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Sermon #82 — Romans Series
Title: One Fatal Deficiency
Text: Romans 8:9
Reading: Psalm 45:1-17 or 1 Samuel 10:1-13
Subject: The Indwelling of the Spirit
Date: Sunday Morning — March 27, 2016
(Romans 8:1-9) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (5) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
Our text is Romans 8:9. This is one of the most solemn texts in the Book of God. It deals with us all. It sounds a word of alarm in our ears. It tells us that there is one thing by which all true believers are identified and one thing lacking among all unbelievers.
(Romans 8:9) “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
The title of my message is —– ONE FATAL DEFICIENCY. Paul says, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” This text deals with the one vital issue of our souls. Do we belong to Christ, or do we not? We do not belong to the Lord Jesus Christ unless the Spirit of Christ dwells in us. The text does not deal with the external rites and ceremonies of religion. It does not discuss some point of doctrine. It does not speak of Christian virtue. It is not calling into question some aspect of Christian service. This text lays the axe to the root of the tree. It sticks the point of the sword in the heart. It probes our very souls, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow, dealing with the thoughts and intents of the heart. This text calls our attention to ONE FATAL DEFICIENCY. — “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his!”
Š The issue is not, have I been baptized and accepted into the fellowship of Christ’s church? — The issue is, do I have the Spirit of Christ?
Š The issue is not, is my doctrine true, sound, and biblical? — The issue is, do I have the Spirit of Christ?
Š The issue is not, am I faithful to the church and in the service of Christ? — The issue is, do I have the Spirit of Christ?
Š The issue is not, do I preach the Gospel of Christ? — The issue is, do I have the Spirit of Christ?
If I have the Spirit of Christ, then I am a true believer, a child of God; I belong to Christ. — “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” If I do not have the Spirit of Christ, no matter what else I may have, no matter what I may have experienced, if I have not the Spirit of Christ, I do not belong to Christ. — “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
Proposition: This is what Paul tells us in this text of Scripture —– Those who are born-again, those who are united to Christ by faith, those who are the heirs of eternal life have the Spirit of Christ.
1. You who believe are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.
2. The Holy Spirit is here identified as the Spirit of Christ.
3. Every true believer has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him.
4. There are some things which characterize all who have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them.
5. If anyone is without the Spirit of Christ, he is without Christ and without life before God.
In the Spirit
1st — You who believe are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. — “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.” You are not carnal, but spiritual. You are no longer dead in trespasses and sin, but alive to God. You are not unregenerate, but regenerate, the living sons and daughters of God!
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a distinguishing characteristic of every regenerate, heaven-born soul. If you are born of God, if I am born of God, the Spirit of God dwells in us as…
This divine indwelling is the security of our perseverance and the pledge of our heavenly inheritance in and with the Lord Jesus Christ. — Because the Spirit of God dwells in us, we are “are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.”
Spirit of Christ
2nd — God the Holy Ghost is here identified as the Spirit of Christ. — In the first part of verse 9 he is called “the Spirit of God.” Then, in the last part of the verse, he is called “the Spirit of Christ.” We believe in the divine Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are One God. They are three distinct persons in one glorious Being. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son. He is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ; and he is God the Holy Spirit.
I do not pretend to explain, nor even to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The Divine Being, the unity of the Trinity, and the distinct personality of each of the three Persons of the eternal Godhead are mysteries our puny brains shall never be able to comprehend. But where human reason and human understanding is baffled, faith is bold and confident. We believe that which God has revealed about himself (1 John 5:7).
(1 John 5:7) “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
The Holy Spirit is God! We will leave these matters, simply accepting them in humble faith. I am content to let the masterful theologians, with puny brains, spend their lives trying to unravel the mysteries of the Holy Trinity. We will simply bow before the incomprehensible God in adoring faith. But it seems to me that Paul here identifies the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ for at least four reasons.
1. He is called the Spirit of Christ because he peculiarly and especially rested upon Christ.
The Holy Spirit had much to do with the manhood of our Redeemer. His human body was begotten, or created in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the Spirit of God when the power of the Highest overshadowed her (Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:16-21).
(Luke 1:35) “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
(Matthew 1:18-21) “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (19) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. (20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (21) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
When our Lord first appeared in public to be recognized as the Messiah, the Son of God, when he went down into the waters of Jordan to be baptized, and as he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and rested upon him, while the Father proclaimed from heaven – “This is my beloved Son!” (Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:32-34).
(Matthew 3:13-17) “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. (14) But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (15) And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. (16) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
(John 1:29-34) “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (30) This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. (31) And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. (32) And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. (33) And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (34) And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”
Š Christ was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Š Our Lord’s preaching was in the power of the Divine Spirit. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.”
Š Christ our Lord, the Anointed One of God, had the Holy Spirit upon him without measure throughout the whole of his life upon the earth (Psalm 45:6-7; John 3:34).
(Psalm 45:6-7) “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (7) Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
(John 3:34-35) “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (35) The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.”
This Holy Spirit, as he was poured out upon Christ, our High Priest, without measure, flows down to all who are in Christ, like the holy oil flowed down from Aaron’s head to his body.
2. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, because our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the Holy Spirit.
Baptism in the Holy Ghost is one choice blessing which came upon God’s church as a result of our Lord’s substitutionary work.
Š By his obedience unto death and his exaltation into glory, the Lord Jesus Christ procured for his church the glorious decent of the Holy Ghost (Psalm 68:18; John 16:7, 13, 4; Galatians 3:13-14).
Š On the day of Pentecost, our Lord Jesus Christ baptized his church into the Holy Ghost, as the prophet Joel had declared he would (Joel 2:28-32).
What was the significance of Pentecost? What was the meaning of this baptism in the Holy Ghost?
Š Messiah the King has assumed his throne in glory.
Š The days of carnal worship, ceremonies, rituals, priestly sacrifices, altars, and incense are ended.
Š The Gospel goes now into all the nations of the world. God has fulfilled and ratified his covenant. All the nations of the earth are blessed in Christ, Abraham’s seed.
Š The church of Christ has now been anointed, empowered by God to evangelize the world.
(John 20:19-23) “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (20) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”
From that moment when the Holy Spirit fell upon that small band of disciples at Jerusalem, the church of God was baptized in the Holy Spirit. God grant that we may never forget that day of all days in our history. Let us go forth day by day in the power bestowed upon us at Pentecost, preaching the Gospel to sinners everywhere!
The day of Pentecost was a once and for all climatic event. — On that day the Spirit of God fell upon the church in his office capacity. As Christ came once to redeem God’s elect, so the Spirit of Christ came into the world once to call God’s elect. There was only one day of Pentecost.
Š There are many manifestations of the Spirit, but only one coming of the Spirit.
Š There are many anointings of the Spirit, but only one baptism in the Spirit.
Š There are many displays of the Spirit’s power, but only one descent of the Spirit’s Person.
Do not let Satan trick you into seeking another Pentecost. When the day of Pentecost came and the Holy Spirit fell upon God’s church, those disciples were not seeking some great experience. They were simply worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ, doing as he commanded.
Š There are many fillings of the Spirit, but only one Pentecost.
3. Here the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, because our blessed Savior lived peculiarly in the power of the Spirit.
“Spirit,” as it is used in our text, is used in opposition to “flesh.” What Paul is telling us is that if we belong to Christ, we live after the same Spirit as he did. — Though he was a real man, our Lord Jesus Christ never lived after the flesh or for the flesh. The flesh did not rule Christ. And if we belong to Christ, the flesh does not rule us. — Christ lived in the Spirit and walked in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was always evident in the character and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Š His life was a life in the Spirit.
Š His teaching was spiritual.
Š His goals and aims in life were spiritual.
Š His thoughts and his speech were spiritual.
4. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ, because he gives life to the entire mystical body of Christ.
All the saints are members of Christ’s body, the church. The church of God is spiritual. It is a habitation of God through the Spirit. All of God’s saints are brought to life and united to Christ in faith by the life-giving power of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:4).
(Ephesians 2:19-22) “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
(Ephesians 4:4) “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.”
3rd — I want you to see that every true believer has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him. — We are either in the flesh, or we are in the Spirit. There is no middle ground. If I am in the flesh, I live after the flesh. If I am in the Spirit, I live after the Spirit (vv. 5, 14).
(Romans 8:5) “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
(Romans 8:14) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
All who are saved by the grace of God, all who are born-again, all who are true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not something reserved for a select class of Christians. The gift of the Holy Spirit is indispensable to the life of a true believer.
The work of the Holy Spirit is indispensable to the salvation of God’s elect. If anyone is saved and enters into heaven, the work of God the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity. It is in every way as important and necessary as the work of God the Father in election and the work of God the Son in redemption (John 6:63).
Š Without the Holy Spirit, no one would ever be regenerated.
Š Without the Holy Spirit, no one would ever believe on Christ.
Š Without the Holy Spirit, no one would ever repent.
Š Without the Holy Spirit, no one would ever be converted.
Š Without the Holy Spirit, no one would ever be sanctified.
Š Only the Spirit of God can reveal Christ to a sinner.
Š Only the Spirit of God can give you a new heart.
Š Only the Spirit of God can create faith.
Š Only the Spirit of God can make you a new creature.
Š Only the Spirit of God can form Christ in you.
Unless God the Holy Spirit works through us by his Word, our labors and our preaching will all be in vain. Let us ever pray for the anointing of God the Holy Spirit, the unction of the Spirit, and the power of the Spirit. The very Word of God itself is a sealed Book to us until the Spirit of Christ opens it to our understanding and opens our hearts to it. In other words, as our Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus…
(John 3:5-8) “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
If a person is saved by the grace of God and united to Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit dwells in him (Ephesians 1:13-14).
(Ephesians 1:13-14) “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
By the new birth, we have entered into a new realm; we have become citizens of a spiritual world; we have been made new creatures in Christ. If we are born of the Spirit…
Š God is real to us.
Š Christ is real to us.
Š Truth is real to us.
Š Sin is hateful to us.
Š Holiness is lovely to us.
Š We are motivated by the Spirit.
Š We seek spiritual things (Philippians 4:4-8; 3:3-10).
The Spirit of Christ dwells in us as the seal of the New Covenant. —— The Spirit of Christ dwells in us as the earnest of heaven. —— The Spirit of Christ dwells in us as the preserver of spiritual life (Ephesians 4:30). —— The Spirit of Christ dwells in us as our Divine Comforter, showing us the things of Christ.
Characteristics of the Spirit
4th — Paul shows us that there are some things which are characteristic of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. — If I have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in me, his presence will be manifest by certain things which he does for all of God’s elect. Either we have the Spirit, or we do not have him. Let everyone of us examine ourselves on this point. Do I have the Spirit of Christ? – “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
1. All who have the Spirit of Christ own and acknowledge that Christ is Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3).
The Spirit of God brings sinners under the yoke of Christ. By the gracious influence of God the Holy Ghost, every heaven-born soul voluntarily surrenders himself to the dominion of Christ.
2. Every person who has the Spirit of Christ is led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Š Through the Word
Š By Divine Providence
Š By the gracious influence of the Spirit in his heart
3. If you and I have the Spirit of Christ, we are taught of the Spirit (1 John 2:27; 2 Corinthians 5:16).
4. All who have the Spirit of Christ have the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Š Toward God — love joy, peace
Š Toward man — longsuffering, gentleness, goodness
Š In themselves — faith, meekness, temperance
5. Those who have the Spirit of Christ are men and women of prayer (Romans 8:15, 26).
6. If person has the Spirit of Christ, he lives in a constant state of warfare in his own soul (Galatians 5:17).
7. All who have the Spirit of Christ trust Christ alone, clinging to him as their only hope before God (1 Corinthians 1:30). If I have the Spirit of Christ, the Divine Comforter, dwelling in me I am convinced…
Š Of Sin — My sin in not believing God.
Š Of Righteousness — Because Christ has gone back to Heaven. — He has finished his work.
Š Of Judgment — Because the prince of this world has been judged.
5th — If you are without the Spirit of Christ, you are without Christ and without life before God. — “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” — You may have many things, many fine qualities and virtues which commend you in the eyes of men, or even in your own eyes; but if the Holy Spirit of God does not live and dwell in you, if you have not the Spirit of Christ , you are a lost soul. This is the ONE FATAL DEFICIENCY of your heart.
Illustration: Saul Among the Prophets
1 Samuel 10
Š Without the Spirit there is no life.
Š Without the Spirit there is no hope.
Š Without the Spirit there is no mercy.
Š Without the Spirit there is no salvation.
(John 4:23-24) “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
(Philippians 3:3) “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
If you have not the Spirit of Christ, do not turn a deaf ear to my words. Go to Christ without delay. Believe on him and he will give you his Holy Spirit, the Fountain of Living Water in your soul.
Ye sinners seek His face,
Whose wrath ye cannot bear;
Bow to the scepter of His grace,
And find salvation there.
Let me finish with a word or two to you who are born of God, to you who have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you.
Š Walk in the Spirit.
Š Seek to be filled with the Spirit.
Š Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.
Š Pray for the power of the Spirit to be upon us.