Dwelling Life

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

The word “dwelling” interests me. In everyday use (in the English language) it can mean a house, an apartment, or other place of residence.

In other words, it is where you live.

My friend, Len, awakened in me a joy of exploring words and their origins, as well as how to use words effectively and powerfully.

The word “dwelling” in English comes from an Old Norse word that means “delay, tarry, or stay.”

This is the word that the translators of the English Standard Version of the Bible use to describe the Holy Spirit living in us.

Not only can it mean that the Holy Spirit lives in us, but it can also mean he stays in us or tarries in us.

But what about delay? Here I think it may mean that the Holy Spirit lives in us while we live here on Earth (or in this plane of existence – someday I think we humans will be living off-earth, like on the moon or Mars, etc.).

The Spirit dwells in us is while our departure to heaven is delayed until our death or the 2nd Coming of Christ.

The word that St. Paul used originally was, of course, not English or even Old Norse. Paul used the Greek word oikei. But this word also means “making a home” or “living in.”

This is an incredible gift and an incredible power! The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead now dwells in us!

Jesus Christ willingly took all our sins on himself and paid the penalty for these sins on the cross. He bled and died to forgive our sins!

He was buried in a borrowed tomb for three days (part of Friday, all day Saturday, and the first part of Sunday).

Paul reveals to us that it was the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Yes, there are other Scripture passages that say God raised him or that Jesus himself rose from the dead. But these are not contradictory as all three are God!

This same Holy Spirit who raised Christ created saving faith in us through the Means of Grace – usually specifically through Holy Baptism. He sustains and strengthens our saving faith through regular use of the Lord’s Supper and through the reading and studying of the Word of God.

The Holy Spirit dwells in us and that means we have life dwelling in us. A powerful life. A transforming life.

A life lived here but ultimately will be lived forever in the new heaven and near earth.

In the meantime, our departure is delayed while we live here. And while we live here with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we engage our culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and love all people.

We love them by using the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with him when he dwells in us – the gifts of love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism you called me to be your own possession. Grant that my life may evidence the working of your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, according to the image of your only- begotten Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.

©2017 True Men Ministries


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