1. We started by talking about Romans 9:1-3 & the passion Paul has for the Jewish people.
A: In v. 1, we see that Paul desperately wants his readers to believe what he’s about to say…he raises the stakes by saying that Christ, the Holy Spirit, & his own conscience are his witness! Why is it helpful to see this level of passion in Paul as he talks about difficult & challenging subjects? Why does it make a difference to talk about hard things with a person that you know really cares for you?
B: In v. 2, Paul speaks of having great sorrow & unceasing anguish because of the Jews rejection of Jesus as Messiah & also their hatred of him personally. Look at Acts 23:12-15 to see an example of the intensity of their hatred of Paul. Despite this hatred, Paul continues to have care & concern for them…how does this serve as a model for us in the way we relate to those who oppose us?
C: In v. 3, Paul goes as far as to say that he would trade places with his fellow Jews if he could…he is saying that he’s not the enemy, but desires their rescue. What are ways we can engage with non-Christians around us & make it clear that we are not their enemy, but in fact desire their rescue?
D: We then heard application of these verses & talked about how everyone is on a mission & who/what that mission is reveals our ultimate love. What are ways that being a part of the mission that’s superior to all other missions: of making Christ known…shaped your values, your time, your passions in the past year or so?
E: We also talked about what is required to be an excellent missionary for Christ, that it ultimately requires a great love for those who are dead in sin. How does love serve as the basis for being an effective person on mission to make Christ known? What happens if love is not the basis for ministry & mission?
2. We then talked about v. 4-5 & the list of spiritual privileges of the Jews.
A: The list includes being adopted, enjoying God’s glory, being a part of covenants with God, & hearing of the promises of God. How is it a blessing to have such a history with the one, true God? How can this history be used as fuel for faithfulness? How can this history be used as an excuse for unfaithfulness?
B: They had received the first 7 privileges, but had rejected the final one…Jesus Christ. The description at the end of v. 5 causes the reader to pause for a moment to think about who they’ve rejected. What does the description at the end of v. 5 say about the person & work of Jesus Christ?
3. Tying everything together, we ended by considering what motivates our love for others.
A: It was said that the love of God caused Paul to now love others. How does thinking about the love of God, as shown towards you while you were dead in sin, motivate you to love others well?
B: We also spoke about how to identify our loves by examining our habits. Habits reveal what is second nature to us…so we were encouraged to think about the habits that increase our love of God & of others. 3 questions were asked that your group needs to discuss:
-What habits need to be killed in order to love God & others well?
-What habits need to be developed in order to love God & others well?
-What habits need to continue to be practiced in order to love God & others well?