The Roman Resurrection Road – Part 6 – Life To Your Body

This blog is part of a series of blogs concerning the Resurrection realities found in the book of Romans. To read the intro to this series, go here.

Our next stop on the Roman Resurrection Road introduces us to an unnecessary “fork” in the road, not because the Word makes it so but because of the unfortunate baggage of man’s presuppositions. As your tour guide on this road, I recognize that that sentence means little to you at this moment, but it will make sense soon.

Let’s look at the next brilliant resurrection reality, found in one of the greatest chapters ever written, Romans 8:

“11 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 [e]through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Romans 8:11

The aforementioned fork in the road is not the question we’ve referenced before, namely, “Who raised Jesus from the dead? Father, Spirit, or the Son Himself?” 

The answer is yes. It was a trinitarian gig.

The fork we run into is a matter of implications. What does it mean that the Spirit will also give life to your mortal bodies as He did in the resurrection?

Most commentaries I’ve read take one of two paths:

  1. This refers to personal resurrection, meaning the promise that Jesus will raise us up “on the last day” as John 6 promises multiple times. We can have hope while we wrestle with this earthly body because we know there will be a day when we will have a new, incorruptible body (1 Corinthians 15:40-53).
  2. This is, since it refers to our mortal bodies, a promise to believers of resurrection power bringing healing and change to our actual physical bodies in the here and now.

To be bluntly honest, I was disappointed to find that many commentators, even some of my most reliable favorites, almost blow past this verse altogether. Some I’ve read almost ignore it completely, as if it’s a beehive that you won’t get stung if you leave it alone and don’t stir it up. So those who do mention it typically default to this, just meaning our personal resurrection at the end since it requires nothing of the here and now.

I submit that this is likely due to the lack of belief in the power God wants to release on the earth in our day.

Yet there remains in this passage, as I see it, two magnificent realities that both matter. I propose that the fork in the road isn’t even real. In this passage, I see the concept of the “now and not yet” aspect of the Kingdom.

This is not a binary situation. Both realities are true! Both realities are available in the promise! That’s good news for you!

You will be raised with a new, incorruptible body and you will need it to be able to withstand the majesty of Jesus in eternity. The truth of the resurrection points to the reality of our own resurrection, a concept we rarely hear about in modern Christianity. Yet, it is meant to be a source of massive hope for us if we can grasp it. As part of the culmination of your salvation, you will be raised, just as Christ has been raised.

Though the above promise is beautiful and meaningful, there remains a truth that impacts you in this moment. I fully believe that it is also true that your mortal body, the body you currently have, subject to decay and death, can experience the life-giving power of the resurrection in the here and now!

Do you mean to tell me that the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead won’t put that power to work on your behalf, even to the benefit of your physical body? That’s hogwash, poppycock, or whatever old-timey saying you want to use.

I submit to you that it pleases God when we allow Him to use His strength on our behalf.

If I read the passage in context, it seems clear to me that the pivot point of my life is in the soul, mainly the mind. When it is set on the flesh or the desires of the flesh, it is death to me. Yet if my mind is set on the Spirit, I am in proper alignment, and the “life” benefit released has a “trickle-down effect” even to my mortal body. When I am led by the Spirit, I am in proper order: spirit, soul, body.

I don’t even have to try to convince you that having things out of whack in the soul absolutely impacts the physical body. You can know that even without the Word through common grace. Rarely will you find anyone arguing against that. But if that is true, in the negative sense, how much more will a mind and soul set on the Spirit cause life to manifest in the physical body? It must be!

I know that it’s true because I’ve seen the resurrection power of Jesus release healing to bodies before my own eyes. Too many to recount here. That is not to say we’ll never face physical challenges; the fact that people can be healed reveals they needed something healed in the first place. We live in a fallen world. But my goodness, if the resurrection power gives life even to mortal bodies, I’m going to do everything I can to put that to work for people in the here and now!

There’s hope, whether you take the personal resurrection or the healing path! I propose to you that it’s the same path, the fork isn’t real, and you don’t need to choose – take a double dose of hope! Receive healing in your body today by faith, and keep believing that He will keep you in good health!

On a stripped-down, practical level, I practice this on a weekly basis. Though I am at the ripe age of 34, still just a pup, I have days where I just don’t have “the goods” to tackle the day. You know these days well. In yourself, you just don’t have it.

On those days, I pray something like this:

“Lord Jesus, I choose to set my mind right now on the things of the Spirit, regardless of whatever my body says. I pray that You, according to your promise, in your grace, cause life to flow even into my body today. I ask for the resurrection power that is already in me by your Spirit to create in me the strength to do what I can’t do myself today.”

I will say it again: it pleases God when we allow Him to use His strength on our behalf.

So lean into these truths today, and get yourself a double dose of hope:

You will be resurrected one day and be with Him in eternity. There will be no more pain and no more of the limitations initiated by the fall of man. And even though you live in a fallen world and see “evidence” in your own body daily, through the miracle of the resurrection, you can have life and strength released even to your own mortal body here and now! The Resurrection is a release of LIFE!