You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
–Romans 8:9

How do you know if you are truly a believer? Paul answered that question in Romans 8. In verses 9 to 11, he talked about our victory over the power of sin: “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But 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.”

This passage can be summarized in three statements:

  1. Those who do not possess the Holy Spirit are not Christians. Romans 8:9 says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
  2. Those who do possess the Holy Spirit are Christians. The Bible says every true Christian has received the Holy Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  3. Those who possess the Holy Spirit will be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:10 says, “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

The Holy Spirit does not come into your life just to lead you to Heaven. The Holy Spirit comes into your life to change you and make you like Jesus Christ. That is what Paul said in Philippians 1:6: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Let me illustrate that for you. One of America’s greatest CEOs was Jack Welch, of General Electric. In 20 years, he almost tripled the size of GE. How did he do that? When Welch came to GE in 1981, he made radical changes. He laid off people. He sold unprofitable portions of the company and engaged in new businesses that were profitable. I want you to imagine that when the board hired Jack Welch, they said, “We want you to be the CEO of our company, but we do not want you to change anything.” Do you think Jack Welch would have said, “Okay. I will be happy to just sit here and do nothing”? Of course not. If you hire a high-powered CEO, then you better expect some changes to be made. It is the same thing with the Holy Spirit. Don’t think you can say, “Holy Spirit, I want You to come into my life so I can go to Heaven, but I do not want You to make any changes.” Do you think the Holy Spirit would say, “Okay. I will just sit here and do nothing”? No. If you invite the Holy Spirit into your life, then get ready for some changes. If radical changes are not occurring in your life, then the Holy Spirit is not in your life, because you are not yet saved. That is what the Bible teaches us in this passage.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How to Know If You’re Really Saved” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.