Spirit and Resurrection

The Apostle Paul presents Abraham as the great exemplar of faith. God counted his faith as “righteousness” when he was uncircumcised. Thus, He justified the Patriarch apart from the “works of the Law.” Therefore, he became the father of all men who are also “from faith.” Circumcision was added after the promise as the “seal” of his justifying faith.

Because of his faith, Abraham became the “heir of the world,” the kosmos. From the start, the promise envisioned something greater than the limited territory of Palestine or the small nation of Israel.

Crocus Flowers - Photo by EVGEN SLAVIN on Unsplash
[Photo by EVGEN SLAVIN on Unsplash]

All men who have the same faith as Abraham become heirs of the covenant promises, and the Gift of the Spirit is the “
first fruits” of the inheritance they will receive when Jesus next appears, including the resurrection:

  • For not through the Law does the promise belong to Abraham or his seed, that he should be heir of the WORLD (kosmos), but through a righteousness from faith” - (Romans 4:13-18).

The references to “promise” and “heir” point to future realities. The inheritance will be nothing less than the entire “world.” God appointed Abraham as the “Father of many nations” because he believed the word of the One who raises the dead, therefore, He granted him “seed” even though the womb of Sarah was “dead.”

The terms “heir,” “seed,” “children,” the “raising of the dead” anticipate the later discussion in Chapter 8 of Romans about the “first fruits of the Spirit,” the bodily resurrection, and the redemption of the creation itself from bondage to decay and death.

Believers become “coheirs” with Jesus. Because they receive the “Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead. He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will quicken their death-doomed bodies through his indwelling Spirit” - (Romans 8:10-11).

Our mortal bodies are “dead because of sin.” All men remain subject to decay and death, including believers. However, that is not the end of the story for the “coheirs” of Jesus. The Spirit that now dwells in them is the same Spirit that raised him from the dead.

Thus, Paul connects the Gift of the Spirit to our future resurrection and the past resurrection of Jesus. They are all inextricably linked. His past resurrection is the basis for the raising of his followers when he returns to “gather his elect from the four corners of the Earth” - (Matthew 24:31).

If God is to redeem humanity and recover all that was lost to sin and death, redemption must include the physical body and the entire universe, the Cosmos- (Romans 8:15-20).


Because of the sin of Adam, all things were subjected to death and decay. This terrible plight continues to the present while we “await the revelation of the sons of God.” When that occurs, the “creation itself also shall be freed from the bondage of decay into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God.”

In the interim, believers are assured they will receive the inheritance since they have the foretaste of it from the Spirit, the “FIRST FRUITS” of the promised inheritance - (Romans 8:21-23).

The “first fruits” represent the full harvest yet to come. In this case, the Gift of the same “Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead” is the “first fruits” of the coming “redemption of our bodies.” It also is the foretaste of the “New Heavens and the New Earth,” the redemption of the creation, and the resurrection life we will know after the return of Jesus.

Thus, Paul links the Gift of the Spirit, the New Creation, and the bodily resurrection. Like Abraham, believers will inherit all this when they are raised from the dead following the arrival of Jesus “on the clouds of Heaven.”

The Gift of the Spirit is not simply a means of experiencing the supernatural or engaging in mystical experiences. It is the guarantee and the foretaste of the inheritance of the “coheirs” of Jesus Christ, especially, resurrection life in the New Creation.

  • Resurrection and New Creation - (Paul links the bodily resurrection of believers to the New Creation, and both events are part of the promised redemption – Romans 8:1-23)
  • Life through His Spirit - (Paul describes his gospel in Romans from humanity's plight due to sin to the resurrection of the dead through Jesus of Nazareth)
  • Earnest of the Inheritance - (Believers are the heirs of Abraham, and their inheritance is secured and guaranteed by the Gift of the Spirit.)

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