Please shed some light on Rom. 8:10 concerning the body and spirit, life and death.


Could you please shed some light on Rom. 8:10, “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”


Paul spoke frequently of “Christ” as the total embodiment of the knowledge of God and all that it meant to him. “Christ in you” was “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Christ, because of His exemplary life, His total dedication of Himself to God, His perfect example and His all-out achievement became the personification of all of these qualities, and so the Apostles frequently used His name to convey this meaning. For example, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph. 3:17); again, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Applying this thought to the text in question, what is Paul saying? “If Christ be in you,” i.e., if all that Christ means, His teaching, His hope, and the prospect of life which it brings to the true believer, if all of this be “in you,” then what is the result?

Paul speaks of two results:

  1. The body is dead because of sin;
  2. The Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Paul frequently used terms such as “the flesh,” “the body,” to describe the old nature, our natural selves in our unregenerate state; likewise he used “the Spirit,” the “new creature,” the “new man” to describe the new nature which is the result of the power of God’s law remaking us into the moral likeness of Christ (see Col. 3:8-10; Eph. 4:22-24).

Accordingly, our “old nature” must become crucified with Christ, that is, dead, because of its sinfulness; at the same time the new nature, the Spirit, will be alive and growing. “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Rom. 6:6).

This is the point Paul is making again and again in Romans 8. As in verse 13: ” For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Also verse 6: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

This drastic transformation is the result of “Christ” being truly in us, with all the transforming power of His law, which effectually works in every true believer to produce the “new creature” which God will bless with life immortal. (1 Thess. 2:13).