March 31, 2023

JD Wilhelm
"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

For a regular reader of the Bible, the opening 11 verses of Romans 8 constitute some of the most well-known verses within the entire New Testament. Liturgies and prayers have been drawn from this passage for thousands of years. Every verse has produced hundreds, if not thousands, of sermons and Bible studies. That level of familiarity with the concepts contained in these verses can be dangerous.

That is not to say it is bad to be familiar with these verses. It is good to be familiar with the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ that Paul tells here. That familiarity means that God has met you by grace. It means that He has opened your eyes and heart to see and understand things that, without him, we never could understand. He has drawn us closer to himself. He has pulled back the proverbial curtain and shown us the deep mysteries of His redeeming plan for all humankind. We are familiar with these verses because we have experienced the depth of God’s love which He has poured out on us through Christ Jesus.

But in the same breath, familiarity also has done some bad things for us. Often, when we become familiar with something, we begin to take it for granted. When we take it for granted, we tend to quit examining it. When we stop examining it, we stop noticing it. When we stop noticing it, we tend to not celebrate it as we once did. Familiarity has the power to rob us of our wonder.

Let us recapture the wonder of this verse. The Spirit dwells within you. This Spirit is the same Spirit of God who raised Christ Jesus from the dead. Jesus is the Messiah, and you belong to Him. God, who raised Jesus from the dead, will also raise us, the Messiah’s people. So who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:25) God will, through Jesus Christ and by the Spirit. Let us dwell in wonder at the hope of the resurrection on this day.