Romans 8:5-8, Two Ways to Live
Topic: Biblical Passage: Romans 8:5–8:8
Some questions to consider as you read Romans 8:5–8:
- Verses 5–8 say that there are two types of people (“those who live according to the flesh” and “those who live according to the Spirit”). How does the idea of two (and only two) people types change the way you view the world? Your neighbors, family, and co-workers?
- “Those who live according to the Spirit” have spiritual life, what Paul earlier refers to in Romans as being “alive to God” (Rom 6:11). Read Psalms 42:2, 63:1, and 73:25. What insights do the psalmists give on what it means to be “alive to God”?
- Non-Christians often see Christianity as loss and confinement and death. Yet, verse 6 says that there is no (ultimate) sacrifice in the Christian life, only “life and peace.” David Livingstone, the pioneer missionary to Africa, understood this. He explained to the students of Cambridge University:
“For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthy activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.”
How could such a mentality—following Christ as a sort of holy pleasure-seeking--affect the way that you view God and all of life?
- What does seeing the surpassing worth of Christ do that increasing will-power cannot?
- In verse 8, what does it mean to be “in the flesh”?