Receive + Communion with God
Read Romans 1:16
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Spend some time in prayer giving God glory, honor, and thanks.
Relate + Community with others
What stuck with you from Sunday’s teaching? Why?
Why is it helpful to know who Paul is and what his sense of mission was in order to understand his writing?
What do you think of Paul’s experience of pain? e.g. Romans 9:2 - “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” Can a faithful Christian still experience suffering and anguish? Why might this be important to understand? (See also 2 Timothy 4:6 and 2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
Soteriology is the study of salvation. Ecclesiology is the study of the church. How are these different? Does it matter which one frames the other? What do you think of the idea that Paul’s framework was ecclesiology before soteriology?
What do you think of the assertion that Paul did not accomplish his core mission of having a united church? Would Paul be invited to speak at leadership conferences today?
Ego is how we think about who we are - the groups and attachments we have that we use to define our identity. What are some of the groups you identify with? What do you think of the idea that Paul is contending for us to find our identity in something larger and more permanent? (See Colossians 3:1-17)
How is Paul’s persistent joy connected to the death of Ego?
Respond + Commission to action
Begin reading Romans. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1&version=NIV
Download the YouVersion Bible App if you have a smartphone. Read Romans, or have the App read it to you!
See your group this week as a collection of Egos - people from different groups, different ways of thinking, different personalities, etc… who are called together to root their life in Christ, to be made one. Pray for others in your group, for their pain and joy.