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10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.


because of sin [sin capacity],

We have the death principle in us because of Adam’s sin, not our individual sin.

The death here is not death to sin but “because of sin.” “Because of sin” is the ground that caused God to condemn sin in the flesh (Ro 8:3). The Christian still carries his sin capacity and sinful body. Christians must face physical death because of this. We cannot carry the sin capacity into eternity. God will raise our mortal bodies (Ro 8:11) but not our sin capacities. Death for the Christian leads to resurrection of a new life.

The idea here is not that God took the believer out of his body or wholly removed him from the sin capacity. Believers still are attached to time and space and are still under sin’s influence in this life. The final execution of this problem will occur at the rapture or death. At that time God will eradicate sin and death from the believer.

Our union with Christ at the present time confirms God’s sentence of death on the flesh, but the final execution in a complete sense will occur at the death of the mortal body or the rapture.

but [on the other hand] the Spirit is life

The Spirit is life because of righteousness, and the body is dead because of sin. God implants His very own life into the believer at salvation because of imputed righteousness. This causes the believer to come alive spiritually toward God. The Spirit’s life in the Christian opens him to a decisively new life, even though God has not entirely broken the tie to the present body. That will not happen until the resurrection of the body.

Life here for the Christian is the life of God in the soul. Eternal life began for the believer at salvation (Jn 5:24). We possess and commence this life the moment we become Christians. We take this life into eternity.

because of righteousness.

“Righteousness” here relates to our justification. We receive this righteousness as a gift through Christ and our position “in Him.” This is God’s righteousness, not ours. It is because of Christ’s righteousness that the Spirit indwells us. By imputation of Christ’s righteousness into our soul, the Spirit is our life.

The purpose of the phrase “because of righteousness” is to show the believer’s position in Christ. In the face of their sin, Christians are nevertheless alive in Christ. We cannot look within our souls to gain encouragement about our relation to God; we look to our status of having a perfect position in Christ.


By the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, we have the life of the Spirit.


If all men die because of sin, then none can obtain life by his own righteousness. Our only hope is in Christ, who gives us His status before the Father. What a privilege that is!