Romans 8:9

Being free from sin in Christ Jesus, we are also free from its results - condemnation and death; or rather - for the result is one - the death, of which condemnation is but one aspect.

I. THE MIND OF THE FLESH. In a state of sin, as in a state of holiness, there is activity, though the activity be abnormal. The "flesh," equally with the "spirit;" has its "mind," i.e. its purpose, its aspiration; an activity which tends to a goal. And what is the dread goal to which the activity of sin must lead? Death! Yes, "the mind of the flesh is death;" this is as surely the result of such a perverse activity of our nature as though it were consciously designed and sought after. What is death, to such a one as man? The complete separation of the soul from God! And how is such death wrought by the "mind of the flesh"? By the reciprocal hostility between sin and God, which must work an utter mutual exclusion.

1. Sin's hostility to God. (Ver. 7.) The very essence of sin is rebellion against the Divine authority. The "flesh," viz. all the lower desires and passions of man's nature, broken loose from their proper governance, together with the more spiritual faculties which have been dragged down by the riotous animal impulses into a kindred perversion and anarchy - the flesh is "enmity against God." And, this being so, man's very sin, by its own action, shuts out God. Oh, what a suicide is here! For, with God, all good must ultimately be gone. The rebel rioters bar every avenue to shut out God; they darken the windows that the light of heaven may not shine; they exclude every breath of life and liberty.

2. God's hostility to sin. (Ver. 8.) But God is not a mere passive influence, whose exclusion from sinful man is determined solely by the express action of man's sin itself. God is a Spirit! Yes, no mere influence, but a living Person; a living Will! And God were no God, if he were not a holy God; and, being holy, ever hostile to all sin. It must be so. And therefore, when man erects his own rebellious will against his Maker, God's presence is not merely shut Out from the soul by sin, but God in grief - yea, and in wrath, in holy wrath - withdraws himself. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." So, then, on these two grounds, "the mind of the flesh is death." Both by the repugnant action of sin to God, and by the repugnant action of God to sin, all the favour and love and life of God are banished from the heart.

II. THE MIND OF THE SPIRIT. But if the inevitable result, and in some sense the conscious choice, of sin is the loss of God, what is the result of the true and right activity of the renewed nature, when the "spirit" is inspired by the Spirit of God, and restored to its proper ascendancy over the "flesh"? "The mind of the spirit is life and peace:" this is the necessary result; this is the result which is consciously sought after and desired. What is this life? The perfect possession and enjoyment of God, and of all good in God. And how is it wrought by the "mind of the spirit"? As in the former case, by the reciprocal action between the renewed spirit and God; though here, not reciprocal enmity, but reciprocal love.

1. The craving for God. "The spirit thirsts for life in God, which is its element, and sacrifices everything to succeed in enjoying it perfectly" (Godet). This is the very essence of the new life, as of all true spiritual life, a desire for God (see the Psalms, passim). And, by the appropriating power of faith, the spirit possesses itself of that which it desires. It hungers, and is fed.

2. The response of God. As above, God is not a mere atmosphere to be breathed, but a living God to give or withhold himself. And just as he withdraws in holy wrath from sinful man, so he imparts himself in gracious love to the humble, believing soul (see John 14:17, passim). So then "the mind of the spirit is life" - life which consists in the full possession of God, and, with him, of peace, joy, strength, and perfect liberty. Yes, "this is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Which shall be our portion, our destiny? Life? or death? We answer, practically, by living according to the flesh or the spirit. But this latter is possible only in one way: does the Spirit of God dwell in us? - T.F.L.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.
"A boat has been sailing on the salt ocean, it has come through many a storm, and, half full of briny water, it is now sailing on the fresh water of the river. It is no longer in the salt water, but the salt water is in it. The Christian has got off the Adam-sea forever. He is in the Christ-sea forever. Adam is still in him, which he is to mortify and throw out, but he is not in Adam." First, take it simply in itself, "ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit"; where we have signified to us the state and condition of the children of God and the opinion which St. Paul has of them; and that is, not to be "carnal, but spiritual." That is, they are not wholly swayed by their own corruption, but by the Spirit of God in them. This is so far considerable of us as it teaches how to judge both of ourselves and other men. First, for ourselves. It is a point which may be very well improved by the children of God under temptation, when as Satan, joining with their own misgiving hearts, would go about to persuade them that they have no grace at all in them, because they have it in them mingled with some corruption. They should not hearken or give heed to such suggestions as these are. Again, secondly. This also teaches us how we should look upon other men who are the saints and servants of God, in the midst of those weaknesses and infirmities which they are sometimes compassed withal. There are many malicious persons in the world who, if at any time they do by chance espy anything which is amiss in God's children, they can commonly see nothing else. If they see some flesh in them, they can see nothing of the spirit; and they are apt both to account of them and to call them according to that which is worst in them. Now secondly. We may also look upon it reflexively, as coming from the apostle. He gives this testimony of these believing Romans to whom he wrote for their particular, that they were spiritual. And here two things more. First, his knowledge of their state and condition in grace for the thing itself. While he sees it, he does intimate that he knows it, and discerns it, and takes notice of it, to be so indeed with them, that they were such as were in the state of grace. Now here it may be demanded, How he came to do so? To this we answer: Divers manner of ways. First, by the judgment of charity. Secondly, by a special spirit of discerning which was vouchsafed unto him. Thirdly, the apostle speaks not here to the Romans at large, but only to the believers amongst them: "To all that be at Rome, beloved of God and saints," as it is Romans 1:7. Now farther, secondly, he signifies this his knowledge and apprehension of them. Why does he so? For two reasons; First, I say, hereby to testify the good opinion which himself had of them. He had in the verse before declared the sad estate of carnal persons. Now, lest they should think that he had mentioned this in reference to them, he now adds this unto it by way of exception. Secondly. For their further encouragement and progress in goodness. It is a good incentive to any to be better when they are commended for what already they are. The second is the proof or argument for the confirmation of it, in these, "If so be the Spirit of God dwelleth in you." First, take it absolutely in itself: "The Spirit of God dwells in you." This is spoken not only of the Romans, as belonging to them alone, but as common to all believers, who have likewise a share in it. When it is said both here and in other places, "That the Spirit of God dwells in the children of God" there are three things which are implied in this expression. First, I say, here is implied presence. He dwells in them — that is, He is in them. There is a special and peculiar presence which the Spirit of God doth take up in the children of God. Secondly, when it is said that the Spirit of God dwells in us; hereby is signified not only His presence, but His activity and operation. And this does express itself in sundry performances of His towards us. First, of instructing and teaching us. Secondly, as the Spirit of God dwells in us to teach us what is to be done, so to provoke and stir us up to the doing of it upon all occasions. Thirdly, He dwells in us also to restrain, and mortify, and subdue sin in us. Fourthly, He dwells in us so as to improve and to set home upon us all the ordinances and means of grace. Fifthly, in a way of comfort and special consolation, while he evidences to us our state and condition in grace, and gives us hope of future salvation, which is that which He likewise does for us. Sixthly and lastly, He dwells in us so as to repair us, and to reform us there where we are amiss, and have any decays of grace and goodness in us. The Spirit of God is a good landlord and inhabitant in that soul in which He dwells, who will not suffer it to run to ruin. The consideration of this point, thus explained, may be thus far useful to us — First, as it teaches us accordingly to suffer Him to dwell largely in us, we should give up ourselves to Him, as rooms and lodgings to Him. Secondly, it should teach us to give all respect that may be to Him. Take heed of grieving Him, of resisting Him, of vexing Him, of despising Him, and the like. Thirdly, we should from hence give all respect to the saints and servants of God, upon this consideration amongst the rest. Is it so indeed that the Spirit of God dwells in His children? Then let us take heed of wronging or injuring any such persons as these are, either by word or deed. And that is the second thing implied here in dwelling, to wit, activity and operation. The third and last is abode and continuance. Dwelling it is an act of daily and constant residence. And this is further observable in the Spirit of God in reference to His children. He is in them, not only as in an inn, but as in a mansion house; nor as a lodger only, but as an inhabitant who is resolved not to remove from them (John 14:16). This is so upon these grounds. First, the unchangeableness of His nature. Secondly, the love of God towards His children. Thirdly, the power of God. This is conducing hereunto likewise. There is none who is able to dispossess Him or turn Him out. Now further, secondly, we may look upon it argumentatively, and in connection with the words immediately preceding, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; because the Spirit of God dwelleth in you." So that the Spirit's inhabitation, it is an argument and proof of regeneration.

(Thomas Horton, D. D.)

If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you
There used in old times to be a controversy respecting the divinity of the Spirit of God. But this has died out. It is, in fact, a question almost without meaning. We might as well deny the humanity of man, or the divinity of God. But more. As the spirit of man is the inmost essence of man, so the Spirit of God is the inmost essence of God — the holy of holies in the Divine nature. There are only two definitions of the Divine essence in the New Testament, and both agree with this — "God is a Spirit," "God is love."

I. MANY DIFFICULTIES ARE REMOVED BY DEALING WITH THIS SPIRITUAL ASPECT OF THE DIVINE NATURE. As when, for instance, we ask, "What is man?" The answer is — not his body, but his spirit, his inward affections; as further, when we ask what it is that distinguishes man from the brute? we still answer — his inward affections. So also, when we ask, what God is? whilst we know there is much which we cannot answer, yet when we think of Him as a Spirit, it is then that we can best understand Him. No man hath seen God at any time, but there is a true likeness of God in Christ, because Christ is one with God, through the Spirit of goodness and wisdom. And with that same Spirit bearing witness with our spirits, we also may be, in our humble measure, one both with the Father add with the Son.

II. THIS PLACES IN THEIR PROPER LIGHT ALL THOSE WORDS AND PHRASES WHICH ARE USED TO DESCRIBE THE DIVINE NATURE. In proportion as they describe the Divine Being under the form of goodness, truth, and wisdom, as the breath which is the animating life of our souls and of religion, in that proportion they describe Him as He is. In proportion as they describe Him under the form of impressions taken from nature or man, in that proportion they are but parables and figures. Rock, fortress, shield, champion, shepherd, husband, king, and the great name of Father, these are all admirable words, so far as they express the spiritual relations of the Almighty towards us, but they would mislead if they were taken in gross, literal sense. And so, much more it is true of the anthropomorphic expressions, such as fear, jealousy, anger; or the metaphysical expressions, each of which taken separately would lead us away from the spiritual, which is the essential nature of God.


IV. IT IS THIS WHICH MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VARIOUS OFFENCES AGAINST DIVINE THINGS. Whatever mistakes a man may make concerning the outward form in which the Divine truth is manifested shall be forgiven, even though he blaspheme the Son of Man Himself. For every earthly manifestation must be liable to misunderstanding, and therefore blasphemy against the Son of Man is not against the holy and loving Jesus, but against some false conceptions we have formed of Him in our own minds. For such blasphemies the Son of Man has assured. He has Himself asked the Father to "forgive them, for they know not what they do." But if there be anyone who hates goodness because it is goodness, who closes his heart against purity and holiness, because they are pure and holy, such an one has blasphemed not the mere outward form, but the essence of God Himself. For this sin against the Holy Ghost there is no forgiveness.

V. IT IS THE ETERNAL SPIRIT OF GOODNESS AND TRUTH WHICH MUST WRITE HIS COMMANDS ON OUR HEARTS. The letter killeth, it is the Spirit that gives life. Signs and ordinances of religion derive all their force from the directness with which they are addressed by the Spirit of God to our intelligence, conscience, and affections.


1. The "holy universal Church." The old heathen religions did not tend to raise the thoughts of men to holiness, and therefore they were not holy. The old Jewish religions was confined to a single nation, and therefore it was not truly spiritual. The Christian Church is intended to make men good, and therefore it is holy and the work of a holy God. It is universal, and therefore is the work of a universal Spirit.

2. "The communion of saints." The fellowship and friendship which good men of the most diverse opinions and characters have or ought to have for one another, is the most powerful means whereby the Spirit of God works, and gives the most decisive proof of the existence of a Holy Spirit.

3. "The forgiveness of sins" is realised by the witness of the Spirit.

4. "The resurrection of the body" is directly attributed to this same Spirit (ver. 11).

5. "The life everlasting "is the undying vitality of those affections and graces which are part of the essence of the Holy Spirit of God. These have their immortality from the same source as the eternal existence of God Himself.

(Dean Stanley.)

God the Son has graciously vouchsafed to reveal the Father to His creatures from without; God the Holy Ghost, by inward communications. The condescension of the blessed Spirit is as incomprehensible as that of the Son. He has ever been the secret Presence of God within the creation: a source of life amid the chaos, bringing out into form and order what was at first shapeless and void, and the voice of truth in the hearts of all rational beings, tuning them into harmony with the intimations of God's law, which were externally made to them. The Holy Spirit has from the beginning pleaded with man (Genesis 6:3). Again, when God took to Him a peculiar people, the Holy Spirit was pleased to be especially present with them (Nehemiah 9:20; Isaiah 63:10). Further, He manifested Himself as the source of various gifts, intellectual and extraordinary, in the prophets and others (Exodus 31:3, 4; Numbers 11:17-25). These were great mercies; yet are as nothing compared with that surpassing grace with which we Christians are honoured; that great privilege of receiving into our hearts, not the mere gifts of the Spirit, but His very presence, Himself by a real not a figurative indwelling. When our Lord entered upon His ministry, He acted as though He were a mere man, needing grace, and received the consecration of the Holy Spirit for our sakes. He became the Christ, or Anointed, that the Spirit might be seen to come from God, and to pass from Him to us. And therefore the heavenly gift is called the Spirit of Christ, that we might clearly understand that He comes to us from and instead of Christ (Galatians 4:6; John 20:22; John 16:7). Accordingly this "Holy Spirit of promise" is called "the seal and earnest of an Unseen Saviour." He has some, not merely in the way of gifts, or of influences, or of operations, as He came to the prophets, for then Christ's going away would be a loss, and not a gain, and the Spirit's presence would be a mere pledge, not an earnest; but He comes to us as Christ came, by a real and personal visitation (Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Romans 5:5; Romans 8:16). Here let us observe, before proceeding, what indirect evidence is afforded us in these texts of the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Who can be personally present at once with every Christian but God Himself? This consideration suggests both the dignity of our Sanctifier and the infinite preciousness of His Office towards us. To proceed: The Holy Ghost dwells in body and soul, as in a temple. Evil spirits indeed have power to possess sinners, but His indwelling is far more perfect; for He is all-knowing and omnipresent, He is able to search into all our thoughts, and penetrate into every motive of the heart. Therefore He pervades us as light pervades a building, or as a sweet perfume the folds of some honourable robe; so that, in Scripture language, we are said to be in Him, and He in us. It is plain that such an inhabitation brings the Christian into a state altogether new and marvellous, far above the possession of mere gifts, exalts him inconceivably in the scale of beings, and gives him a place and an office which he had not before (2 Peter 1:4; John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 2 Timothy 2:21). This wonderful change from darkness to light, through the entrance of the Spirit into the soul, is called regeneration, or the new birth. By His coming all guilt and pollution are burned away as by fire, the devil is driven forth, sin, original and actual, is forgiven, and the whole man is consecrated to God. And this is the reason why He is called "the earnest" of that Saviour who died for us, and will one day give us the fulness of His own presence in heaven. Hence, too, He is our "seal unto the day of redemption"; for as the potter moulds the clay, so He impresses the Divine image on us members of the household of God.

II. Next, I must speak briefly concerning the manner in which the gift of grace manifests itself in the regenerate soul.

1. The heavenly gift of the Spirit fixes the eyes of our mind upon the Divine Author of our salvation. By nature we are blind and carnal; but the Holy Ghost reveals to us the God of mercies, and bids us recognise and adore Him as our Father with a true heart. He impresses on us our Heavenly Father's image, which we lost when Adam fell, and disposes us to seek His presence by the very instinct of our new nature. He restores for us that broken bond which, proceeding from above, connects together into one blessed family all that is anywhere holy and eternal, and separates it off from the rebel world which comes to nought. Being then the sons of God, and one with Him, our souls mount up and cry to Him continually (ver. 15). Nor are we left to utter these cries in any vague uncertain way of our own; but Christ left His sacred prayer to be the voice of the Spirit.

2. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost raises the soul, not only to the thought of God, but of Christ also (1 John 1:3; John 14:23). The Spirit came especially to "glorify" Christ; and vouchsafes to be a shining light within the Church and the Christian, reflecting the Saviour. First, He inspired the evangelists to record the life of Christ; next, He unfolded their meaning in the Epistles. He had made history to be doctrine; He continued His sacred comment in the formation of the Church, superintending and overruling its human instruments, and bringing out our Saviour's words and works, and the apostles' illustrations of them, into acts of obedience and permanent ordinances, by the ministry of saints and martyrs. Lastly, He completes His gracious work by conveying this system of truth, thus varied and expanded, to the heart of each individual Christian in whom He dwells. Thus He vouchsafes to edify the whole man in faith and holiness (2 Corinthians 10:5). St. John adds, after speaking of "our fellowship with the Father and His Son": "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." What is fulness of joy but peace? Joy is tumultuous only when it is not full; where He is, "there is liberty" from the tyranny of sin, from the dread of an offended Creator. Doubt, gloom, impatience have been expelled; joy in the gospel has taken their place, the hope of heaven and the harmony of a pure heart, the triumph of self-mastery, sober thoughts, and a contented mind. How can charity towards all men fail to follow?

(J. H. Newman, D. D.)

I. The FACT. The law of progress obtains in all the dispensations. The old was grandly material, appealing to our sensuous nature, and preparatory, adapted to the childhood of the race. The coming of Christ introduced a better state of things, and substituted realities for symbols. But although He performed mighty works and "spake as man never spake," yet a more glorious dispensation was to succeed (John 1:50; John 14:12), which is to ultimate in the reign of grace on earth, in heaven itself, and in the finished glory of the saints. But does the Spirit in this His peculiar dispensation dwell in man? Read John 14:16, 17; the text; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14; 1 John 4:4.


1. Is it a real dwelling, or are those Scriptures to be understood in a figurative sense? We believe in the omnipresence of the Spirit (Psalm 139:7). But omnipresence is an attribute; the indwelling of which we speak is that of a person, a voluntary presence — a presence that may be withdrawn — that is circumscribed and conditioned — that has no affinity with sin, and consequently is never realised in an unbelieving heart. It is a presence that may be grieved, offended, and driven away, and is therefore not an attribute, but a person.

2. Neither is this presence to be regarded simply as a Divine influence. Person is the being who acts; influence is the effect of the action, and the question is, Is it the influence or the person of the Holy Spirit that dwells in the heart of believers? Practically, it is both; for wherever the Spirit in His personal presence is, there will His influence be felt. He does not stand or send His messages; but He enters within, instructing us by His wisdom, making us happy in the consciousness of His fellowship and protection.


1. A more accurate and discriminating understanding of the Scriptures. The more practical portions of God's Word are level to the capacity of children. Still there are "some things hard to be understood," things into which even the angels desire to look — the deep things of God. To the unbelieving the Scriptures are a sealed book. It is not learning nor genius that breaks the seal; its Divine Author is its true interpreter, even the Spirit of truth that dwells within us (1 Corinthians 2:11). Could you entertain in your family the most scholarly man of the age, have familiar access to his mind and heart, thus becoming more and more initiated into hit style and spirit, such acquaintance would give a quickened impulse to your mind, a keener relish for his writings, and a key to their true exposition. The believer is supposed to entertain One of boundless intelligence, who is continually unfolding the sublimest truths, and arousing his mental energies by new and startling discoveries of the great Christian verities; and it is impossible for him to be under such tuition without greatly enlarged mental capacities for knowing and interpreting the Scriptures, whose author is the Holy Spirit.

2. A greater unity among Christians. Strife and division were among the earliest developed evils in the apostolic Church (1 Corinthians 3:4). This was a most undesirable state of things, marring the beauty and symmetry of Christianity. But Christ anticipated this evil (John 17:21). Unity among Christians is a desirable thing in itself, and nothing so wins the world to a believing reception of the gospel, and nothing so effectually works scepticism as strifes and divisions. And if Christ's prayer is to be answered, there will be a drawing together of Christian hearts — One Lord, one faith, and one Spirit. To hasten a result so devoutly to be wished, we may employ outward and visible means; we may hold "union conventions"; but a real heart union, finding its expression in visible fellowship, in cooperative labours, will be realised, just as the Holy Spirit finds indwelling in believers and in the Church.

3. Purity of life. The Spirit is holy, and will not dwell in a heart that harbours even the thought of sin. But when He does enter He brings every thought, power, and passion into cordial obedience to Christ. His presence is a continual corrective and restraint, an abiding stimulus to a right life. Were you entertaining a highly honoured guest, everything in the domestic arrangement would be ordered to suit his taste. Sinning in a believer is something more than transgression; it is sacrilege.

4. A more attractive Christian life. Persons intimately associated become assimilated; and if the Holy Spirit should assume form or expression, it would be the most attractive conceivable. He is sometimes represented in the form of a dove, because of His grace and beauty. A palace enriched with all works of art, surrounded by all natural beauties, may well symbolise the regenerated human heart where the Spirit dwells, making the life not sad but songful.

5. A more effective Christian life.

(S. B. Burchard, D. D.)

That which gives being to a Christian is the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him. He is to a Christian what the soul is to a man. Consider what a thing the body is without the soul, how defiled and deformed a piece of dust it is. Truly the soul of man by nature is in no better case till this Spirit enter; it hath no light in it, no life in it (Ephesians 4:18). The eye of the mind is put out, and if it be darkness, how great is that darkness! And from this woeful defect flows the alienation of the whole soul from the life of God, that primitive light being eclipsed, the soul is separated from the influence of heaven. Man was once the dwelling place of princely and Divine graces, the Lord Himself was there; and then how comely and beautiful was the soul! But now it is like the desolate cities, in which the beasts of the desert lay, and their houses are full of doleful creatures, where owls dwell, and satyrs dance, where wild beasts cry, and dragons in the pleasant places (Isaiah 13:21, 22; Jeremiah 50:39). The Bethel is become a Beth-aven, the house of God become a house of vanity; by the continual repair of vain thoughts, the house of prayer is turned into a den of thieves and robbers. Now, judge if there be not need of a better guest than these. Now, when the Spirit of Christ enters into this vile, ruinous cottage, He creates a new light within, which makes a man behold the light shining in the gospel; and behold all things are new, himself new, the world new, and God new. And as the Spirit enlightens, so He enlivens; He kindles a holy fire in his affections to consume his corruption. This Spirit makes a Christian soul move willingly toward God; it is an active principle that cannot rest till it rests in its place of eternal rest and delight in God. And then the Spirit reforms this house by casting out all these wild beasts that lodged in it, the savage and unruly affections that domineered in man. There are idols in the heart, and these must be cleansed out. And all this the Spirit will not do alone, but honours you with the fellowship of this work; and therefore you must lay your account, that the reformation of this house, for so glorious a guest, will be laborious. How infinitely is that compensed! When He shall take up house fully in you, it will satisfy you to the full. In the meantime, as He takes the rule and command of your house, so for the present He provides for it, and oh, how sweet and satisfying is it! (Romans 14:17). What a noble train doth the Spirit bring along with Him to furnish this house! Many rich and costly ornaments hang over it and adorn it, to make it like the king's wife, all glorious within; such as the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4); the clothing of humility, simple in show, but rich in substance (1 Peter 5:5). And being lodged within, what sweet fruits is the Spirit daily bringing forth to feed and delight the soul withal! (Galatians 5:22, 23). And He is a Spirit of consolation, and therefore of all the most worthy to be received into our hearts, for He is a bosom comforter (John 14:16).

(Hugh Binning.)

As Jerusalem was the glory of the world, because of the temple of God, so are the regenerate of all mere most glorious, because they are the temples of the Holy Ghost. In matters of the world, an unregenerate man may be before us; but in this he cannot. He may have gold in his purse, but we have God in our hearts, the right owner of them, which is the top of our happiness. Tenants make havoc and suffer all things to fall to ruin, but owners are always repairing; when the devil held our hearts all was out of frame; ignorance ruled in our mind, rebellion in the will, disorder in the affections; but the coming of the Holy Spirit enlightens, leads into all truth, certifies of the favour of God, fashioneth to every good work, and enricheth with all spiritual grace, all those in whom He dwelleth. Even as fire makes iron fiery, so the Spirit makes us spiritual. This is that Spirit which is the Comforter, which cheereth and sustaineth the desolate and despairing conscience, and feedeth it with heavenly manna. Surely the conscience of a regenerate man is a very paradise in which God's good Spirit dwelleth not for a short time, but forever.

(Elnathan Parr, B. A.)

How often and how simply it is said, "The Holy Ghost dwelleth in you" (ver. 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:9). This is the normal Christian state.

1. The Holy Spirit lifts us out of and above ourselves; the very flesh is not like the flesh of those who are its slaves. Physically it is the same, but it is more spiritual, less clamorous in its appetites; as iron, glowing with the fire wherewith it is penetrated, has other qualities, and is flexible as it was not before. In the case where long-lived sensualism has done its work, you see in the bloated countenance that the flesh has changed for the worse. Where the spiritual life has long transformed the soul, you see, as in some pictures of great saints, the flesh spiritualised.

2. We speak of having talents, attainments, possessions, as things which, more or less, men dispose of as they will. St. Paul speaks of another possession. God the Holy Ghost so puts Himself at the command of His creatures that we may have Him for our own, or, alas! alienate, grieve Him away, quench His light. Nay, so does He will to put Himself at the disposal of God's redeemed that His holy inspirations await their invitations. His Divine thoughts inform their human thoughts, so that they can hardly or not at all tell what are their thoughts what His; only they know that all which is good is His; they are but the harp whose strings vibrate as His breath passes over them, and yield what harmony He wills.

3. He acts from within. They are not merely the motions of grace, as they fell on Saul, or now, too, touch every heathen heart which will respond to His touch. It is not only a voice like that to Socrates, withholding him from what God in His providence willed him not to do. It does not merely strengthen man's natural generous feelings, such as made Scipio a greater conqueror when he gave back to her betrothed the captive virgin of intense beauty than when his earthly glories were crowned at the field of Zama; for, by the unknown grace of God, he had conquered himself. Nor is it only like that overpowering grace to which the long-resisting soul at length yields and ends its weary rebellions, and casting itself at its Father's feet, is again enfolded in His arms; "the dead is again alive, the lost is found." The office which God the Holy Ghost vouchsafes to take towards Christians is indwelling.

4. To communicate Himself is the being of God. Inseparable is the Trinity. Where one person is there is the whole. For the Son dwells in the Father and the Father in the Son, and the Holy Ghost reposes and habitates in the Father and the Son. And so our Lord expresses the loving communication of the Father and the Son to those who do His commandments and love Him (John 14:23). Yet in some special way it is God the Holy Ghost who dwelleth in us. His presence within us is the pledge of our resurrection to life eternal (ver. 11), and is our bond of union with Christ. If He dwelleth in us our prayers are not our prayers only, but His prayers in us. God, informing our thoughts, suggesting our longings, pleads with God (ver. 15; 1 John 4:16).

5. What the soul is to the body that God is to the soul. The life of the body is, the soul, the life of the soul is God. We know not where the soul is, but through it we live, we think, we love. So through God indwelling the soul we have our spiritual, eternal life begun in us; we think all the good thoughts we have. Our good is not chiefly or primarily ours, but His who, dwelling in us, worketh in us to will and to do, and rejoiceth in His works in us.

6. What an existence, awful for the very greatness of the love of God! What a tingling closeness of God! (Colossians 1:27). Holy is this church, because consecrated to God, because where His own are gathered in His name there is He. Holy to us is any picture of our Redeemer, because it images to us, as man can conceive, His countenance of tender love. But all these are material things; you are the living image of God; you are the living temples of God. As then you would not defile this temple, as you would not tread and trample under foot a likeness of your Redeemer, reverence yourselves. Bring not defiling thoughts into your souls; it is to bring them into the very presence of God. Utter not polluting words with the tongue, wherewith God the Holy Ghost enableth you to call God your Father, Jesus your Lord. And, what follows from this, defile not those living temples wherein He dwells. When Satan tempts you, remember what a greatness God has given you, to have in the hostelry of your souls God as your guest, to abide there, if you will, forever. Give yourselves anew this day to Him who gave Himself to you. He alone knows what an intolerable loss it is to lose Him, our God, forever!

(E. B. Pusey, D. D.)

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His
Note —

I. THE REMARKABLE TITLE HERE GIVEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT — "the Spirit of Christ." He is so called because —

1. He especially rested upon Christ. The manhood of Christ was begotten of the Spirit of God. When our Lord was baptized the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove, and then was "led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Then He returned into Galilee in the power of the Spirit. When He began to preach His first words were, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me." His ministry stood in the power of the Spirit. All through His life the Spirit of God rested upon Him in fulness of power, for God "giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him."

2. He is given to us by Christ. "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." Jesus spake of giving to men living water, and this spake He of the Spirit. After His resurrection Ha breathed on His disciples, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," and having procured Him by His ascension poured Him out at Pentecost.

3. Christ lived peculiarly in the Spirit. "Spirit" in the text is in opposition to the "flesh." Never did the flesh rule Christ. Nay, He even forgot to eat bread, finding meat to eat which even His disciples knew not of. Never was He moved by any sensuous passion, or by a motive of fleshly tendency. Some have high ambitions, but not He. The flesh that lusteth for vengeance had no rule in Him, but the Spirit of holiness and love. The objects He aimed at were all spiritual.

4. He quickens the entire mystical body of Christ. All the members of that body are distinguished by this — that they are spiritual men, and seek after spiritual things. The true Church being in herself a spiritual body, acts in a spiritual manner, and strives after spiritual objects. True religion consists not in outward forms, peculiar garbs, or modes of speech, or anything that is ritualistic and external. "The kingdom of God is...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."


1. This is needful in every case. "If any man." It may be urged that some have an especially amiable disposition. True, but the fairest flowers, as surely as the foulest weeds, are none of Christ's if they are not of the Spirit's own planting. This one lack is fatal to the noblest character, and Christ disowns utterly every man who has not His Spirit in him. This must be said concerning the ministers and officers of churches.

2. This is put in opposition to everything less than itself. For instance, there are some who glory in the name of Christians, as if the name were some great thing. It is not wearing the name of Christ, but having the Spirit of Christ, which will prove us to be accepted.

3. But the text is expressly in opposition to "the flesh." We are either in the flesh or in the Spirit. He who is in the flesh —(1) Is ruled by the flesh, but the man who is in the Spirit labours to keep it under.(2) Trusts to the flesh. He looks to his own works for salvation; but the man who has the Spirit of Christ counts all his good works to be dross, and trusts in Jesus.(3) Worships in the flesh, but the man who has the Spirit desires not to see but to believe, not to smell but to think. The sound of truth is better to the spiritual man than tinkling bells and the noise of pipes and bellows.


1. He has led you to Christ.

2. You will honour Christ, for the Spirit delights to glorify Christ by taking of the things of Christ and showing them to us.

3. He will make you like Christ, who lived for God, who was in constant communion with the Father, was always spiritual, always true, and always ready to do good to all.

4. He will show Himself by His open actions in the heart, making us hate everything that is evil, making brave for God and truth, and joyful and hopeful in God.

IV. THE SAD CONSEQUENCES OF NOT HAVING THE SPIRIT. He is none of Christ's. Ah, if I am none of His whose am I? The devil's. And where are you if you are not Christ's? On the way to judgment and eternal condemnation.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The antecedent is in these words, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ." The consequent in these, "He is none of His." We begin with the first general, viz., the antecedent, "If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ," where there are divers points observable. And first of all, for the Spirit of Christ, to speak to that, what we are to understand by this. The second is in reference to Christ as He is Mediator, God and man. The Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of Christ in this respect also, and that for two reasons more. First, He is called the Spirit of Christ, as He is in a special manner bestowed upon Him and received by Him (John 3:34; Luke 4:1; John 1:14; Colossians 1:19). Second, He is called the Spirit of Christ not only as bestowed upon Him, but as bestowed by Him. And of His fulness we do all receive grace for grace. The consideration of this point may be thus far useful to us, as it may teach us a special ground for the honouring and extolling of Christ. A second term which we may take notice of in this first part of the text is the having of the Spirit of Christ, which is here implied to be such as Christians are indeed capable of. Now this it relates especially to the work of grace and holiness in their hearts. This having of the Spirit of Christ is considerable in two particulars. Firstly, take it as to matter of conversion, and the working of grace in them at first. Those who are true believers, they have the Spirit of Christ in them thus, as they are changed in the spirit of their minds. Every man by nature has an evil spirit in him. This Spirit of Christ has gracious and holy desires and inclinations which do belong unto it; a spiritual favour and a spiritual delight, and an affecting of spiritual things above all other things besides. Where this Spirit of Christ comes it brings every thought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. Secondly, take it as to matter of communion. A third thing which we may here observe from this present passage before us is the word of uncertainty or ambiguity, "If any man hath not," etc., as implying that there are some that have not, and that even also of those sometimes who pretend to have. And so now I have done with the first general part of the text, viz., the antecedent, "If any man have not," etc. The second is the consequent, in these words, "He is none of His" — none of His; that is, belongs not to Him, has no interest in Him, is no member of Him. This is the state and condition of all those who want the Spirit of Christ. But it may be illustrated to us from sundry considerations, as first, because they have nothing whereby to knit them and unite them to Christ. Whosoever they be that are Christ's they must be knit and united to Him, and made one with Him. By His Spirit Christ dwells in our hearts and makes us also to dwell in Him, which accordingly those persons that want do not belong unto Him, nor are any of His. Secondly, those which have not the Spirit of Christ they are none of Christ's, because they have not faith whereby to apprehend and lay hold upon Him. Thirdly, those who have not the Spirit of Christ they are none of His, because they have not a principle of spiritual life in them whereby to bring forth fruits unto Him. Fourthly, those who have not the Spirit of Christ they are none of His, because they are altogether unlike Him and different from Him, yea, indeed contrary to Him. While it is said here that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His, this is to be taken by us as exclusive of anything else which might be conceived to make up this defect. We will instance some few particulars which do sometimes deceive many people in this regard. First, strength of parts, or common and ordinary illumination in spiritual and Divine truths. Secondly, sweetness of nature and temper and constitution; it is not this which will suffice neither. Thirdly, common morality and civil righteousness. It is not this which will serve neither without the Spirit of Christ. Fourthly, the outward badge of religion, and the privileges of the visible Church. It is not this neither which does entitle to Christ without His Spirit. Lastly, it is not Christian alliance, or relation to those who have grace and godliness and goodness in them. The consideration of this point may be drawn forth into this following improvement. To this purpose we may take notice of a three-fold spirit in men, which is exclusive of this Spirit of Christ in them, and so separating of them from Him. First, their own spirit. Secondly, the spirit of the world. Thirdly, the spirit of Satan. This exclusion of relation to Christ, and of interest in Him as His members, is very grievous and prejudicial. And that in the consideration of three particulars especially. First, in point of grace; and secondly, in point of comfort; and thirdly, in point of salvation. Whether have we His Spirit or no? Those who have Christ's Spirit do very much relish and favour the truths of Christ. Again, how stand we affected to sin and evil ways, either in ourselves or others? The Spirit of Christ wherever it is is a mortifying Spirit (Galatians 5:24). And so for others, who are the children of God, and are members of Christ, how stand we affected to them likewise? And finally, for our lives and conversations and outward man, this Spirit of Christ, where it is, it will have an influence upon this also. If we live in the Spirit we shall also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). This Spirit will actuate and regulate us in every performance. Thirdly and lastly, in a way of excitement. Here is that which may stir us all up to labour for this Spirit of Christ, as being that whereupon depends all our interest in Him and benefit by Him. First, take it more largely, and which seems here principally to be intended in the text, and as we have handled it all this while, that Spirit of Christ which does animate all His members, and does express itself in them. We should be persuaded from hence to endeavour after it, and to labour for it, that we may be able to find it in ourselves. But secondly, take it more emphatically. The Spirit of Christ for that Spirit of His, which did more eminently, and in a special manner, put forth itself in His own person, while He lived here upon earth as a pattern and example to us. We may consider it in sundry particulars. First, it was a Spirit of meekness and humility and lowliness of mind. Secondly, a Spirit of patience in the wrongs and injuries which He endured. Thirdly, a Spirit of pity and compassion and tenderness of heart, especially to the souls of men, and in reference to their eternal salvation. Fourthly, a Spirit of love and condescension, and sweetness of carriage towards all that He conversed withal. And yet fifthly also, a Spirit of zeal. Last of all, a Spirit of fruitfulness and communicativeness and edification. He went about doing good. The sum of all comes to this, that we endeavour for our particulars to have the like in some degree and measure infused into us; and that so much the rather that we may be assured of His owning of us another day.

(Thomas Horton, D. D.)

To have the Spirit of Christ is to be possessed by the Holy Spirit, who directs and sanctifies the believer in Jesus by the Word of God.


1. Begets and forms a Christlike character. "We are created in Christ unto good works." The Spirit changes the bias of a man. Christianity is Christ in you.

2. Gives a Christlike devotion. This is not a prayerful age. But holy lives ever have been much in communion with God. If Jesus needed prayer, much more do we.

3. Leads to Christlike obedience. Christ's life motto was, "I come to do Thy will, O God." Obedience to God is the Spirit of Christ, and this obedience Jesus made the test of discipleship. This Spirit puts Christ before creeds, the truth before traditions, principle before policy, faith before feelings. It puts piety into practice, devotion into duty, love into labour, grace into giving, and power into prayer.


1. Was full of sympathy with man. Sympathy means to suffer with another. As a substitute Jesus suffered with man in his sins; He "Himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree." And if any man have the Spirit of Christ he will have something of that vicarious sympathy for man's redemption. Men of God have felt at times this soul burden; the Church of God has seasons of agonising for the salvation of sinners.

2. Labours to save men. Labour is the expression of Christ's sympathy for man. The Spirit of Christ is not exclusive, but aggressive. Our devotion to Christ is ever measured by our sacrifice and toil to save men. Christ suffered to provide redemption, and the Christian must suffer to apply it. Thus it is "the Church fills up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ."

(J. P. Thoms.)


1. There is a sense in which all men are His, by right of —

(1)Creation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).

(2)Preservation (Colossians 1:17).

(3)Redemption (1 Corinthians 6:20).

2. But Christ's true followers belong to Him, as —

(1)Subjects to a prince (Psalm 2:8; Matthew 22:11; Philippians 2:11).

(2)Servants to a master (Romans 14:7-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15).

(3)Friends (John 15:13-15).

(4)BRETHREN and sisters (Hebrews 2:11, 12).

(5)Children to a father (Hebrews 2:13).

(6)A spouse to a husband (Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7).

(7)Branches to a tree (John 15:1).

(8)Members to the head of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12, 27; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:22, 23).

II. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. Not, as some think, merely the mind of Christ, but the Spirit of God, is here intended (see context).

1. This is called the Spirit of Christ because —

(1)He had it, and has it without measure (John 3:34; Revelation 3:1).

(2)He has purchased it for His followers by His death.

(3)He has received it for them (Psalm 68:18; Acts 2:33).

(4)He has promised it to them.

2. As the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father, emphatically (Acts 1:4), so also of the Son (Luke 24:49; John 14:1; John 15; John 16.). He actually confers it (John 4:10; John 7:38; Acts 2:38, 39).


1. Know Him (John 10:14, 27), but we cannot know Him without the Spirit of Christ (Matthew 11:27; Galatians 1:16; John 16:14).

2. Love Him (1 Corinthians 16:22), but we cannot love Him without that Spirit, the fruit of which is love (Galatians 5:22; Romans 5:5).

3. Obey Him (2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 14:7; John 15:14; John 14:21; Hebrews 5:9), but we cannot obey Him without the inspiration and aid of His Spirit (John 15:5; 2 Corinthians 3:5).

4. Have an interest in Him, and are able to say, "My beloved is mine and I am His," but this interest in Him we cannot have without His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).

5. Are united with Him, members with their head; but this we cannot have without His Spirit.

6. We have His mind in us; but this we cannot have without His Spirit; meekness, long-suffering, goodness, etc., being fruits of the Spirit.

7. Are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:21-24), and it is impossible we should be so without His Spirit (Titus 3:5).

(Joseph Benson.)

Ignatius, the martyr, used to call himself Theophorus, or the God bearer, "because," said he, "I bear about with me the Holy Ghost." And truly every Christian is a God bearer. That man is no Christian who is not the subject of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit — he may talk well, he may understand theology — he will be the child of nature finely dressed, but not the living child. He may be a man of so profound an intellect, so gigantic a soul, so comprehensive a mind, and so lofty an imagination, that he may dive into all the secrets of nature, may know the path which the eagle's eye hath not seen, and enter into depths where the ken of mortals reacheth not, but he shall not be a Christian with all his knowledge; he shall not be a son of God with all his researches, unless he understands what it is to have the Holy Ghost dwelling in him and abiding in him, yea, and that forever.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Nothing is more desirable than a pleasant disposition. Without it we cannot be happy ourselves nor make others happy. When we have lost our temper we wake up to new appreciation of proper equipoise of nature. But a man says, "I can't help it." You can help it by having His disposition. The Spirit of Christ was a Spirit of —

I. GENTLENESS. True, He scathed the hypocrite; but for the most part His words and demeanour were inoffensive. This is remarkable when we bear in mind His omnipotence. Little children, who always avoid a rough man, rushed into His presence. Invalids, who shuddered at any other touch, asked Him to put His hand on their wounds. His footstep would not have woke up the faintest slumber. The calmness of His look shamed boisterous Gennesaret into placidity. How little of that gentleness we have! My sister's arm was put out of joint and the neighbours came and pulled till her anguish was great, but to no purpose. When the surgeon came with one touch it was all right. So we go down to our Christian work with so rough a hand that we miserably fail. The dew of one summer night does more good than ten whirlwinds.

II. SELF-SACRIFICE. Suppose by one course of conduct you could win a palace, while by another you might advantage men at the cost of your life, which would you choose? Christ chose the latter. How little of that spirit we have! Two children went out on a cold day; the boy with hardly any garments at all, and the girl in a coat that she had outgrown, and she said, "Johnny, come under my coat." He said, "It is too short." "Oh," she said, "it will stretch." But the coat would not stretch enough, so she took it off, and put it upon the boy. That was self-sacrifice. When the plague was raging in Marseilles, the College of Surgeons decided that there must be a post-mortem examination, in order that they might know how to meet and arrest that awful disease. And there was silence till Dr. Guion rose and said, "I know it is certain death; but somebody must do it. In the name of God and humanity I will." He accomplished the dissection and died in twelve hours. That was self-sacrifice that the world understands.

III. HUMILITY. The Lord of heaven and earth in the garb of a rustic. He who poured all the waters of the earth out of His hand begging a drink. Walking in common sandals, seated with publicans and sinners. How little you and I have of a spirit like that! We gather a few more dollars than other people, or get a little higher social position, and how we strut and want people to know their places!

IV. PRAYER. You cannot think of Jesus without thinking of prayer. Prayer for little children: "I thank Thee, O Father," etc. Prayer for His friends: "Father, I will that they be with Me where I am." Prayer for His enemies: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." Prayer for all nations: "Thy kingdom come." How soon our knees get tired! We want more prayer in the house, in the social circle, in the Church, in the legislative hall, among the young, among the old. The moment when the Diet of Nuremberg were signing the edict that gave deliverance to Protestants, Luther was praying in his private room about it. Without any communication between the two Luther rose from his knees, rushed out into the street, and cried, "We have got the victory! The Protestants are free! " That was prayer getting the answer straight from the throne.

V. WORK. Christ was always busy. Hewing in the carpenter's shop. Helping the lame man to walk. Curing the child's fits. From the day on which they found Him "about His Father's business," to the time when He said, "I have finished the work," etc., it was work all the way. We want the work easy if we are to perform it, the religious service short if we are to survive it. Oh for more of that better spirit which determines a man to get to heaven and to take everybody with him. Busy in the private circle, in the Sabbath school, in Church, busy everywhere for God and Christ, and heaven.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

Note —


1. The Spirit here spoken of is the Holy Ghost. But He is variously described as "the Spirit of God," "the Spirit of Christ," and "the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead." Beside all which, it is intimated that for the Spirit to dwell in us, is the same thing as for "Christ" to be in us. This mode of speaking is quite accordant with Paul's common habit (Ephesians 3:16-19). To be "strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man," and for "Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith," and for us to be "filled with all the fulness of God," are descriptions of one and the same experience. So also Ephesians 2:18, 22. Compare our Lord's discourses (John 14:10, 11, 15-21; John 15:26; John 16:7-15). These strange and involved expressions imply how distinct the personality, and how intimate the unity, between Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and how completely all conspire in every part of the redeeming plan. The Holy Ghost, then, may be called the Spirit of God, inasmuch as He cometh forth from God. He is also the Spirit of Christ, inasmuch as He represents Christ, and is sent by Him to do the Saviour's work. Further, to have the Spirit is to have Christ, because it is only through the Spirit that Jesus can take up His residence within. It follows, accordingly, that to have the Spirit of Christ in us, means something more than merely to have a disposition resembling Christ's. It means that we have God Himself to dwell within our breasts. Let us not shrink from the full avowal of this momentous truth (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Isaiah 57:15).

2. This possessing God's Spirit is essential to our salvation. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ," he may have many virtues and much seeming religion, but he is none of Christ's. The reason of this is evident; for without the Spirit no man can truly repent. Believe in Christ. Love God and keep His commandments.


1. What are "the deeds of the body?" (Colossians 3:5-10; Ephesians 4:22-32; Romans 13:12-14; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:3).

(1)The grossest immoralities of gluttony, drunkenness, revellings, and debauchery.

(2)The envious and vindictive passions of our selfish nature.

(3)The sins of the tongue.

(4)The evil coverings of the heart.

2. What is meant by mortifying them? To mortify the flesh is to wage war against it, and to cross it instead of indulging it. This is the constant battle of the believer's life; and in its full extent it is not the battle of life to any but a Christian.

III. THE HAPPINESS OF SUCH. "They shall live." And further, "if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness." Though the conflict be hard and painful, it is not in vain or without an adequate reward (Galatians 6:8). This "life," which belongs to spiritual-mindedness, is a life of joy, which begins on earth, and then is consummated in heaven.


1. We owe it no allegiance, and need no longer be in subjection to its imperious bidding. We are emancipated from its tyranny by the power of the Son of God, who is able to make us "free indeed."

2. On the other hand, you are debtors to the Spirit, to live after the Spirit. You owe your own soul much, both to make up for past neglects and injuries, and to bring it up to that high standard of excellence, in which alone it can find its perfection. And remember that the Spirit of God dwells within you, and if you surrender yourself to Him He will work in you" all the good pleasure of His goodness" (Ephesians 1:17-20; Colossians 1:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24, 28).

(T. G. Horton.)

I. IS IDENTICAL WITH THAT OF THE GREAT GOD. "The Spirit of God" and "the Spirit of Christ" are identical. "I and My Father are one." Christ's temper was —

1. Essentially benevolent. "He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them." His severest reproofs were but the bass notes in the harmonies of His loving nature. The blows He struck at the stoner were but to break his chains and set him free.

2. Forgivingly benevolent. Examples are numerous: the woman in Simon's house; the paralytic; His prayer for His enemies.

3. Earnestly benevolent. His benevolence was a burning passion. "Come unto Me all ye that labour," etc., "O Jerusalem," etc. Now all this is identical with the moral temper. Do you want to know how God feels towards you as a sinner? The biography of Christ will answer.


1. Man is preeminently adapted to receive it. He is not formed to receive evil; it is repugnant to his conscience. The soul is made to live in love as its vital atmosphere.

2. Man is preeminently in want of this. It is the only Spirit that can expel the demon passions of evil that reign within, that can light up his soul with truth and blessedness.

3. Man has preeminent helps to this. The Scripture, the life of Christ, the ministry, etc.

III. DETERMINES THE CONDITION OF MAN. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

1. None of His loyal subjects. All who have this disposition delight in His law. All others are miserable vassals. They serve Him, but against their will.

2. None of His docile disciples. Love is essential to Christian knowledge. Without it men may be speculators, cavillers, dogmatists, but not teachable disciples.

3. None of His loving friends. The want of this is enmity to Christ.

4. None of His co-heirs. From this subject we learn that Christianity is —

(1)A life, not a creed or form.

(2)A Divine life. The true Christian is one with the Infinite.


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