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GRACE: God Is for Us
10. We are for the World
Romans 12:14-21 (NIV)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Paul has a passion for a church that embraces God’s grace with
- God is for us.
- Therefore, We are for God, for each other and for the world.
1. Loving the other with humility prophetically demonstrates Christ-likeness.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud,
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:11–14 (NIV)
2. Loving the other with faith stretches and grows our faith in God.
but leave room for God’s wrath,
- Our faith that God is at work. He is working all things together for good.
7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:7–10 (NIV)
3. Loving the other with generosity builds bridges of empathy and compassion.
you will heap burning coals on his head
- Our generosity builds bridges of empathy and compassion.
For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28 So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ. Romans 15:23–29 (NIV)
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 2 Corinthians 8:3–5 (NIV)
- How does passage lead us to conviction, confession or commitment?
Small Group Questions
CONNECT WITH GOD (Select a below practice or choose a practice from a previous week.)
- Sacred Rhythms (10 minutes)
Read the below quote and spend time in quiet reflection and journaling, with the prompts.
- What are the personal patterns, practices, or experiences that create a posture of openness to God’s transformative presence in your life?
- How does the Holy Spirit transform you through these sacred rhythms?
“In the final analysis, there is nothing I can do to transform myself into a person who loves and serves as Jesus did except to make myself available to God to do the work of transforming grace in my life.” -Robert Mulholland
- Listening to God (5-7 minutes)
Alone: In a posture of stillness and openness, come to God with the intention to listen. Pray: “Lord, I am here. Quiet the noises and voices around me. Teach me to listen for You.”
Journal/Draw: While you pray: listen and wait. Then, jot down any themes of images that come to your mind. Listening well also means listening with others and so you are encouraged to find a partner to share your experience.
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
- Read Romans 12:14-21 alone and together
- Reflect on the questions below, together. Give space for quiet reflection and listening before beginning conversation.
- Is there someone in your life who you struggle to live with peaceably?
- In what areas of your life or in the world do you favor “revenge” over harmony?
- How does this passage lead you to conviction, confession or commitment?
CONNECT WITH SCRIPTURE (Select the best questions or customize the questions for your group). Read Romans 12:14-21 and any additional scripture passages from the message outline.
- Review the main points from the sermon outline.
- What has grabbed your attention from the message this week? Why?
- What would be the impact of Paul’s commands to the house churches in Rome at that time? (v. 14-21)
- What significance does the word “bless” have in Romans 12:14?
- What does it mean to live in harmony with one another (verse 16)?
- How did Jesus overcome evil with good (verse 21)?
- How do you connect the life of Jesus to Paul’s commands in Romans 12:14-21?
CONNECT WITH STEWARDSHIP AND GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD (select one question for discussion)
- How do the words of Paul in Romans 12:14-21 overflow into the way you see the world and act in it?
- How are you a part of the peace of Christ in your families, local community, and the world?
Pray once more for this season of stewardship at SBPC. Pray that the practices of generosity, love, and hospitality found in Romans 12 be widely evident in our shared life together. Pray for discernment as each person considers how God is calling them to live generously and participate in the flourishing of our community.