Romans 8:10-11 – “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 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.” (ESV)
The Spirit of Jesus is life. It is the spirit that gives life — not only eternal life after we die but life now while we live. God says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies because he dwells in us.
What does it mean when it says the Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies? Does that simply mean that after we die we will live in heaven as many people read this verse? I believe not. This passage doesn’t say he will give life to us after our mortal bodies have died. It says the Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies now while we still have a mortal body. What does that really mean?
Sickness is a precursor of death. So when our body is sick it is not full of life. Sickness means life is fading and the body is headed towards death. Death comes through the advent of sickness. Therefore, sickness and death are closely related — sickness is death in “baby” form, then if it “matures” it becomes full death.
So when it says the Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies it is talking about giving life to our mortal bodies. And it gives life by defeating sickness that leads toward death. Now this doesn’t mean that our physical bodies will never die. But it means the sickness that plagues us throughout most of our lifetime can be done away with because the Spirit of life that lives in us gives us life.
When you look up the Greek word translated as “give life,” the definition gives further clarification to this fullness of life.
Strong’s defines it this way: “to cause to live, make alive, give life by spiritual power to arouse and invigorate, to restore to life, to give increase of life: thus of physical life of the spirit, quickening as respects the spirit, endued with new and greater powers of life.”
When the spirit of life gives life to our mortal bodies, it is a spiritual power that arouses and invigorates our life, restoring life closer to how it was originally designed to be. That means it’s not simply limping along in life with a sickly body, but being fully restored to health.
As an example, I was watching a documentary of a missionary named Heidi Baker in Mozambique, Africa. She runs, among other things, a large orphanage. In that area of Africa 16% of the population has the HIV virus. It was thought that since these children were pulled from the garbage dumps and other places, and many of their parents had the HIV virus or full-blown AIDS, they would be at a higher risk of the HIV virus than the general population. So they had the children tested. And what happened? 100% of the children tested negative… no HIV virus at all! That’s the Spirit giving life to their mortal bodies.
So what’s the takeaway for us from this passage? I think the takeaway is simple. God’s truth is the Spirit gives life to our bodies now while we are living. It takes away the sickness that leads to premature death and restores the fullness of life that Jesus promised when he said, “I came that you might have life and have it to the fullest.”
If that’s the case, then why do so many Christians live with sick bodies? Jesus gives us the answer to that as well. Jesus tells the father of the epileptic son, “all things are possible to him who believes.” He tells us again to “pray, believing you have received, then it shall be granted you.” James tells us that the one who doubts ought not to expect to receive anything from the Lord. We see Peter walking on the water as long as he believed and sinking as soon as he doubts. All of these examples point to the spiritual truth Jesus constantly teaches us: the only way to receive the life of the Spirit is to receive it by faith and belief. That’s how we receive salvation: by faith and belief. And the only way we receive life in our mortal bodies is by faith and belief as well. If we doubt we will not receive it. So the spiritual truth is that spiritual blessings are given by faith and belief alone. Doubt blocks the receiving of those blessings.
So back to the question, why do so many Christians live with sick bodies? It’s because, in the general framework of how God operates, they don’t believe God’s truth that His spirit gives life to their mortal bodies right now. And by not believing, they don’t receive.
If that’s you, how do you change? How can you believe to such an extent that you receive the full life of the Spirit in your mortal body?
You cannot will yourself to believe. Belief is not a discipline, it’s not an exertion of your natural mind to want to believe. Belief is intrinsic in Truth. Rom 10:17 tells us “faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.” Then Heb 11:3 says, “by faith we understand.” And only by understanding can we believe.
So the pathway to believing God’s truth is to study his word, accepting it at face value of what it says, pursuing him to give you the faith to understand, and then believing what you understand as truth. It will never make logical sense — logic and faith do not mix. This is what it means in Rom 8:7 when is says “the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God for it does not submit to god’s law. Indeed it cannot.” The reason the mind set on the flesh cannot submit to God’s law is because God’s law is spiritual and the mind set on the flesh is logical. That’s why logic and faith do not mix. So you must disregard logic if you want to believe spiritual truths. After all, it makes no logical sense to speak to a storm and calm it, yet that’s what Jesus modeled… and expected his disciples to do. It makes no logical sense to speak to a fig tree and it withers, yet that’s what Jesus modeled… and expected his disciples to be able to do. And it makes no sense to walk on water, yet that’s what Jesus modeled and expected his disciples to be able to do… and Peter did until he doubted. So you have to get your logical mind out of the way if you want to believe spiritual truths. They don’t make sense in the natural.
Does this really work? Does the Spirit actually restore life to our mortal bodies? Well, I set out to test these truths to find out. Here are just a few of the over 100 stories I’ve personally witnessed as the Holy Spirit restored life to sick and hurting bodies…
Story 1: Amy is a young woman, probably in her mid 20’s, I saw in Walmart. The Lord had highlighted her to me early on and I passed her by, then he highlighted her to me again so I felt he was leading me to her. I walked up and said I was out praying for people and I believed the Lord was directing me to her, so was there anything I could pray for her about? She first gave me a long, blank stare, then said she had degenerative disks in her back and neuropathy in her legs. It was very painful in the legs and felt like an immense pressure on them. So I prayed for her and asked if she felt anything. She said she felt a release of pressure in her legs, then the pain in her back completely went away. I asked her to do something to test out the back, something she couldn’t normally do without a lot of pain, so she bends all the way down and touches her toes. She said she could never have done that before, and there was no pain. I prayed again and asked if she felt anything in her body and she said she felt heat in her back and then it started to go down all through her right leg, and up into her hip and into her stomach area. I told her that was the Holy Spirit doing his work healing her. When the heat died down and went away the neuropathy in her legs was completely gone. I then asked if she had any other issues in her hip or stomach since she felt heat there. She shared she had an ovarian cyst that had been causing pain, but she couldn’t feel it any more. She then shared she was over at the Lovelady Center and was not going to come to Walmart today but felt led to come on out and she was so glad she did. When I had walked away I turned back around and caught her doing a little gig or stretching exercises testing out her newly healed body
Story 2: Junior is a cook at the Country Club. He was limping badly, shuffling his feet just to walk. One of the servers reached out to me to pray for his healing. So I prayed for him 2 or 3 times back in the kitchen and the pain reduced about 60%. When I returned two weeks later I asked my server how Junior was doing. She said everyone has noticed that the last two weeks he’s been walking faster than he’s ever walked before and people were commenting on it. So I asked to see him. He came out and explained what happened. For 13 years he has been walking with a limp and shuffling his feet because of a foot injury. Four days before I prayed for him he tore the ligament in one of his toes. After I prayed for him, by the next morning all the swelling had disappeared and by that afternoon he was completely pain-free, including the pain he’s had for 13 years.
Story 3: Kevin was a man I saw a man walking past me with a cane at Walmart. He was on the phone so I chose not to interrupt him. But then I kept hearing the click click click of his cane as he was walking through the aisles of Walmart. I felt impressed by the Lord to go chase him down and pray for him. So I did. I caught him in the shoe aisle. He was hunched over with his cane and could not stand up straight. Seemed to be probably in his early fifties or late forties. So I asked him what was the matter, does he have pain that required him to use a cane? He look at me with heavy, droopy eyes full of pain, and said yes. He said he had terrible sciatica and the doctor said the only possible relief would be to have back surgery, but it was not guaranteed. And he did not want surgery at . He said another friend of his had back surgery and I left him worse off than he was originally, and he was terribly afraid of having the same thing happen. I asked if I could pray for him and he immediately said yes! He was so much in pain and desperate for anything that you could see it in his face. So I prayed and commanded the pain to leave. I asked if he felt anything going on in his body. He said he felt heat on the left side near his hip or near the lower left of his back. I told him that was the Holy Spirit working. I asked about his pain and he said it was only about half as bad. He was actually starting to stand straighter. So I said let’s pray again and get complete healing. So I did, I prayed another time or two, commanding all pain out of his body and healing in his sciatic nerve. He starts to get a grin on his face, stands completely erect, and he says “I have no pain!’ He was blown away. As I left, the last I saw him he was walking away holding the middle of the cane like a baton, talking on the phone with his girlfriend about how the Lord had just healed him!
Story 4: Lou was at a Bible study at a retirement home I shared at, attended mostly elderly people. I gave my testimony and Lou came up wanting prayer for her eyes. She had macular degeneration and could barely see. When we were standing there by the table, and people were sitting at the table and milling around, she could not see any of the faces clearly. About 40 feet away was a fireplace with a mantle with accents on it and everything was completely fuzzy. So I prayed for her, and each time I prayed her vision got progressively sharper. She started to see faces clearer. We kept praying, and she started to see the accents on the mantle more and more crisply. After about 10 minutes we stopped and her vision was the clearest it’s been in her words, “in a long long time!”