Letters of Paul


From Flesh to Spirit – Discussion Questions

Questions for Reading:

1. Are the literary allusions in Romans 7 to scripture and ancient myth clear?

2. How effective is Paul’s use of the first person, “I” in chapter 7? Does it matter that when he reaches chapter 8, he refers always to “we” instead?

Questions for Reflection:

1. While Paul clearly meant for Romans 7:7-25 to describe a past reality, before the onset of faith (“while we were in the flesh” in 7:5), many Christian readers through the ages have recognized their own experience in those words. E.g., “the good that I wish I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not wish (7:19).” Do you experience Christian life more in a Romans 7 or a Romans 8 way?

2. Have you ever experienced the Spirit doing what Paul gives it credit for in chapter 8: guiding your everyday life (8:4)? helping you pray (8:26)?

3. What role does “hope” of an afterlife with God play in your Christian belief and practice? Important? Not so much? Sometimes yes, sometimes no?

Yale Bible Study