Romans 8:9-11

Romans 8:9-11


Ask God to guide your discussions and to experience his presence as you read his word together.

In the beginning chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we meet a boy named Huck who lives with an old Christian spinster named Miss Watson. Miss Watson was fond of warning Huck about the fires of Hell and telling all about the glories of Heaven. Huck later reflected, “She said. . . she was going to live so as to go to the good place. I made up my mind I shouldn’t try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble and wouldn’t do no good. Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn’t think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and, she said, not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.”
  • Many Christians think of heaven as a disembodied spiritual world in the sky. They often imagine heaven to be something like a never-ending church service where spirits sing never-ending refrains of worship songs. How did you grow up imagining heaven? 
  • And what do you think about this very “spiritual” and “disembodied” idea of heaven?

In our passage today, Paul is showing us that the Holy Spirit not only unites us with Jesus and, therefore, frees us from sin, death, and condemnation (8:1-8). The Spirit also gives us the sure hope of resurrection life with Jesus (9-11). Far from a disembodied “heaven,” the Spirit gives us the hope of embodied and glorified life forever with our King.


Read Romans 8:1-11 aloud.


  • Throughout Romans 7-8, Paul has contrasted two realms where a person can live: the realm of the flesh and the realm of the Spirit. The realm of the flesh is marked by sin, guilt, condemnation, alienation from God, and, ultimately, death. But the realm of the Spirit is marked by union with Christ, no condemnation, life, and peace with God. How does Romans 8:9 continue this train of thought? What is the good news Paul is declaring over Christians in this verse?
  • In verse 10, Paul says that the “body is dead because of sin,” but “the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” And then, in verse 11, he declares that the Spirit who dwells in believers will “give life to your mortal bodies” (11). What does it mean that the Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies? How does Romans 8:18-25 help clarify what Paul is saying here? 1


  • Contrasted with a disembodied vision of heaven, the Bible presents a very “earthy” picture of heaven. Heaven, according to Scripture, is not some spiritual church service in the sky. Instead, Heaven will be a resurrected world where we will live in resurrected bodies under the good rule of our resurrected King, free from all sin, suffering, and death. What do you think about this vision of heaven in contrast to a disembodied idea of heaven? Which is most attractive to you, and why?
  • Read 1 Peter 1:3-4. Here, Peter says that, because of the resurrection of Jesus, believers have a resurrection hope that he describes as “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” In other words, our present fallen world is perishable (subject to death), defiled (polluted by sin and corruption), and fading (loses its glory). But the resurrection life that awaits us will be immune to these things. What do you most look forward to about the hope of resurrection life that awaits you? Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!
  • C. S. Lewis once wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.” How often do you think about the resurrection life to come? How does that affect your life now?
  • Peter exhorts his readers, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:13). What are some practices or ideas that could help you or your family intentionally and consistently set your hope on the resurrection life that awaits you?


Father, we thank you for uniting us to Jesus through the power of your Holy Spirit and giving us a glorious resurrection hope. Help us to set our hope fully on the resurrection glory that will be ours when Christ returns, and let this hope make us steadfast, immovable, and filled with joy as we look to His return. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
1In verse 18, Paul contrasts the “sufferings of the present time” with the “glory that is to be revealed” in the future. This parallels with verses 10-11, where Paul contrasts our “mortal bodies” with the “life” the Spirit will give us. Then, in verses 19-21, Paul tells the story of history, namely, that creation has been subjected to death and corruption and is longing for the day when God will set it free and obtain what he calls the “freedom of the glory of the children of God” (21). Then Paul goes on in verses 22-23 to describe this waiting period by comparing it to childbirth. Creation, according to Paul, is groaning like a woman in labor for the day when God will bring this promised glory to the world. But it’s not just the created world longing for this day. Paul says that Christians, who are indwelt by the Spirit, also long for this future glory. But what is this future glory Paul speaks of? Is it liberation from our bodies into a “spiritual” heaven in the sky? No! Verse 24 says this future glory that we await is our “adoption as sons, that is, the resurrection of our bodies.”