Week of February 11

Romans: The Power of the Gospel In 2024 we are going to read someone else’s mail.  Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome and gave one of the best and most thorough explanations of the Gospel of Jesus and details about how to live that out.  He was writing to people who were followers of Jesus in Rome, perhaps the toughest place to be a Christian at the most difficult time to be a Christian.  Perhaps Paul’s letter to them can give us insights into how to live out what you believe when the world is indifferent or even hostile to your beliefs.  Let’s dive into God’s Word together as we read and reflect on Paul’s letter to the Romans. 

Week 6 – Sinners and Saints  – Romans 3:9-31
Paul addressed this letter to the Romans by addressing this letter literally in Romans 1:7 to the “Saints in Rome” but he could have said to the “Sinners in Rome”.  Apart from Jesus, all saints are sinners, but not all sinners are saints…but they can be because of Jesus. The bad news is that ALL people are sinners.  The good news of the Gospel of Jesus is that God loves sinners and has a plan and has made path for sinners to be saints, God’s holy people who are loved by God. Romans 3:9-31 shows us how God does that and how we should respond.


LIVE OAK CONNECTION POINT:  
The Welcome this week was about serving at Live Oak.  Is there anyone in your group for whom this might be their next step?  The starting place will be our Serving Interest Form on our App & Website in SIGN UP & EVENTS!  As a group leader helping your people connect in this way is a great way to come alongside them in their journey!  

ICE BREAKERS QUESTIONS:
*For a NEW GROUP meeting together or a group with new people, or a group that has had a long time not meeting together, you can use these Ice Breaker Questions to get people talking and start making connections. 

**For an EXISTING GROUP without a lot of new people, feel free to use or adapt the 3 ice breaker questions below but also spend some time catching up with each other by sharing highlights and challenges since you last met.  You may also want to have everyone share a hope for your small group for this Spring. 

1.ICE BREAKER 1: “Unique Introductions” 
Have everyone introduce themselves this way:  

  1. A) A UNIQUE GREETING (Example: Hi, Hello, Hey, Aloha, Bon Jour, Greetings, What’s up, etc.) Everyone has to have a unique opening greeting line. No repeats. Must be a unique greeting word or phrase that has not already been used by someone else during this ice breaker. 
  2. B) Name and a 1-MINUTE BIO of who you are (include any family info, what you do during the week, what you do for fun, and how long you have attended Live Oak)
    Example: “Hi. My name is Doug Halcomb. I’m Senior Pastor at Live Oak, married to Jennifer, 2 kids, Jean & Graycia. And I Graduated from Tech in 1994. For fun I like enjoy movies, music  and I’ve attended Live Oak from 1993- 2004, and again since 2012.” 

 2. ICEBREAKER 2: “Lightning Round” 
Start with the leader and ask a question that is either an “either/or” type question or a “what is your favorite___________” fill in the blank type question.
Example: Beach or mountains? TV or Movies? Favorite movie? Favorite food? Favorite hobby?  

  • Each person in the circle answers the question with the one who asked the question answering last.  
  • Then, the person to the right asks their own “either/or” or “favorite” question.  
  • Each person in the circle answers that question with the person who asked the question 
  • answering last.  
  • Go all around the circle until everyone in the circle asks a question.  
  • This gets everyone talking and participating.  
  • Try to keep the pace up and keep a lightening round type of feel with quick questions and quick answers.  

3. ICEBREAKER 3: “Hopes for our Small Group” 
Have everyone share why they were interested in joining a small group AND what they might be hoping to experience in this small group.  

DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: 

  • Who is the most “saintly” person you know personally?  What makes them “saintly” in your eyes?
  • READ: Romans 1:7. When God tells us that we are loved by God and because of Jesus He sees us as “saints”, what struggles do you have in seeing yourself that way?
  • Read: Romans 3:9-31.  Spend some time SOAPing this passage. You can either spend time SOAPing individually and documenting for a several minutes and then spend time sharing with each -OR- SOAP in real time with each other.  Either way make as many observations as you can.  What stands out to you in this passage? 
  • Looking at this passage or looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching and/or passage, was there anything you heard that caught your attention, challenged or confused you? 
  • We heard this weekend that Jesus is the only solution to our universal problem of sin. How do you think your friends and family who aren’t yet interested in Jesus would respond to hearing that everyone has a sin problem and Jesus is the only cure for it?
  • Doug shared how sin separates us from the most important relationships in life. In what ways have you seen this separation happening in the world around you? How about in your own life?
  • Doug talked about how important it is that we have good DEFINITIONS of words we read in the Bible.  (A good tool is a Bible dictionary.  You can find some online at BibleStudyTools.com).   How do you define the following words: 

SIN? 

JUSTIFIED? 

REDEMPTION? 

ATONEMENT? 

  • READ: Romans 3:23-25.  How does these verses show us HOW God can transform SINNERS into SAINTS? 
  • God wants to use the story of your past as a tool for sharing his love and forgiveness with other people. Can you think of anything you might need to do in order to allow him to do that? 
  • We all have people in our lives who haven’t recognized they have the universal problem of sin and therefore haven’t accepted the universal cure – Jesus.  Which ones would you like to have the group pray for? 
  • What else stood out from the message this week? 

NEXT STEPS
Everyone has a next step to apply what we have learned. What is your next step?  Be specific. 

 MEMORY VERSE:
*Challenge yourself or your group to commit this verse to memory:

Romans 3:23-24   “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” 

 PRAYER:
Spend some time praying for each other.    

 Scripture References
Romans 1:7; Romans 3:9-31; Genesis 1:27; 1 John 1:9