashed every car. Courtney, you however walked today. Lucky you.” You know what I’m talking about. Here’s one more, “We are going to have to put everyone in the office on a diet. Mike, you however, go get you a banana split.” I didn’t say I heard these words much, just that I liked them.
Paul is fast summing up the whole discussion from the first part of Romans 8. You should know it well by now. No condemnation. The law doesn’t work because of our sinful nature. Jesus came to make us righteous. We cannot please God if we have this sinful nature in us. And now this Divine Exception, “You, however, are controlled by God.” You are off the bad list. You have been moved over to the side of the winners. You get a pass (a Jon-Mical Pass). It just doesn’t get any better than that.
In a clear statement of declaration Paul says to me and to you, “All of this death and sinful nature stuff doesn’t apply to you because you are controlled by the Spirit of Christ.” Sin is out. Jesus is in. You’re off the hook. Free pass. Way to go!
So, I’m thinking of wrapping up this little blog and calling it a day. Except the question comes up just how does this work? It came to my mind that this is a great passage to read backwards. I know I’m beginning to be redundant but hey, we’ve got 40 weeks left to go on Romans 8 so we can go a little slow up front and make sure we get it. Try this on for size. From here back, if taken as foundational thoughts, the Apostle Paul has built such a strong case for God’s grace and our place in Him that we should never, ever be anxious again about His immense love for us.
Let’s go back up this ladder:
Point 1, if you don’t have the Spirit of Christ, you don’t belong to Christ. vs 9
Conversely, point 2, if you belong to Christ (If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Roms. 10:9) then you have the Spirit of Christ in you and controlling you.
Point 3, if you are controlled by the Spirit of Christ you automatically please God, (in the same way that if you are not, you can’t.) vs 8-5
Point 4, if you automatically please God, because you are controlled by the Spirit of Christ, because you have the Spirit of Christ in you, because you belong to Christ, then there is no condemnation or judgment on your life. And that’s the truth! vs 4-1
Well, it is much easier to just say, “You however…” There are people trying and trying to find some kind of peace and happiness. There are all kinds of religions and variations of religions. Even in the Christian faith there are tons of folks that are so concerned with the law and the letter of the law, hoping desperately that they can somehow sneak by a holy God and not get zapped, in eternity or just today. But YOU HOWEVER don’t need to sweat that stuff. He is in you. He is in charge of you. And He loves you…without exception. That’s cause for a party. (That last sentence was a shameless way to attach a picture of Jakson.) See you next week!