The Book of Romans

The Book of Romans

In this series Ps Matt Gregory and Ps Peter Prothero take us through the book of Romans. As you go through this series as a group, take the time to read through the book in your own time. One way is to read four chapters a week. Encourage the group to read Romans 1-4 before starting the series.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek SixWeek Seven

SESSION ONE

BELOW THE SURFACE

Key Thought:

In the first part of Romans Paul is looking at behaviour, but looking below the surface to identify the real issue.

Watch session 1 of the series.

Key Verse:

Romans 1:20 (NIV)

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

OPEN

Did anything particularly stand out to you from the video or the chapters you read this week?

Ps Peter finished the video by talking about worshipping creation over the creator. 

What does it look like to worship creation?

When we don’t fully believe our creator can meet our needs we turn to creation instead.

Where have you found yourself worshipping creation and fixing your thoughts on things that aren’t God?

Often following God means delaying being gratified, but we bypass God’s best for immediate gratification.

Can you think of a time where you haven’t waited?

Where is God not number one in your life?

STUDY

Read Romans 7:15-20 (NKJV).

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

Paul explains in verse 18 that there’s nothing good in our flesh, or in our brokenness as Ps Peter says it. The law helps us to see our need for grace but it is powerless to change us.

Have you ever fallen into the trap of doing good works to try to change and be better?

In Romans 7:9 Paul says he was alive apart from the law, but when he learned the commands he realised he was in sin.

Do you think you would see your need of grace without the law, or would you just think you’re ok?

COMMIT

What are the things you’ve been doing that you know you don’t want to do?

What are the things you know you really should be doing and need to do?

PRAY

Ask God to help you to do the things you want to do and not do the things you don’t.

PRACTICAL

Read chapters 5-8 before you next meet as a group.

As you are reading, make some notes about your observations and findings – look out for different themes.

Flesh and Spirit

Key Thought:

Every person made new in Christ lives with a tension between God’s spirit and their flesh. This session looks at the wrestle between these in our lives. 

Watch session 2 of the series.

Key Verse:

Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

OPEN

Did anything particularly stand out to you from the video or the chapters you read this week?

The Jews is the church in Rome thought they were better than the Gentile Christians because they had the law.

Have you found yourself comparing yourself to other Christians, thinking you’re not as bad as them? Why do you think it is we do this?

Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those in Christ. 

Discuss what condemnation is.

In your own experience, how have you found freedom from the thoughts in your head putting you down?

STUDY

Read Romans 6:3-4 (NKJV)

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Ps Peter explained baptism as a bath, a burial, and a beginning. 

What’s the significance of each of these illustrations?

In Christ we are raised into “newness of life” but are not yet resurrected.

Discuss the difference between these two things and the effects of that in our lives. Have you seen the tension in your life between flesh and spirit?

COMMIT

Sanctification is a walk of faith and we can choose to surrender to the law of the spirit or to the law of sin. Every choice we make strengthens every future choice. That’s why habits are so powerful.

What good habits do you have?

What habits do you need to make?

We can struggle with thoughts telling ourselves we don’t measure up, or that we’ve stuffed up, and hold ourselves prisoner to that circumstance when really if you’ve accepted Christ you’ve been made right in His sight. We can wrestle with these thoughts in our minds.

What are you wrestling with at the moment?

What have you wrestled with in the past?

PRAY

Pray for the things that you’re wrestling with. Ask God to help you live surrendered to the Spirit.

PRACTICAL

Read chapters 9-12 before you next meet as a group.

As you are reading, make some notes about your observations and findings – look out for different themes. 

Nothing Can Separate Us

Key Thought:

Romans 8 starts by saying there is no condemnation for those in Christ, and ends with nothing can separate us from God’s love. In this session we look at how our relationship with God impacts how we love those around us.

Watch session 3 of the series.

Key Verse:

Romans 8:22-23 (NIV)

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” 

OPEN

Did anything particularly stand out to you from the video or the chapters you read this week?

The gospel is universal, including everyone, but is also cosmic – awaiting the new creation.

Where do you see all creation ‘groaning’ or out of sync?

Ps Peter explained that righteousness is a relational term more than a legal one. It means we are in ‘right standing’ with God.

How do you understand righteousness? Do you see it more as relational or legal, and what does that mean for you?

STUDY

Read Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We can struggle in our walk because we hold ourselves prisoner to the mistakes we make and think there is something that separates us from God’s love.

Have you ever felt like this? Share your experience with the group.

What’s the difference between remorse and repentance? 

When we are secure in God’s love our relationships with people are affected. 

Have you noticed that when you feel more secure in God’s love you are able to love others more unconditionally, rather than based on their performance?

COMMIT

We need to allow our heart to be free from resentment, bitterness and disappointment, to let the love of God fill it for people who are broken.

Can you let go of times when people have hurt you and let God’s love fill you for them?

Can you love the things God loves – the church and the lost?

Paul had a passionate love for people because his heart was changed. When Christ fills our heart, even in situations where it’s hard to love, we find that we can because there’s nothing that can separate us from God’s love.

Share a testimony of a time where this happened and how Christ has changed you.

PRAY

Pray that God would fill you with His love so you can love people around you unconditionally.

PRACTICAL

Read chapters 13-16 before you next meet as a group.

As you are reading, make some notes about your observations and findings – look out for different themes. 

A Living Sacrifice

Key Thought:

Paul instructs us to give our whole lives as worship to God. This looks like using our gifts to serve Him, and growing in our integrity and love for others.

Watch session 4 of the series.

Key Verse:

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

OPEN

Did anything particularly stand out to you from the video or the chapters you read this week?

The best way to serve is out of your basic motivational gift.

Where’s your sweet spot, where you feel joyful and energised? How are you using this to move the Kingdom forward?

When trying to find out how you’re gifted. You’re attracted to what you’re wired for.

What are you attracted to?

STUDY

Read Romans 15:4-7 (NKJV)

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”

Romans 15:4 says all these things about the men of faith were written for our learning.

How does this encourage you in your journey following Jesus?

Ps Peter’s experience of church in the 70’s was believe, behave, belong. 

Discuss the importance of what Romans 15:7 teaches us on receiving people as they are, and letting them belong before they believe. Are there any stories you can share of when you’ve seen this happen well?

COMMIT

Romans 12:1-2 instructs us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. This is to offer our whole being not just our minds. 

Are there places in your life where your actions don’t line up with your good thinking? 

PRAY

Ask God to help you to follow Him with your whole being, not just your thinking or actions.

PRACTICAL

Make an intentional effort this week to receive people as they are, and not judge them for what they are not.

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