10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Verse 10 shifts to the positive and the present situation for the Christian. This is a change from the indwelling presence of the Spirit in the believer, to Christ in the believer. The indwelling of the Spirit is nothing less than the presence of Christ among believers. Beginning at verse 10 Paul sets forth a number of contrasts between the body and spirit of the believer.
10 And if [since] Christ is in you [plural—indwelling the Roman Christians],
We are “in the Spirit” in verse nine and we have “Christ in you” here. Both Christ and the Spirit are perceived as one. We know Christ only in and through the Spirit. This phrase refers to our conversion at one point in the past.
Christ is in believers. The “if” indicates in the Greek that this is true for Christians. Since Christ is in us, then it follows that our “body is dead because of sin” and the “Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
“Spirit in you” cannot happen without “Christ in you.” Union with Christ is the issue. If a person has the Spirit indwelling in him, He will share His life. The indwelling of Christ causes two things to happen:
o The body is dead because of sin.
o The Spirit is life because of righteousness.
[on the one hand] the body [humanity] is dead
The meaning of “body” is difficult in this phrase. Note the uses of the body in Romans:
o the body characterized as the body of sin (6:6)
o the body in which sin reigns (6:12)
o this body of death from which Paul longs to be delivered (7:24)
o the body whose deeds are to be mortified by the Spirit (v. 13)
The “body” here indicates a state of deadness. It is not mere physical death; it is the principle of death in the human being. This death carries seeds of death while the believer is alive. It is utterly overcome by new life in Christ.
There are different kinds of deaths in the Bible:
1. Non-Christians are dead while they live (Ep 2:1; Co 2:13)
2. Christians can be dead in their spiritual lives (Ep 5:14)
3. Natural death at the end of physical life
4. Eternal death in separation from God forever
The Christian has a different relationship to death than do non-Christians.
God delivers the Christian from the first and fourth deaths. He may even deliver them from the third if the rapture were to occur before they died physically.
Death for the Christian is preparation for the eternal state. Even our bodies will not perish by death. We are put to death by natural corruption of our bodies, but we will rise in incorruption. We are sown in dishonor and raised in glory. We are sown in natural bodies; we are raised in spiritual bodies.
Death separates the soul of the Christian from the body at death, but God will reunite the soul with the body at the rapture.
The purpose of death is to extirpate and separate us from sin. Death purifies the Christian. The grain does not come alive again except it die. Therefore, the believer does not fear death in the same way that a non-Christian does. It does not have the same sting, because of the resurrection of Christ. The day of our death will be better than the day of our birth. It is not a curse but a blessing. Sin and suffering will finish, never to come into our lives again.