Romans 12; 13
Love is the fulfilling of the law.
Bibles, sheets of paper, pencils, hymnals
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
A. At a church potluck, a visitor drops her plate just before reaching her table. Assign spiritual gifts (mercy, exhortation, helps, encouragement, intercession) to various group members and ask them to describe how they would respond in this situation.
B. A friend spends several minutes explaining to you that government taxes are unjust and unethical and that we don’t have to pay them. How would you respond?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
A. An angry co-worker describes how he plans to “get even” with a neighbor who shot his dog for killing the neighbor’s cat. “I’m going to plant a small explosive device in his garden,” he growls, “just to make him suffer.” What would you say?
B. Thought Questions
Read Romans 12:1, 2. Which of these statements would be included in presenting your body as a “living sacrifice”?
- Not becoming like the world
- Prayerfully meditating on the psalms
- Telling the person next to you at the casino about the love of Jesus
- Studying the Bible to discover God’s will
- Trusting in the promise that “the Lord will fulfill his purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8)
Read Romans 12:3-21. How can we show God’s love to other people?
- Love sincerely
- Be devoted to them
- Honor others above ourselves
- Get them to vote for us
- Be patient in affliction
Read Romans 13:1-7. Which of the following are good reasons for being loyal to our government?
- God established it.
- Rebelling against the government is the same as rebelling against God.
- You don’t need to fear the police if you do what is right.
- You can expect the government to pay you even if you don’t work.
- Submit to the authorities because of conscience.
Read Romans 13:8-10. What does Paul say about our love for others?
- Don’t have outstanding debts.
- When you love others, you fulfill the law.
- It’s all right to eat food from the shelves of the store as long as you discard the wrappers in the waste basket.
- Many of the commandments are based on the concept “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Love does no harm to its neighbor.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. After several minutes, report back to the larger group with your findings.
Option 1: How would you explain the hope of Jesus’ Second Coming to someone who is listening attentively but is apparently uninterested? Prepare to present your explanations to the group.
Option 2: Discuss how you can present your body as a living sacrifice. Compare Romans 12:1, 2 with 2 Corinthians 10:5. Prepare to present your findings to the group.
Option 3: Read Romans 13:11-14, which talks about preparing for Christ’s Second Coming. Find a hymn in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal that best reflects what Paul presents there. Prepare to read or sing one stanza to the group.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
A. Take a few minutes to meditate on your spiritual gifts and how you might use them in your church. Re-read Romans 12:6-9 if you need to be reminded of what the spiritual gifts are.
B. Share with at least one other person your thoughts from Part A. Close by praying that God will give you grace to put your spiritual gifts to work in your church.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus: