The Greatest Chapter Ever Written

Bible reading: Romans 8: 9, 12-13

  • Which extreme, if either, are you closer to when it comes to how you respond to the Holy Spirit? Is it a tendency to ignore or over-emphasise the Holy Spirit? Why do you think that is?
  • We need to understand that the Holy Spirit lives in us (verse 9), but we also need to learn to live in the Holy Spirit (verses 12-13). What is so significant about the Holy Spirit living in us? What is so significant about us living in the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • What obligation do we have as followers of Jesus? (verse 12). Who or what is that to, and why?
  • How does living ‘by the Spirit’ make it possible for us to ‘put to death’ the misdeeds of the body’, or overcome our sinful nature? What can stop that from being the case in our lives?
  • Consider and compare times when you have tried to do things in your own strength, as compared to ‘living by the Spirit’.
  • Sin is like a spiritual cancer that, if not dealt with and got rid of, can kill us spiritually. How and why is that? What part do we have to play in dealing with sin in our lives as God’s people?

Romans 8:9

  • Read all of Romans 8:1-11. What stands out to you?
  • What do you think Paul means by living in the ‘flesh’?
    How is that different to living in the ‘Spirit’?
  • What does living in the ‘Spirit’ mean? What are some ways you do that now?
  • What are some reasons it’s important to connect with the person of the Holy Spirit? (If you need some inspiration, take a look at the following: John 3:3, 5-6; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 20:21-22; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
  • How do you connect to the person of the Holy Spirit?
  • What advice would you offer someone struggling to understand the person of the Holy Spirit?
  • What sort of things, in your opinion, do most people think ‘please God?
  • What are some things that control (or shape or influence) people in our society today? If you are able to, think of some examples.
  • Why do you think people struggle to let go of control of their own lives and let God’s Spirit control us?
  • Read Romans 8:8-9a, as well as Hebrews 11:6 and Colossians 1:10-12
  • Take some time to reflect on and discuss each of the different characteristics of a life that pleases God as we are controlled by the Spirit.
    – faith (Hebrews 11:6 onwards, Colossians 1:4-5) 
    – fruitfulness (Colossians 1:10a)
    – moving forward in knowing God (Colossians 1:10b)
    – faithfully enduring (Colossians 1:11)
    – being filled with gratitude (Colossians 1:12)
  • Which of these characteristics can you identify as a growth area for you?
  • Take some time to pray in twos or threes for one another in this. 

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

  • Do you feel like the world as a whole is going in the right direction?
  • How do you typically react to shocking and disturbing local or world news? How do you process it and come to terms with all of the ugliness that happens? How much or often would you react with despair? What about with judgmentalism?
  • Do you feel like your life is pleasing God? Is this an indicator that you need to spend more time resting in the grace of Jesus? What would your life have to look like to feel adequate?
  • In your in-between times, do you gravitate toward your phone? What apps or content do you go to, and what is it that you’re seeking there? Does it give you what you seek? Is there something more valuable that you could realistically replace it with?
  • Could you make better use of your friends or church community to help you cultivate the virtues and habits you want? If you were to ask someone for advice or help, write down at least one question you might ask.
  • What do you think are the greatest problems faced in our world today? What solutions, if any, are there to those problems?

  • What ultimately is the problem that lies behind all other problems, as described in Romans 8:3-4? What is God’s solution to that problem, as also described in this verse?

  • What part do each of the following referred to in Romans 8:3-4 play in our spiritual lives?

    – the law
    – our sinful nature
    – God
    – God’s own Son Jesus
    – The Spirit

  • Why did Jesus have to be ‘in the likeness of sinful man’ (verse 3b) to be a sin offering for us?

  • If someone asked you the question ‘Why did Jesus die?’, what would be your response?

Reflection & Discussion Questions
  • Read Romans 8:1-2, slowly and in a way that lets what God is saying sink in.
  • What do you think is the main point of what God is saying to you here?
  • When do you feel the most condemned?
  • What are the reasons from these verses we should not feel condemned?
  • How are these truths going to change the way you live this week? If it helps you, write out Romans 8:1 and stick it on your fridge, desk or somewhere else prominent. Alternatively, memorise Romans 8:1 and say it to yourself daily.
    Reflection & Discussion Questions
    • What is your greatest struggle as a follower of Jesus?
    • What part or parts of the Christian faith do you most need strengthening in?
    • Read Romans chapter 8, the chapter we will be taking a closer look at as a church in this new series.
    • What verse or verses in Romans chapter 8 remind you or reassure you of something you need reminding of or reassured in?