Study Questions on Romans 8:9-17

Since I had a graveside service at the same time as my morning bible study today, I left some questions with the group so they could make some progress until I returned. Here are the questions. Perhaps someone will find them useful.

Romans 8 Bible Study Starter Questions


v. 9      It appears that our two options are to be controlled by either the flesh (“Sinful nature” in some translations) or the Spirit. What do you think of the lack of other possibilities? Can you imagine someone saying, “I’m the only one who controls what I do.”? It might be worth considering the response to Jesus in John 8: 31-47. Do you think the response there parallels what Paul says?


What is the mark or sign that one is owned by Christ? You can find parallel texts in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 & Ephesians 1:11-14. On the other side, what is the mark that one does not belong to Christ?


v. 10    What are the consequences of having Christ in you? What might this look like in our world today?


v. 11    What does the Spirit do in this text? In light of what you’ve seen of the Spirit’s work  in this paragraph (v. 9-11) how might you respond to someone who thinks the Holy Spirit is merely optional for Christians, or perhaps only for Pentecostals?


v. 12    If these Spirit does all this for us, what are the consequences? What obligation do we have?


v. 13    What is the result of living according to the sinful nature (flesh)? Whose job is it to “put to death” the misdeeds of the body? What kind of misdeeds do you think Paul might be thinking of? Can you think of any misdeeds that we need to try to exterminate? How do we go about putting our misdeeds to death? Consider both what you know of scripture and your previous experience of putting misdeeds to death. Deeper question: Do you think most Christians have experience putting misdeeds to death? Why or why not?


v. 14            According to this verse who are the sons (children) of God? What is it that makes them children of God? You might compare this with John 1:12.


v. 15    What does this verse show the Spirit doing in our lives? Is this good or bad? Why? What is a “spirit of sonship?”


v. 16    In this verse there are two “spirits” in view: The Spirit and our spirit. How do these spirits relate to each other? If you (as a human being) have a spirit, how does your spirit relate to the rest of whatever you are (assuming that you are not entirely or just spirit)?


v. 17    What is the consequence of being God’s child? What might it mean to be an heir of God? A co-heir with Christ? There is some big stuff in view here. You might think in light of Ephesians 1:18-2:7. What does it mean to “share in his sufferings?” Whose sufferings? Which sufferings? How does this connect with Jesus’ command to take up our crosses and follow him? Other passages to consider include Philippians 1:29; 3:3-11; Colossians 1:24-29.

Why do you think suffering is part of being a child of God, a co-heir with Christ? Do you think those who simply live according to the flesh, that is, those who ignore Christ and the life of the Spirit, get to miss out on suffering? If they do suffer, what is the difference between their suffering and the suffering Christians experience in Jesus?

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