By Joe Moore

Retreat on Romans 7

This retreat is based upon Romans 7:25 – 8:17. Following the Scripture text are questions for individual reflection, and small group interaction. At the end are a few questions that a leader could use in a large group discussion.

Romans 7:25-817

Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;  the sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
New International Version

(note- the following questions can be used during a time alone, in small groups, and in a large group response time)

Quiet Time

Read and pray through the passage.

  • What does the Lord speak to you most clearly through the passage?
  • Where do you see yourself in the passage?
  • Where does your life look like the life of a “sinful” person versus a “spiritual” person?

Small Groups Questions

  • What’s the condition of the believer in regards to the Law?
  • What was the Law unable to accomplish? Why was it powerless to accomplish this?
  • How is Jesus the solution to the powerlessness of the Law?
  • Describe and write down the characteristics of the life and nature of “sinful person;” of the “spiritual person.”
  • How does the spiritual person “put to death the misdeeds of the body?”
  • Why is the “sinful person” a slave to fear?
  • How does the spiritual person live apart from fear?
  • In the area of your desires, which can you identify as desires of the sinful nature and which are the desires of the Spirit?
  • In what areas of your life do you need to live by the desires of the Spirit and put to death the misdeeds of the body?

Large Group discussion

  • Ask what they saw and discussed in small group. Concentrate on the role of the Law, Jesus work on our behalf, and the tension of living by the Spirit while struggling against the desires of the body.
  • If this seems a bit overwhelming pick a couple of the most significant questions from the small group time and discuss them as a whole group.
  • Be sure to talk about how, as a fellowship in Christ, we can help one another overcome the misdeeds of the body. Spend some time praying for the issues discussed as the Lord leads.

*Remember: This is a guide for your time together. Allow the Lord to move outside of our questions and schedule.

Printable Version: Retreat on Romans 7-PDF