Today is Monday, January 15th, 2018 and this week we begin our study through the book of Romans.  Paul's letter to the Romans is one of most important literary documents of the past 2000 years.  It has literally shaped history and has impacted some of the greatest thinkers and theologians over past two millennium- Augustine, Luther, Wesley and Barth all were profoundly changed by this book.  This is my prayer for our church over the coming days as we explore Romans- that we would delve into the depths of this letter and the curtains would be thrown open for us, that we would see God's unfolding plan with fresh eyes and we would be mobilized to join His reveal to the world in Jesus.
grace + peace, 

(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_  If you were to write a letter to your friends in Christ, what would you say? 

Pray and thank God for the people the Lord has brought into your life!

DISCOVER  [Romans 1.1-14]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
_ What does Paul explain about the gospel in vs. 1-6? This is key to understanding one of the key themes of Romans. 
_ Who is Paul's audience in vs. 7?  
_ When speaking to his friends in Rome what does Paul begin with in vs. 8-10?
_ What does he long to do in vs.11-12? 
_ What does he feel the need to clarify in vs. 13-14?  Why do you think he does this?  In these last two verses we find another key theme of Romans. 
_ How would you describe the main idea of this first section?  

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Have you ever considered writing someone a note to encourage them? 
_ What would it look like today for you to write a text message to someone in your group (or another group) to encourage them in Jesus? 

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?  Remember our groups support team has resources for you to form disciples in simple ways!