Rabbi Schneider - Christ in You
Those of us who are in Messiah Yeshua, we are battling against sin. Because the Bible says, "Without holiness, no man shall see God". And Yeshua's first words to us were "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand". So those of us that are born of the Spirit do not willfully practice sin. And yet because there is a sinful inclination in the flesh, we're in this battle, sometimes we fall. But not because we're yielding, not because we're giving in, not because we're choosing to habitually sin as a lifestyle, but simply because at times we're weak. Jesus said, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak". So if you're truly engaging in the warfare, if you're born again, if you're overcoming, God wants you to know that when you fall, if you fail, there is no condemnation because we're in Christ Jesus and Jesus died on the cross for our sin.
So let's continue on. "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh..." And so what he's doing is just recounting some of the subjects that he's already spoken of on this letter. And he's talking about the fact that the flesh could never live up to the righteous standard of God, which was given to humanity in the law. Nor could the flesh even live up to the witness of the Holy Spirit in our conscience. The power of the flesh is not spiritual. So the flesh could never earn salvation. But what God did in providing a solution is two things.
Number one, beloved child of His, Jesus died for your sins. He sent His Son to become a propitiation for your sin. Yeshua died on the cross and He took your sin and my sin in His own body on the tree, then shed His innocent pure blood so that He removed the sin factor so that there's no condemnation because Jesus atoned for our sin. And then the second thing the Lord did is He gave us the Spirit. So we could never live up to His righteous requirement in the flesh because God's righteous requirement is spiritual. But what God did in Yeshua is He gave us His Spirit. So that when we received Yeshua we received the gift of the Holy Spirit. And now that the very zoe life of God resides and lives in you and I, we have the power to live spiritual lives that please God, we have the power to love God, we have the power to obey His requirements from a pure heart.
So this is what Paul is referring to here. "...that's the requirement", in verse 4, "of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit". God has given us the power. We have the Son of God living within us to truly live righteous lives by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh. I don't know about you, but I know in my life I've seen a lot of miracles. I mean, I've literally seen people that were legally blind healed in an instant of blindness. I've seen incredible miracles. But I think the miracle that touches me more than all the others is to see the change in my own heart, to see how God has supernaturally changed my heart. He's given you and I, beloved, His own Spirit that lives within us and has made us new creations so that we walk in newness of life.
Continuing on, Paul says in verse 5, "For those who are according to the flesh set their mind on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so..." I want you to get the scientific reality. There is Spirit and there is flesh. They are two different entities. We are truly given God's Spirit. And His Spirit has nothing in common with the flesh. There are two different life sources. God's Spirit is eternal life and the flesh has a life of its own, which is not spiritual life. And the life of the flesh, the Scripture says, is not even able to subject itself to the law of God because there's a different chemistry to it. It operates completely different from the Spirit.
It's not able to subject itself to the Spirit of God. It's like a different chemical. It's not a chemical, but it's a totally different nature. It's like, here I am in the woods. Okay? I'm looking at the ground right now. Let's say that I see a spider on the ground. That spider has really nothing in common with humanity. I mean, it's a creation but I mean, the spider can't think like we think. No matter what that spider, it could not think like a human being. And God is saying to you and I, in the flesh we cannot relate to Him, we cannot subject ourselves to Him. In fact, the nature of the flesh is going in a different direction than the Spirit of life. So what God did is He gave us His own nature. And as we live out of God's nature in us, we're able to please Him and walk in newness of life. But listen, beloved one, we have to feed His nature within us. Not that His nature could ever die, but in order for you and I to get strong in His nature, we have to feed on His nature.
That's why Jesus said, "He that eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life". And Jesus said, "My flesh is true food. My blood is true drink". And then he said, "The words that I speak to you," listen, "the words," Yeshua said, "that I speak to you are spirit and life". And so if we're going to walk in this newness of life, if we're going to overcome the tendency and the power of the flesh by spirit life, by God's life, we have to be taking in God's life. And His Word is life. Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you they are Spirit and they are life". He said, "The mind set on the flesh cannot please God. Indeed it's hostile to God. But the mindset on the Spirit is life and peace. If you live according to the flesh, you're going to die, but if you live according to the Spirit, you're going to reap from the Spirit love and joy and eternal life".
I'm wanting to zero in and hone in on the fact, beloved, that God's Spirit and our flesh are two different sources. They're two different scientific, if you will, entities. God's Spirit is living zoe life; the flesh has a totally different nature. If we're going to ascend out of the flesh and live in newness of life, live in the Spirit, we have to consciously choose to do that and we have to consciously make decisions to eat of His Spirit by taking His word into our life. And one of the ways that we take God's Word into our life is by reading His written Word and reading spiritual literature, devotionals that are inspired by the Spirit. Because from the very beginning, God has ordained that man is able to ingest His Spirit by taking in His written Word.
That's why when the Lord first revealed Himself to mankind at Mount Sinai, Moses, listen, wrote God's Word on the tablets of stone. And that's why God said to John on the island of Patmos, "Write" as John recorded for us in the Book of Revelation. And that's why the scriptures are recorded for us to read. Paul said, "These things are written for our instruction". And then Peter went on to tell us that we should feed off this word, this written word like newborn babes need to feed off milk. So God has called us to overcome. He's called us to newness of life. He's called us to ascend. He's called us to transcend the spirit part of our nature by newness of life. But you and I had to make a conscious decision to do that. Like soldiers we have to wake up in the morning, and as we are getting out of bed, we have to dedicate our lives to God, dedicate the members of our bodies to God, give our God focus in our thoughts, take His word into our life as we start the day.
And as we do that we're going to make great progress and find success in the Spirit. And so God is giving us spiritual truths and realities, but I'm helping us also, beloved ones, beloved child of His, to understand that there's a responsibility that you and I have as we're walking this out in spirit and in truth. Paul goes on to say in verse 9, we're still in chapter 8, "...you're not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him". I want you to think about this because I'm really wanting to drill in you the fact that God's Spirit is real and He resides in you. Listen again. "...you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you..." So Paul is saying, Hey, listen, there are two classes of people here. There's people that do not have God's Spirit living in them and there's people that do have God's Spirit living in them.
Now, when Paul says this, he's not talking about just a philosophy or agreeing with the doctrinal statement. He's talking about the fact that there is a literal life force whom God's people have received when they were born again. This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, "That which is born of flesh is flesh, that which is born of Spirit is Spirit, do not marvel that I say to you you must be born again". He was speaking about being born of the Spirit of God. It's a literal life force. It's uncreated, supernatural life. Think about when the disciples the apostles literally saw Jesus after He was raised from the dead. And then the disciples literally saw Yeshua in the book of Acts raise off of the earth higher and higher, and higher and higher up into the sky. Until they were looking up into the sky, and Yeshua was so high in the sky, they couldn't see Him anymore.
Now, what lifted Jesus up into the sky, up into the clouds until He disappeared? It was God's very Spirit of life and strength. It was real. And think about the disciples in Acts 2 when they first received this Spirit that Paul was talking about here in Romans 8. Remember Paul said, "You're not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you". And I'm trying to help us really zero in on the fact this is real, it's literal, it's scientific. You have a life force that you received when you receive Jesus. Now, think about this. In the book of Acts, when the Spirit was first poured forth on the church, what happened? Those that had received the Spirit began to speak in unknown languages, languages that they had never learned in their mind. And yet they began to prophesy in languages they had never learned. How? Because a life force had come in them and given them a supernatural ability.
And it's important for us to grasp this. In fact, part of growing in Messiah Jesus is getting centered in the truth that He lives in you. Paul calls it a great mystery. He said, "The mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory". It's about studying but it's also about just sitting before God and asking Him to give us revelation, that the same Spirit that raised Yeshua from the dead literally is living in you and me. We have to stop just looking on the outside for life and recognize that life is in us. This is why Jesus said, He that believes in Me, rivers of living water will flow from - where? From his innermost - where? His innermost, his innermost being. I want to encourage you. We are connected to so many things outside ourself in the material world that we live in. But I want you to know the mystery is that God's Spirit is inside you. Paul said if the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you. He will give life to your mortal body.
Look at the next verse. Verse 10 "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 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 dwells in you". Paul's had the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you, and he'll give life to this mortal body of ours if we're depending on Him. So God is ministering His life to us through His grace and imparting His life to us by His grace. But we'll receive even more of that when we open up our heart and create a channel for Him to flow into our lives, into our bodies, into our minds, into our hearts in to an even greater way. When His life flows into us, it strengthens us, it strengthens our body, it strengthens our mind. It gives us revelation to be able to perceive His ways. But we have to be looking for Him within.
Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you". And Jesus said it's an adulterous and wicked generation that's always looking for a sign on the outside. We shouldn't have to always look for a sign on the outside. We should simply come to grips that God is real. He's inside us. We're in relationship with Him, we're uniting to Him. We don't need to see something outside ourselves anymore, because we've got Him on the inside. And we're anchored in that truth and that reality. And beloved, that will bring you strength and peace.
So Paul concludes by saying, listen, God has delivered us from the bondage of sin. He has delivered us from being in bondage to the sinful passions of the body. And He's done it through the atoning work of Messiah Jesus, and through giving us the gift of His spirit by His grace. But you and I have to engage with Him. We have to engage with Him by putting Him first, putting our feet in the soil of His Spirit, taking His word into our life, praying from the spirit within us, talking to God, making Him our best friend, drawing from the Spirit by talking to God, depending on God, honoring God and confessing His word over our lives. So, beloved, I hope that you're getting the depth of this message that I'm bringing. And I pray that it continues to transform your life and my life, so that we're truly, truly living as those that are alive from the dead and alive to Him, for the glory of God in Yeshua HaMashiach's name.