However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
By means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit all believers are identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection and are no longer in the status of sin nature (flesh) control of the soul, positionally. Now, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are in the status of Holy Spirit control of the soul, positionally.
But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
The second sentence in this verse is a reference to the unbeliever who does not possess the indwelling of Christ. The unbeliever has no relationship with God. In the Church Age, to have a relationship with God one must be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The only way this can happen is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, therefore, occurs at the moment of salvation. This, of course, dispels the erroneous idea of the universal brotherhood of man. God is not the Father of the entire human race. He is Father of only those who have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation.
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If Christ is living within you means that you are spiritually alive because you possess God’s righteousness. The believer also has a human spirit which is being influenced by God the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, you still have a body which is in a state of death because of the possession of the sin nature. So, we are still talking about the inner battle over control of the soul. In this verse it is either the sin nature or the human spirit of the believer that is allowed to control the soul. `
But if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who indwells you.
This is resurrection from His spiritual death as well as His physical death. When Christ’s humanity was raised from the dead the Father and the Spirit both raised Him, so both are agents in the resurrection of Christ. The fact that God the Father is the agent of resurrection is found in Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21. The fact that God the Holy Spirit is also the agent of resurrection is found in Acts 2:24; Romans 1:4; 8:11; 2 Peter 3:18. The Holy Spirit indwells us as a down payment on our future resurrection body. The resurrection body is going to be the target, the home or the residence for future blessing. All of the rewards and blessings of eternity are imputations from divine justice and they must be imputed to a home or a target. The home or the target is the resurrection body.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For positive believers who are positive toward doctrine and interested in honoring the Lord the negative approach is not necessary, but there are some people who never can understand a positive command, it always has to be given to them in a negative manner. Brethren refers to the Royal Family of God and could just as legitimately be translated that way: “Consequently, royal family.” The royalty of the Lord Jesus Christ explains why we are in the Church Age. He is calling out a royal family for Himself.
There are certain obligations that go with high rank and this is what is meant here. We have the highest rank in life because the moment that we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ we were not simply born again but we were born into the Royal Family of God, therefore we have great obligation. So this opening phrase introduces an obligation of the Christian Way of Life in a negative way, which is related to the freedom from the sin nature. This freedom occurred at salvation through the ministry of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Freedom from the sin nature means no further obligation to it on the part of the believer.
The solution to the problem of the sin nature is found in each stage of the plan of God. Phase one, salvation: retroactive positional truth breaks the power and the authority of the sin nature. Phase two, the believer in time: the experiential power of the sin nature is broken through advancement to spiritual maturity.
Many privileges are given to the believer at the moment of salvation and many are given after salvation. However, opportunities must be seized by personal volition. As a believer, you are the most privileged person on the face of the earth, but at the same time you may be missing the opportunities for fantastic blessing by not executing God’s plan, purpose and will for your life. Tactical victory comes over a period of time as the believer makes thousands of right decisions regarding God, himself, others and circumstances. Winning the tactical victory is done by the believer who is being empowered by God the Holy Spirit as he organizes his life around right priorities: Jesus Christ must be the most important Person in your life, learning and applying accurate Bible doctrine must be placed above personal pleasure or your career, and virtue (a strict adherence to the truth) must drive every decision you make in life. (Ephesians 4:14-15)
Privilege in life is always accompanied by responsibility. This is also true with the Royal Family of God. Our first responsibility, of course, is to God as Royal Priests, and our second responsibility is to others as Royal Ambassadors. Christ’s strategic victory secured only potential for the tactical victory. As believers, we all have equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the Christian Way of Life. Some believers will choose to do so and some will not. Those who fail in their responsibility to God will experience a life of misery and unhappiness. Those who choose to embrace and fulfill their responsibility to God will experience a life of peace and happiness.
For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have only two choices 1) live according to the sin nature control of the soul and face temporal death 2) live according to the Holy Spirit control of the soul and face experiential live. It is referring to the Christian life; the life between salvation and death.
For the person who is negative toward doctrine, the person who is careless about the teaching of the Word of God and wants to emphasize human good works is destined for divine discipline, even to the point of the sin unto death. To lose out in time, as far as reward and blessing is concerned, means to lose out in eternity, as far as reward and blessing is concerned. There is no loss of salvation, only loss of blessing and reward above and beyond imputed righteousness in time, and the resurrection body in eternity.
On the other hand, if the believer allows the Holy Spirit to take doctrine resident in the believer’s soul and help him/her apply it in all of the areas of life, they will live their very best life. The believer must store doctrine in his right lobe in order to avoid the temptation to get off into human good and self-righteousness. This is a reference to living a new kind of life, a life which is related to God’s plan and completely eliminates both preconceived notions and human good motivation. In other words, this means to live life in compatibility with the character of God rather than in compatibility with our own concepts of human character. This means to erase human standards and substitute divine standards.
There are two types of believers: winners and losers. Winners are the believers who win the strategic and the tactical victory. Losers are the believers who win only the strategic victory. Winning the strategic victory is done by a single decision to believe in Christ as Savior. Winning the strategic and tactical victories is done by a single act of faith in Christ and many additional decisions thereafter to obey God’s Word and execute the Christian Way of Life. (John 3:36; Ephesians 5:15-18)
The winner-believer, after trusting Christ as Savior, makes many right decisions that glorify Christ. Therefore, he/she glorifies God both in time and in eternity. The winner-believer has won the strategic victory and possesses the righteousness of God and is advancing to spiritual maturity where he will win the tactical victory. The winner-believer does suffer, but it is for divine blessing and he shares the happiness of God. He lives in God’s “power system” and constantly makes right decisions from a position of strength. The winner-believer makes God number one priority in his or her life.
The loser-believer makes a single decision to trust Christ as Savior and this brings God glory. Even though the loser-believer has won the strategic victory and possesses the righteousness of God, he will suffer divine discipline and self-induced misery because of his failure to win the tactical victory. He lives in Satan’s “cosmic system” and constantly makes wrong decisions from a position of weakness. The loser-believer makes self number one priority in his or her life.
Being a winner or loser believer is determined by personal volition. You make the choice to be a winner or a loser. God does not force anyone to trust Christ as Savior, or to obey His mandates after salvation. God is not a “puppet-master” manipulating the believer’s every thought and action and He is not a “magician” with a magic wand to wave in order to fix your problems. However, God has designed the Christian Way of Life in a way in which all believers can become winners. By following God’s predesigned plan for you as outlined in His Word, any believer can be a success. It begins with making the right decision, as a believer, to learn, believe and apply Bible doctrine. If you’re waiting for God to makeyou do something or to make you think a certain way, you’re waiting in vain. God is ACTUALLY waiting on you to grow up spiritually and take control of your own spiritual life.