Explore the Bible and Video Study: Reach

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Over these past few months we have all been isolated from others with whom we desire to spend time. Many of us have struggled with being separated because we long for human interaction, especially with those to whom we are closest. Equally, church fellowship and relationships have become more appreciated during this time because we miss each other and recognize and appreciate more fully the value of living our faith together. As we begin to regather, we should remember the reason and common bond that draws us to one another. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul's words in the last half of Romans 15 according to this week's Explore the Bible and Video Study: Reach, can serve as a great reminder of this truth.

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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AS YOU STUDY

Romans 15:14-16 - Notice that Paul commended the people for their spiritual maturity. He used very emphatic pronouns, I myself, to drive home his conviction that they were full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. While other parts of his letter had been rather direct, he knew they were strong in their faith. Paul was called to be a leader in the church because of the grace given to him by God. Because of this and the fact that he was a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles and served as a priest of the gospel of God, he had to provide instruction. This is what someone who is called does. His role is not just to express platitudes of love, but to provide instruction, correction, guidance, and admonition. This was Paul’s role.
  • How do you respond when a minister, pastor, or other church leader, offers you guidance, correction, or instruction? Do you only want them to talk about how much they love you and how much God loves you, or do you want them to disciple you? Does your perspective need to change regarding how you view the role of those who are called to guide the church?
  • How would you describe your purpose in a letter to fellow believers? How would you complete Paul’s statement in verse 16? - “My Purpose is that . . .
Romans 15:18-19 - Paul shared and showed the good news of Jesus through word and deed (v. 18). Paul also gave the geographical scope of his ministry as well. Consider the influence of Paul throughout this region, the world, and down through history. Isn’t it amazing how one man’s obedience to God has changed so many lives?

When we hear about how COVID-19 can spread, we should be reminded of how the gospel spreads. We can’t possibly share the gospel with every single person. However, when we share and show the good news of Jesus through word and deed, then the gospel message begins to spread through others with whom we have come into contact. It multiplies and multiples throughout our circles of influence, our families, and friends. We have no idea, this side of eternity, how many people have responded to the gospel because of our gospel words and deeds.
  • If you were writing this letter what could you say regarding where you have shared the gospel? How would you complete Paul’s words? - “I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ from . . .”
Romans 15:20-21 - Paul aspired to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named. Paul’s reason for this strategy was so that he would not build on someone else’s foundation.
  • Create a list of where God “aims” for you to share the gospel.
Like Paul, we need to seek ways to engage those who have never heard the name of Jesus with the gospel. We need to support those who are doing this work through prayers and financial support. However, we each have a personal responsibility to share the gospel as well. 

Romans 15:30-33 - The elements of Paul's prayer should be something we pray for one another and for missionaries around the world. Review your prayer list to see if you need to add some of these elements to your prayers for your church leaders, your friends with whom you serve at church, and for missionaries around the world.

VIDEO SESSION
Consider sharing this link with your group if you are unable to meet online, or share it with your church members who aren't connected to a group.



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