Rom.8:8-9 “Being Changed”


Romans 8:8-9 “Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”


The above verses teach us something about the Holy Spirit. People who are in the realm of the flesh, who are controlled by their sin nature – unbelievers cannot please God. They cannot please God because their actions, the things that they say and think are controlled by their sin nature, the flesh. But Christians are different. Although they have their sin nature, Christians are no longer controlled by sin because they have the Holy Spirit living within them – this is what is referred to as “in the realm of the Spirit.” Every Christian has the Holy Spirt living inside them. But unbelievers do not have the Holy Spirit living in them because they do not belong to Christ.

Denise Matthews was a Canadian singer and actress. She was more well known by her stage name, Vanity. At the height of her fame in the 1980’s and 1990’s, she was promoted and endorsed by the pop star, Prince. As an unbeliever, she was ruled by her sin nature. She became addicted to cocaine and she had sexual relationships with different rock stars of that era. The years of drug addiction took its toll on her kidneys and she suffered kidney failure. The doctors told her she did not have long to live. During her lowest point of her life, she testified that she saw Jesus. Jesus said He would save her but she had to give up her sinful lifestyle and have nothing to do with her celebrity past. She gave received Jesus into her life as her Lord and Savior. Her health situation began to improve and she eventually had a kidney transplant.

She kept her promise to cut all ties with her past. She threw away all her music tapes, her accolades, her music contacts and she stopped calling herself, Vanity. She allowed the Holy Spirit to work in and through her. She went for rehabilitation and overcame her drug addiction. She began to give testimonies in church and lived another 18 years serving the Lord until her death in 2016. Denise Matthews was able to have such a dramatic change in her life because she had the help of the Holy Spirit living within her. She was no longer ruled by the realm of the flesh but by the realm of the Spirit. That is what happens to all who put their faith and trust to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for your gift of salvation given freely to all who receive your Son, the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior. May we all submit to the Holy Spirit and to be changed to be more like the Lord and for your glory. In Jesus Christ precious name we pray. Amen.



  1. When did you receive the Lord Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior? Share.
  2. What changes did you see since you became a Christian? How has the Holy Spirit worked in you?
  3. Compare these changes in you to what you were like before you became a Christian? Share.
  4. How can you thank the Lord for His ongoing work in you to change you to be more like Christ?