a capital spirit

We’re talking about a spirit. And we’re asking whose it is. Join us.

The spirit is life.

Is the Holy Spirit life? Or are our spirits life? I’d say, either one.

The spirit is life because of righteousness.

Would we say the Holy Spirit is anything because of righteousness? Sure seems like strange wording anyway. Whereas, our spirits are given life because of Christ’s righteousness. So there’s a compelling option.

Although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.

Our bodies die because sin brought death, but because of Christ’s righteousness, our spirits remain alive. Makes sense and is consistent biblically, yes?

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.

Confirmed. Our bodies die. Our spirits remain alive. Not the Holy Spirit, but our spirits as opposed to our bodies. Small “s.”

life

But that’s just it. In my Bible, there’s a capital “S.”

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Rom 8:10

Due to the capital “S,” my first reading led me to assume “Holy Spirit.” But now, by simply considering a lowercase “s,” it seems a contrast is presented, altering the implications altogether.

But if Christ is in you, although the [your] body is dead because of sin, the [your] spirit is life because of righteousness.

I welcome your thoughts. In the meantime, beware! Capitalization, in these modern translations of convenience, is one person’s interpretation. So their guess, and yours, is as good as mine.

[image credit: pixabay.com, journeyoftheword.com]


8 thoughts on “a capital spirit

  1. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
    -Romans 8:9-11

    Spirit has a “S” here and in my Bible too.

    If you look at verse 9 and 11, the verses on either side of this verse…. it is talking about the Spirit of God. In verse 10, your verse, the only true life that is in us is the life of the Holy Spirit after we are saved. This is what makes us alive in Christ! The presence of the Holy Spirit living and abiding in us. This is explained in verses 12-15.

    “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
    “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
    -Romans 8:12-15

    I would also want to look at the meaning of the Greek word that has been translated to “because” and figure out what “because of righteousness” means. 😀

    Just my two-cents! 😉

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    1. You win! When I wrote the original post, I included observations about the surrounding verses. Then, I deleted them and decided to wait and see if anybody would bring that up!

      Yes, when I consider the context, it does make me think it’s referring to the Holy Spirit.

      Two problems:
      1. The body/spirit comparison makes so much sense. But I guess it could be saying, “Your body is dead because of sin, but the Holy Spirit gives it life”?
      2. The “because of righteousness” phrase really gets me. Because of whose righteousness? Ours? Christ’s? The Holy Spirit’s?

      Thanks for jumping in on the discussion. Exactly what I was looking for.

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  2. Yes, I say definitely beware of basing doctrine on the capitalization of a word. Always check the context! I don’t think many do so, and so I’m intrigued reading this.

    The word spirit can also refer to the character and nature of God or a person. Take for instance verse fifteen:

    Romans 8:15
    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    In the cases where it refers to our own character and nature, it can either refer to our sin nature or flesh or it can also refer to our “new nature” or “new man” which is a new living spirit born again and made alive by God at salvation. It is the character and nature of Christ. It is our new nature that fights against our old flesh nature. The verse there in Romans shows both, but here’s also this verse in Colossians that talks about our new nature.

    Colossians 3:10
    And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

    What interesting to me about Romans 8 is the very next verse which pretty obviously contrasts the Holy Spirit with the spirits that had been mentioned earlier.

    Romans 8:16
    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    I would definitely say that “Itself” should have been translated as “Himself” in this verse, but either way it shows the contrast. Not only does it show the contrast by the phrase “Spirit [Himself],” but it strengthens the contrast greatly by saying that the Holy Spirit assures “our spirit” that we are children of God showing that our spirit is separate from the Holy Spirit. We have our own spirit with our own dual nature if we are saved (old flesh spirit of bondage and new Christ-like spirit of adoption). We also have the Holy Spirit Himself assuring us that we are the children of God.

    So to tell what the word spirit refers to, don’t stand on capitalization alone but always check context as you are doing 🙂

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  3. Yes, it’s amazing how when two become one, it can be hard to differentiate where One starts and the other stops. I believe that is the idea! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. (Found you at Titus 2 Tuesday.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband has commented on that verse and James 4.5. It appears that a lower case “s” makes more sense there, as well. Some translators used a small “s.” Thanks for encouraging us to think deeply about the Word of God. It’s life changing when we do!

    Thanks, too, for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival. Week-end blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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