“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.” (Romans 8:11, ESV)
The resurrection of Jesus guarantees new life for us.
Generally speaking, life after death is what I believe most of us think of when the resurrection comes to mind. Every year at Easter we are reminded of the fact that our Lord overcame death, and therefore, we who believe in Him will overcome death as well. For the Christian, death is not the end, but a transition.
But is that all the resurrection guarantees us?
Peppered throughout the New Testament are many more benefits of the resurrection than life after death. That’s not to diminish the gift of eternal life by any means! That is the supreme goal to which we look forward to -- spending eternity with God face-to-face! This is the “fullness of joy” the psalmist wrote about:
“in your presence there is fullness of joy;” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
The resurrection guarantees us other benefits in this life. They are a foretaste of the life to come. And they help us on our journey to becoming more like Christ till He resurrects us to finally be like Him. One such benefit Paul speaks of in Romans 8:11 is to “give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit.”
On the one hand, this obviously means life after death as well. Those who have the Spirit of Christ “belong to him” (8:9). Though our bodies are “mortal” and will die, the Spirit will “give life” to them when we’re raised.
But on the other hand, the “mortality” and “death” Paul speaks of in this paragraph is caused by our relationship to sin: “the body is dead because of sin” (8:10). As he said in Ephesians: “And you were dead in [your] trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
So what kind of “life” does Paul mean by “the Spirit … will also give life” to us?
Righteous life. In the next verse Paul concludes that we are not obligated to live according to our sinful flesh. Rather, we are to “put to death the deeds of the body” by means of the Spirit. The result? “You will live” (8:12-13).
The resurrection not only guarantees eternal life after death, but a righteous life now.
“... the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” (8:10)
So then, my brothers and sisters, let us live in true resurrection power; let us live a new life marked by killing sin & living in righteousness.
- Pastor Jonathan