Today is Wednesday, February 7, 2018.  

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Think about promises you have made to others. How difficult is it to keep each of these promises?  Share an example of a promise kept and a promise broken with the group, if you are able.
_ How is our covenant-keeping Lord giving you (or someone you are walking with) the faith, strength, and wisdom to hold on to God’s promises and be a promise-keeper?

PRAY
Precious Jesus, forgive us for our unbelief.  Please open our eyes so we can believe, trust in your promises, and obey your teaching.

I Know Whom I Have Believed
Daniel W. Whittle, pub.1883 - first 3 verses

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Refrain:
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
 


DISCOVER  [Romans 4:13-14]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)


13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.  Romans 4:13-14 ESV

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”    Genesis 17:1-8 ESV

5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?  7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.  Galatians 3:5-7 ESV

_ In vs. 13 we find a significant promise made by God to a specific person, Abraham.  What did God promise to Abraham?  (See Genesis 17:1-8 included above.)
_ Who does this original promise include?  How do you and I fit in this covenant today?  What key word in Genesis 17:7 helps us know that we are included in this promise?
_ Paul contrasts “the law” and “the righteousness of faith” in vs 13.  Do we see “the law” in the original promise?  Do we see faith in the original promise?  If so, where?
_ Who might be the “adherents to the law?”  How does this convict you personally?
_ The definition of “null” is having no legal or binding force; invalid.  The definition of void is “not valid or legally binding.”  How does this contractional language fit with Paul’s argument?
_ What does it mean to be an heir? Savor the word and the blessing that comes with being part of God’s family!
_ How does Galatians 3:5-7 add a nuance to the similar language Paul uses in Romans 4:12-13?  How does reading both Genesis and Galatians give us a fuller picture of the Romans 4:12-13 passage?

+ 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 that you are being invited to surrender and trust that God is doing the work He promised?  If so, where and what is your next step this week?
_ Is Jesus inviting you to take a step towards Him today? Where is He calling you to meet Him?  In His Word, through His people, and/or in His Church?  
_ Is there a place that you are lacking power or strength or belief?  Is Jesus calling you to 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?