Holy Trinity (First Sunday after Pentecost)

 Sermon Text: Romans 8:12-17

 Other Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8 and John 3:1-17


  1. Paul teaches in Romans that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. But Paul says we have "obligation" (v. 12) still. What is the obligation? To whom are we obligated? What is our motivation? Consult the opening verses to this chapter.
  2. Paul does not say that the body is inherently a bad thing. (How could it be? God created our bodies!) But he does say that the current state of "the flesh" is problematic (v. 12). What is so problematic about our flesh? Consider Jesus' words in our Gospel Reading, "No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh" (John 3:5,6).
  3. Scripture talks about different kinds of death. Which of the following fits best for verse 13, "If you live according to the flesh, you will die" (v. 13)?
  • Physical death, that is, the separation of body and soul
  • Spiritual death, that is, the separation of an unbeliever from God in this life
  • Eternal death, that is, the separation of a person from God forever in hell
  1. In Romans 6, Paul said that through Baptism we have already been crucified and buried with Christ. In other words, we've already shared in his sufferings. Yet, Paul says here that we are still sharing in his sufferings. What are real life examples of a Christian sharing in Christ’s sufferings?
  2. The Prayer of the Day asked our triune God to set us “free from doubt and fear.” Which verse or phrase from our text especially sets you free from doubt and fear?



  1. One commentator put it this way, “We are obligated to God the life he has given us.” Just as a married spouse feels a sort of voluntary obligation to show love to the other spouse, in the same way we feel a loving duty to use the life we have been given us. The motivation, then, is neither fear nor selfishness; it’s the peace and freedom that comes from being in Christ Jesus through faith.
  2. Our flesh inherits the sinful characteristics of our parents; it’s just the way it works. The sinful flesh, then, is susceptible to the whims of an unbelieving world and is easily led astray by fleeting carnal desires which are opposed to God (Romans 8:7,8).
  3. A case could be made for either “spiritual death” or “eternal death.” Even believers, who live by the Spirit, can die physically; so, that cannot be the meaning. And when we consider that the Greek literally says, “you are about to die,” Paul is emphasizing a future–yet impending–judgment that will be handed down upon those who reject his Son and Spirit.
  4. Answers will vary based on personal observation and experience. But, in a general way, we can connect it to what happens when we “put to death the misdeeds of the body” (v. 13). Again, Paul does not mean we cannot allow our bodies to feel any pleasures (e.g., food, exercise, arts, etc.). But what he is saying is very similar to what Christ talks about when he says that we must carry our crosses. When we live out our faith, we may feel suffering as we deny ourselves and are willing to face flack because we follow Christ.
  5. Answers will vary based on personal perspective. God give you freedom, peace, and joy as you marvel about the mystery of the Trinity but also use it in your day-to-day lives!