The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. What are some similarities between the U.S. and Rome?
To understand that the family of faith, the church, is a gift. Nurturing gratitude toward it will impact how we live within the family.
Rom. 1:8-15, 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 with my whole heart 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, 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 at Rome.”
Read verse 8. Why could Paul be so grateful for the church in Rome when, as we’ll see as we move through the letter, the church had some big issues to work through?
Now read verses 8-15. What are some of the different ways you see Paul expressing his affection for the Romans?
What do these verses reveal about Paul’s relationship with God?
Why is mutual encouragement valuable to the Christian?
Why would Paul use the two words “obligated” and “eager” to describe his desire to go to Rome? How can this help us?
What are some ways you could nurture gratitude to God for our faith and the community He has formed by faith, the Church?
What can you do personally to nurture a sense of obligation and eagerness for sharing the gospel?
What can our small group do to mutually encourage one another?