You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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 8:9-11 ESV)
Your body is dead—that old thing that caused you the sin problem is dead! Why are you serving a dead body? Why are you enslaved to a lifeless existence? Romans 8:5-8 is a description of your life before Christ. Look at it!
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8 ESV)
Did you know that Jesus did not even raise Himself from the grave! The Holy Spirit raised Christ from the grave! If Jesus depended on the Holy Spirit to raise Him from the grave, then you and I must depend on the Holy Spirit to raise us up to live an entirely new life!
Chuck Swindoll states,
We have been sold a bill of goods. The enemy has made us as a body, so conscious of sin that we are inoperative as a body of believers righteous before God, ready and equipped to move on.
We focus way too much on our lives before Christ–rather than focusing on the fact that we have been raised with Him. We need to live under the awesome power of God! The result of that kind of living: So then brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh. We have an obligation, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. We choose moment by moment whether or not we will respond to the Spirit or to the flesh.
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 ESV)
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5 ESV)
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 ESV)
Your response to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to put to death the sinful deeds of the body. It is a relationship of incredible balance—where the Holy Spirit constantly works to rid us of sin in our lives. Through His work, we are empowered to say “No” when sin presents itself. Notice also the outcome. You will either live or die. You cannot ride the fence, here. You will either live according to your old desires before you came to Christ–and die. Or you will live by the power of the Spirit who indwells you–and live.