Week of May 12

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 18: The Difficult Trilemma – Romans 8:28-39      
We face a difficult trilemma in life that we may often wrestle with: God is GOOD.  God is POWERFUL.  There is EVIL in the world.  The problem of evil, pain and suffering in our world can cause us to lose sight of who God is and who we are in Christ.  Romans 8:28-39 points us to the truth that helps us navigate the difficult times we face. 


 LIVE OAK CONNECTION POINT:   

DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  • On an optimist-pessimist scale, where would you position yourself? Why?
  • Where have you personally encountered the hard truth of “there is evil” in the world, and where have you experienced the reality of pain and suffering in life?
  • READ:  Romans 8:28-39. 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? 
  •  *Dig into this passage in 2 sections: (1 Romans 8:28-30 and 2) Romans 8:31-39.  
  1. Section 1: Romans 8:28-30  How does verse 28 relate to the idea of suffering (also see Romans 8:18)? 
    What do the five verbs that describe God’s role in our coming to know him mean (Romans 8:29-30)? 
    How do these verbs mentioned in 8:29-30 support the truth of verse 28? 
    What do you think it means to be “conformed” to the image of the Son (Romans 8:29)?
    How have you seen God use things you have experienced being used by God to make you/conform you to be more like Jesus?
  2.  Section 2: Romans 8:31-39  What are the questions and their answers in verses 31-35?
    What is Paul’s point in raising them? 
    How would the forces in verses 38-39 disrupt our trust in God’s love? 
    Of the enemies mentioned in verses 38-39, which one is the most real to you?
    What helps you most here?
    How do you need the truth that “nothing can separate God’s love for God’s people” to comfort you today?
    How is God putting you through the school of hard knocks now?
    How do you see God at work in this?  
  •  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:
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

 PRAYER:  
Spend some time praying for each other.   

 Scripture References: 
Romans 8:28-39; Ephesians 1:4; Philippians 1:6, 12; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:26-27; Genesis 22:12; Matthew 6:33