You may be familiar with a Greek yogurt in most supermarkets called Oikos. The word means house/home in Greek and at some level may suggest “homemade” goodness. On the other hand, I have never seen Oikos milk, cottage cheese or sour cream. They are dedicated to making good yogurt, therefore, they are “building their house” on yogurt, the way the Hersey family built their house on chocolate and the Busch family built their house on beer.
Oikos is the root of many important words found in the New Testament, none more important than Romans chapters 7 and 8. Three times in chapter seven Paul uses the word oikeo in regards to sin which is translated dwells in, or living in me. He describes our struggle with a carnal nature, and the ineffectiveness of the Law to overcome the “law of sin and death.”
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. Romans 7:15.
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Romans 7:17.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Romans 7:18.
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. Romans 7:20.
And so we see Paul repeat this word three times to emphasize the nature of sin as a “resident” in my house, who is a home wrecker. The will of sin is contrary to our own and leads us to self-destructive behavior that man was unable to overcome without a Savior. This he purposely presents to serve as a contrast to the point he intends to make in chapter 8. He closes the chapter and builds a bridge to the next with this proclamation:
Only now, with a thorough understanding of chapter 7 can a disciple grasp the victory described in Chapter 8. Many times I have heard preaching directly from Romans 8 that if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in you by faith. This is not the point that Paul was trying to make at all. This is not,”the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” theology.
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. Romans 8:9.
We now see Paul using the same word that he used three times in Romans 7, to say that if the Spirit of God directs your will the way the sin nature did before, then you will walk in victory.
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 dwells in you. Romans 8:11.
When he says “by his Spirit that dwells in you”, he uses enoikeo, a strengthened form of the word oikeo used five times previously that implies dwelling in harmony and cooperation. This is what the Lord and the apostle John referred to as “abiding in” the Spirit.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:13&14.
This is working out your salvation with “fear and trembling.” Ph 2:12.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Ga 5:24.