In this consideration of table fellowship and the life and freedom of the Spirit-ed people, we can see the Spirit of the Christ at work, as Paul forces us to reflect on the fact that the Spirit of the Christ was shown forth through His own breaking down of ancient barriers and boundaries, as he labored to bring diverse peoples---including people despised and looked down on by the Jews---into and under God’s covenant, based solely upon their relationship to Him (Jesus). Understanding this then allows one to return to the subject at hand here in Romans, so as to enable a more firm grasp on what is meant when Paul writes, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to Him” (8:9b).
Following from that, one finds that “if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness” (8:10). Here, Paul seems to affirm that, even though believers share in Christ’s eternal life in the here and now, their bodies will eventually deteriorate and they will die. This is because of the sin (failure to bear the divine image, covenant violations) that was introduced into the world and still exists primarily as a failure to trust the Creator God and live up to what should attend that trust. However, because of righteousness, that is, because of the Creator God’s covenant faithfulness, believers have the promise of life. That Spirit of Christ that the believer has because of the Creator God’s covenant faithfulness is the guarantee that there will come a time of resurrection for each one that is in Christ (believing in Him and confessing allegiance to His claim of Lordship).
That resurrection is not a dis-embodied existence restricted to an ethereal and heavenly realm (though heaven is one of the believer’s hopes as he or she await a final resurrection), but the resurrection that Paul has in mind is one in a world in which the kingdom of God has been set to work, and which merely awaits its final consummation at which the Creator God sets His creation to rights. It would appear to be for that reason that Paul goes on to inform his hearers and eventual readers that “Moreover if the Spirit of the One Who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the One Who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through His Spirit Who lives in you” (8:11). Just as Jesus was raised from the dead so as to walk in this creation, so too will His brethren. If one desires to be like his Lord, then this is the hope that should take pre-eminence beyond that of heaven.
There is a great deal of freedom at work here. Because of the freedom from the exilic failure to be properly human that comes from being outside of God’s covenant, with an escape (exodus) from such through belief in Jesus as Lord, those that are in Christ are set free to be used as agents and ambassadors of the creation-restoring kingdom of God, and are given the immense privilege of being used by God to extend His blessings of renewal, re-creation, restoration, and resurrection with Christ to all peoples. This occurs as His Resurrection power flows to and through those that call Jesus Lord, as they are used as conduits of His gift of eternal life through the Gospel.