THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE

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Opening Prayer

O flame of the Holy Spirit, you pierce the very substance of my soul and cauterize it with your heat. You love me so much, that you have put into my heart the hope and the knowledge of eternal life. Earlier my prayers never reached your ears, because my love was so weak and impure; so although I yearned for you, and begged you to warm my cold heart, you could not hear me. But now you have chosen to come to me, and my love burns with such passion that I know you hear my every prayer. I pray what you want me to pray; I desire what you want me to desire; I do what you want me to do. You have freed me to be your slave. Amen.

—John of the Cross, 1542-1591, The Complete Works of Saint John of the Crossi

 

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He has ascended, but promised the Spirit. Jesus sits on the throne, but will send us the Spirit. And when the Spirit comes, dwelling within us, our humanity must be transformed. As Paul exulted throughout this eighth chapter of Romans, “the Spirit lives in you;” and if so, then everything is different. We approach Pentecost marveling at the transforming work of our God who indwells us.

 

TEXT

Romans 8:1-11 TNIV

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in human flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. The sinful mind is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but are in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

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