But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11, N.K.J.V.)
The New Testament teaches that God the Holy Spirit dwells inside the body of each born-again Christian, and you’ll notice that our text verse refers to the Spirit as “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead.” This means that the same Holy Spirit who provided the power to resurrect Jesus from the dead now lives inside each Christian. That’s what I call an internal power source!
Okay, so what does this have to do with the Christian’s repentance of sin? The answer is: No matter how great a hold any sin has on the Christian’s life, the indwelling Holy Spirit has the power to break that Christian free from the grip of that sin. Sticking with the idea of resurrection, the Holy Spirit has the power to resurrect godly conduct from the dead corpse that is the Christian’s ungodly conduct.
Paul, of course, had to experience the words of Romans 8:11 before he could ever write them, and we know that his conversion to Christianity occurred one day when He met the resurrected, glorified Jesus on the road between Jerusalem and Damascus. As part of the conversation he had with Jesus during that encounter, Jesus said to him:
I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:17-18, N.K.J.V.)
These words from Jesus tell us that He is in the business of turning individuals “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.” But how does He do that? He does it by way of the Holy Spirit who comes to indwell each person who places saving faith (belief) in Him. In this way, the Holy Spirit is the divine link between Christ’s resurrection and the Christian’s repentance. That’s why no Christian should ever say of his or her pet sin, “I just don’t have the power to stop committing that sin.” To deny that you have such power is to deny that God the Holy Spirit dwells inside you.
This Easter, Christians, in the midst of all our Easter dramas at church, resurrection egg hunts, sunrise services, Easter outfits, choir specials, Easter sermons, Sunday meals, religious movies, and historical documentaries about Jesus, let’s give Jesus something that He desires from each of us: repentance that is worthy of the awesomeness of His resurrection. After all, He didn’t leave that tomb and impart to us the indwelling Holy Spirit just so that we could continue in our sins, did He? No, He did it so that we could pass from spiritual darkness to spiritual light and so that we could operate from the power of God rather than the power of Satan. Repentance, then, is how we can not only celebrate Christ’s resurrection but actually apply it to our daily lives. And when we get right down to it, isn’t it fair to say that if we aren’t honestly applying it, we aren’t honestly celebrating it? That’s the question that I’ll leave with you, and it’s one that I hope leads you to ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to quit with that certain sin of yours.