Again on the subject of identity, Paul found himself almost as a stranger in his own body. So devoid of control, that he could speak only of “sin which dwells in me”. “Wretched man”.
This can be placed alongside “Christ in you..” [the hope of glory], so the body being a “temple” (or house), it can house varying “spirits”. A spirit needs a dwelling, and that can be a dwelling for oneself, or the “Spirit of Christ” (..the Lord is the Spirit..) “..until Christ again be formed in you..”
So where Paul found that there was sin that dwelt in him, he then has Christ who dwells in him. The latter displaces the former. Where HE sits, is as the “person in control”, who though was “out of control” while sin through law had power over him.
“Greater is he who is in you [Christ] than he who is in the world” (sin in the world).
Paul when under sin, found himself as an arbitrator and stranger in his own body. Because man wanted control of his own destiny, he abandoned God control and sin entered the world.
He, the owner and franchiser of this body, then found that his “freedom” had become captivity. Another entity, sin, had taken control. Now as he owns up to this and submits to Christ, he again now finds he is not the owner of his house, but a tenant in his body which is now a temple of God.
The Spirit found a home in him, and Galatians says “Christ [again be] formed in you”.
The previous controller was sin and was in control, and Paul found himself as a slave to it. Now Christ the Spirit is in control, and he is a servant, yet friend, and submits to the leading of the Spirit, so that Christ in him grows stronger.
So from being or aspiring to autonomous controller*, he ended up as a slave, and now that the spirit of the flesh, the spirit of sin and death has been dispossessed, he becomes a servant of Jesus, HIS body to be used for good purposes, not for bad.
Paul had been bought with a price, and his new owner inhabited his body so that he could one day reclaim it to himself again, in glorified form. “You died, and your life is hid with God in Christ. When Christ who is your life appears, you also will appear with him in glory”.
We see in this that what is called the “incarnation” is repeated in every man. Christ dwells in us, and we in him. There appears to be a case for stating that it is only Christ who will be saved, and only because we are “in him” are we saved also. Consider Noah’s Ark, which has been likened to Christ, in which eight select people were saved. Only Christ can withstand Christ, his power, and when he comes again it is those who are of compatible nature who will be saved to him, those who have declared themselves to be his, and have proved it in their lives of “similar” “sacrifice”.
Therefore when we pray, do we look within or without? Do we raise our faces to behold him in heaven, or do we close our eyes and seek him within? However we approach this, we should realise that he is both in heaven and within, but we know him as the indwelling Spirit, our friend and comforter, so maybe one eye open and the other closed? (: )
[we are only saved by regeneration by the Spirit which is received by faith, because of forgiveness, because of our recognition of the costly damage of sin, and his love for us, which the Spirit brings. Therefore we are at one with him, the Spirit] [talk with the indwelling Christ, no longer a stranger].
[* As Adam, and also the prodigal son].