Today is Wednesday, February 21st, 2018.  The Winter Olympics have taken center stage over the last 10 days or so in our culture.  Yet, for the athletes, these few days represent only a tiny sliver of the investment and sacrifice that led them to the games.  They have chosen a new path, a new life for this period of their lives.  Each part of their lives reflects their wholehearted commitment to their goal.  Kim  

(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever chosen, like the Olympians, to accept a major challenge in your life? Perhaps it was school or work related? Or maybe it was in restoring a relationship or training for a race?  Share this challenge with the group. What kind of obstacles did you have to navigate?  What sacrifices did you have to make in order to meet your goal?  How hard was it to put new patterns into place and break old, familiar habits?

Yahweh, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Jesus our Great Shepherd: Help us!

We confess that we are habit makers, we are comfort seekers, we often travel the same worn out roads of sin again and again.  Help us see anew!  Help us radically shift our eyes from a self-focus to a kingdom focus.  Help us keep our eyes on the gold medal of freedom in You and trust, in all our backsliding and failures, that you have the power to break the bonds of sin.   

DISCOVER  [Romans 6:12-14]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
(Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.  12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.   The Message

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.  ESV

_ What does this passage in The Message hit us with, right out of the gate at the end of verse 11?  We are dead to ______ and alive to___________?
_ In your own words what does “That’s what Jesus did,” mean to you?
_ Still in The Message translation, what words stick out to you...jump off the page?  
_ How does the Paul contrast the two ways of living.  Find contrasting words, reflect on why they are so black and white.

_ What does Paul say the “default setting” is on our “mortal body” in verse 12?
_ How does this translation also show similar contrast?  Why might it be useful to see this concept in various translations?
_ What would it look like to present ourselves “to God as those who have been brought from death to life?”
_ How do our daily lives reflect that we are presenting our “members to God as instruments of righteousness?”
_ If we allow sin to have dominion, and neglect the power that is available to us in Jesus, what lie are we believing?
_ What reminder does Paul give to each of us in the second half of verse 14.

+ 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)
_ Is there an area of your life, or pattern of living, that you are being led, by Jesus, to break out of?  If so, which area and what is your next step this week?
_ Are there any areas of your life that Jesus is inviting you to enter into anew? What are you waiting for?  
_ Is there a relationship/work environment/personal sin that you feel like you are lacking power or strength to battle against?  Is Jesus calling you to trust Him and ask for power from the Holy Spirit through intentional prayer?

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