Today is January 16th, 2018; I cannot believe it is already the middle of January! Just another example of how fleeting time is, and how purposeful we are to be with that time. As we continue to work through and study Romans, Paul continues to unpack doctrinal truths that are essential for correct orthodoxy and orthopraxy. In today’s study we learn how Salvation is given by the grace and righteousness of God, applied to those who believe by faith, and then proclaimed with no shame, for the grace of salvation offered, is Truth! Please join us at our Gatherings, Sundays at 9:00 and 10:45 am - Max

In the following passage Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the Gospel. As he says these words, I am convicted and reminded of my first time evangelizing, and most definitely not being eager to follow through with the task. I had come to the conclusion that I had never done it, therefore needed to, and behold a mission had erupted. I drove with great anxiety to the nearest Smoothie King and ordered a smoothie (to somewhat disguise the real motive of my presence). As the time came for me to pay, I handed the young lady at the register my card, and then uttered, with quite a stutter, the words “So what do you think of this Jesus guy?”. The response she gave was this; “Ummm… I don’t know….”. I then replied with; “hmmm… I gotcha….. Have a nice day!”, and I have never exited a store so fast in my life! The realization and conviction that spurs from this less than powerful conversation was my shame of the Gospel, proven by the lack of response I gave to her answer. Aren’t we to be encouraged and emboldened, seeing that those who know Christ know the Truth, while a major portion of the world lacks the Truth and is in desperate need of it?

The following passage, as well as the passages referenced, deal with this issue of the human heart:

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ What is something that you are eager to do every day?
_ How is the Lord impacting someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)

PRAY
Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to open your heart and eyes as you read the passage, which has been completely inspired by God.

DISCOVER  [Romans 1: 15-18]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
(Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,  as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

_ What connotation is given to “the gospel” as Paul describes that he is ‘eager’ to preach it? V15
_Why would there be temptation to be ashamed of the Gospel? Please read 2 Timothy 1:6-9 before answering. What is it  about the Gospel that calls us to not be ashamed? v16
_What does Paul mean by “to the Jew first and also to the greek. Please read John 4: 19-26 before answering. v16
_How is the righteousness of God revealed? Faith in what? v17
_What does Paul mean by “from faith for faith”? This phrase can also be translated as “beginning and ending in faith”. v17
_ What does it mean that the “righteous shall live by faith”? To put it in other words, ‘Those that are deemed righteous by God (not deemed righteous by man), live by faith. Please read Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10: 37-39, John 5:24.
_How might what Paul states in v18 motivate and encourage his desire to preach? If there is no rebuttal against those who “suppress the truth”, what might be the consequence?

+ 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)

_ Since “The righteous live by faith”, what is one way you are being called by Christ to step outside your comfort zone this week and have faith that God has a purpose through that conviction he has given you?
_ Are you spending time in the Word and in prayer, to hear the Lord speak to you? It is these two actions that lead us to repentance, as well as our daily callings to God’s will.

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?

Pray the Lord would help you grow in a deeper understanding of the Truth, and that only Christ can preserve you. Once you have done this, pray that the Lord would reveal who you are called to walk within an unashamed effort to speak the Gospel.