Lectionary Year A
March 17, 2002
Romans 8:6-11

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological focus of this pericope is the Spirit of God, who brings life and peace by dwelling in people. Also, the Spirit of Christ is at the center of this part of God's Word, as well. Other elements in this text seem more secondary than these. They include God's Law, having the Spirit in dwelling and God's having raised Christ. The idea of righteousness perhaps unites the major and the minor concerns in this passage.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 6 For the human way of thinking brings death, but the way of thinking in the Spirit brings life and peace; 7 for the human way of thinking brings hostility to/for God, and the Law of this God is not subject to it, nor is it enabled to do so; 8 and the ones being in the flesh are unable to please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh, for you are in the Spirit, if it is true that God's Spirit lives in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, then he is not a part of Him. 10 But if Christ is in you (plural), then your body might be dead through sin but the Spirit brings life through righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of the One who raised Christ from the dead lives in you, the One who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your (plural) mortal bodies (plural) through the One who is living and whose Spirit is in you.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) Leonard Goppelt's Theology of the New Testament, Vol. 2, page 123, says, "Whoever has been claimed by Christ and taken into the community of faith so as to live within it as under the word was en pneumati (in the Spirit), given over to the working of the Spirit (Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:13; II Cor. 6:6). Nevertheless, this one must be summoned repeatedly to allow this to happen, i.e., to live this life by faith."

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