Week of March 24

 

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 12 – With us, For us, In us (Romans 5:6-21)
Many of us who are followers of Jesus may find ourselves stuck in our spiritual life and struggling to live out our life in Christ.  This week Doug looked at Romans 5:6-21 and “how much more” our lives can be when we let the risen Jesus who gave His life FOR US live His life THROUGH US. Jesus gave His life for me, to take My life from me, so He could live His life through me.

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DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  • What is your favorite thing about springtime?
  • Many of us get into March Madness.  Did you fill out a bracket?  Are you in a group competition with our bracket?  Who with? OR what is something you get into that compares the intensity that some get into March Madness?
  • Doug talked about his misunderstanding of what the Christian life was like while he early on in his spiritual journey as a Christian.  Can you think of any misunderstandings you had about Christianity, Christians or the church when you were growing up or early on in your faith?
  • READ:  Romans 5:6-21. 

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 from this passage?  

  • What all does Paul write about when he says four times, “how much more”? What is all is he referring to?
  • Doug talked about us living a “how much more” life.  How do you see that kind of life reflected in the following quote by Bible translator, J.B. Phillips?  

“The great difference between present-day Christianity and that of which we read in these [New Testament]  letters, is that to us, it is primarily a performance; to them it was a real experience.  We are apt to reduce the Christian religion to a code or, at best, a rule of heart and life.  To these men it is quite plainly the invasion of their lives by a new quality of life together.  They do not hesitate to describe this as Christ living in them.  We are practically driven to accept their own explanation, which is that their little human lives had, through Christ, been linked up with the very life of God.” 

  • What are your thoughts on Doug’s statement that “Jesus gave his life for me, to take my life from me, so he could live his life through me”?  What do you think that means?  
  • Experiencing an abundant life can seem like a confusing goal. Jesus simplifies it in a talk He had with his disciples where he used a vineyard analogy to explain what it takes to grow in Him.  Read John 15:1-8 and talk about what your role is and what is God’s role.
  • In what ways could understanding these differing roles and responsibilities affect your spiritual growth? 
  • John 15:1-8 gives us a great picture of what it means to stay connected to Jesus because the power to live an abundant life comes from him.  The challenge is to stay connected consistently. What do you think it means to “remain” or “abide”? How do you think you do that practically?
  • What might be some reasons God wants people relying on his power for service and ministry and not just their own power?
  • Can you think of an example in your own life that has been helpful in reminding you of your need to rely on God’s power?
  • READ: Galatians 2:20. How does this verse speak to experiencing the life Jesus has for us? 

*After you discuss this verse, challenge your group to commit this to memory and meditate/focus on it all week long.  You might even challenge them to write it out as a prayer of surrender. 

  • What else stood out from this week’s sermon and passages?
  • What is your big takeaway from this week’s passages and message? 

 

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:
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

PRAYER:
Spend some time praying for each other.  Especially focus in on some of the challenges that people are facing that were shared. 

 Scripture References
Romans 5:1-2,6-21; John 10:10; John 15; John 16:7-11; John 17:20-23; Galatians 2:20; Acts 1:8