Romans 8:10 MEANING

Romans 8:10
(10) The results of the presence of Christ in the soul.

The body is dead because of sin.--Here the word is evidently used of physical death. The doom entailed by sin still, indeed, attaches to the body--but only to the body. The body, indeed, must die, but there the hold of sin upon the Christian ends; it cannot touch him farther.

The Spirit is life because of righteousness.--But turn to another side of human nature; take it in its highest part and faculty--the spirit. That is full of vitality because it is full of righteousness, first imputed and then real. Life and righteousness are correlative terms, the one involving the other.

Verses 10, 11. - But (or, and) if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ (the previous Ἰησοῦν denotes the human person of our Lord; Ξριστὸν his office, fitly used here in connection with the thought of his resurrection ensuring ours. Some readings give τὸν before, and Ἰησοῦν after, Ξριστὸν) from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies, through his Spirit that dwelleth in you. These verses have been variously understood. It has been supposed by some that ver. 10 continues the thought of ver. 9; "the body" (τὸ σῶμα) meaning the same as "the flesh (σάρξ),and dead (νεκρὸν) meaning νενεκρωμένον, i.e. mortified, or lifeless with respect to the power of sin that was in it (cf. Romans 6:6, ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἀμαρτίας). Thus the meaning of the first clause of ver. 10 would be, "If Christ be in you, the body of sin in you is dead; but you are alive in the Spirit." Decisive objections to this view are,

(1) that the word σῶμα by itself is not elsewhere used as an equivalent to σάρξ, but as denoting our mere bodily organization. This statement is consistent with the metaphorical application of the word sometimes in a different verse, as in Romans 6:6, above quoted, and in Romans 7:24. Observe also τὰ θνητὰ σώματα ὑμῶν in ver. 11, which can hardly be taken but as expressing what is intended here;

(2) that διὰ with the accusative (διὰ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν) cannot be forced out of its proper meaning of "because of," which, according to the view we are considering, would be unintelligible;

(3) that ver. 11, which is obviously connected in thought with ver. 10, cannot well be brought into tune with it according to the view proposed. All is made clear, in view both of language and of context, by taking these two verses as introducing a new thought, which is carried out afterwards in ver. 18, viz. that of the drawback to the full enjoyment and development of our spiritual life owing to the mortal bodies which clothe us now and the purpose is to bid us believe in the reality of our redemption, and persevere in correspondent life, notwithstanding such present drawback. Thus the idea is that, though in our present earthly state the mortal body is death-stricken in consequence of sin (δἰ ἁμαρτίαν) - subject to the doom of Adam, that extended to all his race (cf. Romans 5:12, etc.) - yet, Christ being in us now, the same Divine Spirit that raised him from the dead will in us too at last overcome mortality. cf. 1 Corinthians 15:22, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (ζωοποιηθήσονται, the same word as in ver. 11 here); and compare also all that follows in that chapter. This view of the meaning of the passage before us is strongly confirmed by our finding, in 2 Corinthians 4:7-5:6, exactly the same idea carried out at length, with a correspondence also of the language used. The frail, mortal, ever-dying earthen vessels, in which we have now the treasure of our life in Christ, are there regarded as crippling the expansion of our spiritual life, and causing us to "groan, being burdened" (cf. in the chapter before us, ver. 23, ἐν ἐαυτοῖς στενάζομεν); but the very consciousness of this higher life within him, yearning so for an adequate and deathless organism, assures the apostle that God has one in store for him, having already given him "the earnest of the Spirit." And this seems to be what is meant hereby "shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." As to particular expressions in the verses before us, νεκρὸν, applied to "the body," may be taken to mean infected with death, and doomed to it (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 4:10 - Διὰ δικαιοσύνην, in opposition to δἰ ἁμαρτίαν, given as the reason for the Spirit being life, may be explained with reference to the essential conception of righteousness throughout the Epistle, as God's righteousness, revealed in Christ, and made over to man as the remedy of human sin. Before carrying out the thought peculiarly suggested by the last two verses (as is done at ver. 18), the apostle now draws a conclusion (expressed by ἄρα οῦν) from what has been so far said, so as to press the more the obligation of a spiritual life in Christians.

8:10-17 If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure for ever. The righteousness of Christ imputed, secures the soul, the better part, from death. From hence we see how much it is our duty to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If any habitually live according to corrupt lustings, they will certainly perish in their sins, whatever they profess. And what can a worldly life present, worthy for a moment to be put against this noble prize of our high calling? Let us then, by the Spirit, endeavour more and more to mortify the flesh. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit brings a new and Divine life to the soul, though in a feeble state. And the sons of God have the Spirit to work in them the disposition of children; they have not the spirit of bondage, which the Old Testament church was under, through the darkness of that dispensation. The Spirit of adoption was not then plentifully poured out. Also it refers to that spirit of bondage, under which many saints were at their conversion. Many speak peace to themselves, to whom God does not speak peace. But those who are sanctified, have God's Spirit witnessing with their spirits, in and by his speaking peace to the soul. Though we may now seem to be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by him in the end.And if Christ be in you,.... Not as he is in the whole world, and in all his creatures, or circumscriptively, and to the exclusion of himself elsewhere; for his person is above in heaven, his blood is within the vail, his righteousness is upon his people, and his Spirit and grace are in them; and so he comes to be in them, he is formed in their hearts by the Spirit of God in regeneration, when the Father reveals him not only to them, but in them; and he himself enters and takes possession of them as his own, manifests himself to them, communicates his grace, and grants them communion with him. This being their case,

the body is dead because of sin: by which is meant, not the body of sin, though this is called a body, and a body of death, yet is not dead, much less is it so by reason of sin; but this fleshly body, because liable to afflictions, which are called deaths, has the seeds of mortality in it, and shall in a little time die, notwithstanding the gift of it to Christ, though it is redeemed by his blood, and united to him; the reason of it is not merely the decree of God, nor does it arise from the original constitution of the body, but sin is the true reason of it, sin original and actual, indwelling sin, but not by way of punishment for it, for Christ has bore that, death is one of the saints' privileges, it is for their good, and therefore desired by them; but that they might be rid of it, and free from all those troubles which are the consequences of it:

but the spirit is life, because of righteousness; not the Spirit of God, who lives in himself, is the author of life to others, of natural and spiritual life, continues as a principle of life in the saints, is the pledge of everlasting life, and is so to them because of the righteousness of Christ nor grace, or the new creature, which is sometimes called Spirit, and may be said to be life, it lives unto righteousness, and is owing to and supported by the righteousness of the Son of God; but the soul of man is here meant, in opposition to the body, which is of a spiritual nature, immaterial and immortal; and this may be said in believers to be life or live, for it not only lives naturally, but spiritually; it lives a life of holiness from Christ, a life of faith upon him, and a life of justification by him, and will live eternally; first in a separate state from the body after death, till the resurrection morn, it does not die with the body, nor sleep with it in the grave, nor is it in any "limbus" or state of purgatory, but in paradise, in heaven, in the arms and presence of Christ, where it is not inactive, but employed in the best of service: and after the resurrection it will live with the body in glory for evermore; and this is owing to righteousness, not to the righteousness of man, but the imputed righteousness of Christ; for as it was sin, and loss of righteousness thereby which brought death on man, the righteousness of Christ is that on which believers live now, and is their right and title to eternal life hereafter.

Courtesy of Open Bible