According to James D.G. Dunn, “Rom. 8.1-27 is unquestionably the highest point of Paul’s theology of the Spirit.” [1] To support this statement he highlights the following parts of this passage:

(1) In 8.1-2 it is “clearly the Spirit which has made the decisive difference (note the aorist tense) in countering the law abused by sin to bring about death.

(2) In 8.4-6 the readers are “encouraged to think of themselves (and to realize themselves) as those who ‘walk in accordance with the Spirit,’ who have their being in terms of the Spirit, who think in the Spirit’s way.”

(3) In 8.9, “It is ‘having the Spirit’ which defines and determines someone as being ‘of Christ.’ A Spirtless Christian would have been a contradiction of terms for Paul.’

(4) In 8.10, “the Spirit is the life of the Christian, that is, the life of God in the Christian”.

(5) In 8.11, “the resurrection of the body” is “the climactic saving act of the life-giving Spirit”.

(6) In 8.14, “membership in God’s family is defined in terms of the Spirit”.

(7) In 8.16, “The adoption is given its existential reality bu the presence and witness of the Spirit”.

(8) Finally, in 8.23, “…the gift of the Spirit is but the firstfruits of that complete salvation, the beginning of the process and the assurance of its completion.” [2]

For Pentecostal/Charismatic types I think Dunn does a fine job of showing us that Romans 8.1-27 is essential reading for a more well-rounded understanding of the Holy Spirit. For others it is essential reading, especially if we have not taken into consideration the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.

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[1] James D.G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle, 423.

[2] Ibid. 423-424.